Macworld 2009: The news in Australia

UPDATE: Apple will begin selling the “Mac Box Set” in early February, retailing for $279 (single user) or $380 (family pack).

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for Apple to announce new products and services in the United States without releasing local information at the time. As The Green Room has a slightly Australian perspective, I thought it was important to discuss some release date and pricing information.

While Apple’s iWork ’09 will be available at Apple Stores in the United States today, Australians will be waiting another three to five business days before the physical edition is put on shelves at the Apple Retail Store. You can expect third party resellers to have the productivity suite by the end of January. If you’re dying to get your hands on a copy, you can download the free trial at Apple’s site here and purchase an online serial number. It is currently unclear (even in the US) as to the precise release date of iLife ’09, but I assume the same schedule will apply. Both iWork and iLife will cost $129 if you are upgrading from a previous version, or $169 for the five-user “family pack”. If you’ve purchase a Mac between now and the end of March and iLife ’08 is installed on the machine, you can get iLife ’09 for the price of shipping and handling. Phil Schiller announced iWork would be available for just (USD) $49 to those who purchase a new Mac. We are yet to find out what the local pricing for such an option.

Apple also introduced the updated 17″ MacBook Pro today, which will retail for $4,499 in Australia, and is expected to be released around the same time as iLife (early February). There are several configuration options for the MBP – we’ve listed the price of them all below:

Processor:
Standard – 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Options – 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo – $530

Memory: 
Standard – 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB
Options – 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2X4GB – $2,100

Hard Drive: 
Standard – 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
Options – 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm – $80, 128GB Solid State Drive – $880, 256GB Solid State Drive – $1,550

Display: 
Standard – Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display
Options – MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Antiglare Widescreen Display $90

Finally, Apple also released it’s plans for a new three-tier pricing structure (effective April) for music in the iTunes Store. In the United States, the prices are: $0.69, $0.99 and $1.29. Apple is yet to issue a press release with it’s prices for Australia. Phil Schiller also pulled the plug on DRM, with 80% of the iTunes library becoming iTunes Plus music today. Existing songs can be upgraded to iTunes Plus for $0.50 in Australia. – r.

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