Apple’s October iPads and Laptops
Apples new line of iPads and laptops are scheduled for Apple’s big show today at 10am PT. It will be covered by ArsTechnica, Twit.tv, Engadget, The Verge, C/Net, GigaOm,Techcrunch, AllThingsD and others. It will also be live streamed by Apple. Existing users running Mavericks can update their apps for free from the Mac App Store while iWork and iLife are available for free for any new device.
Apple says there are now more than 1 million apps in the App Store that have been downloaded more than 60 billion times and developers have earned over $13 billion. Now more than 20 million users have listened to iTunes Radio, listening to over a billion songs (just in the US).
The first bombshell – Mavericks, their new OS for desktops and laptops, is free! It’s available today.
The 13-inch MacBook Air gets up to an hour longer web browsing if you install Mavericks. OpenCL will run on the integrated graphics with up to a 2x improvement in performance thanks to enhancements.
The company’s new MacBook lineup includes the 13-inch Pro, which now weighs 3.46 pounds. There’s a Haswell chip inside the new ones, with Intel Iris graphics. Up to nine hours of battery life. A 2.4GHz dual-core i5, 4GB of DRAM on the base level. Apple has dumped the hard drive in favor of flash storage and it has 802.11ac WiFi as well. There’s a Thunderbolt 2 port on it. The price starts at $1,299, $200 cheaper than the last gen.
Here are some highlights from the announcement today:
- The 15-inch Pro is powered by an Intel Crystalwell chip, with Iris Pro graphics. It will get up to eight hours of battery life. There are also models with GeForce GT discrete graphics. It starts at $1,999, also $200 cheaper than the last generation.
- The new cylindrical Mac Pro has four USB 3.0 ports, six ThunderBolt 2 ports, HDMI. Storage is all flash-based at up to 1TB. Price starts at $2,999. It’ll be available in December.
- Mac iLife programs are free with the purchase of a new Mac and available today. There are new versions of iMovie, iPhoto and Garage Band for Mavericks and iOS. They’re all 64-bit and work with iCloud. iMovie Theater lets you watch all of your videos in a single place — and its available across all devices and Apple TV through iCloud. Garage Band is getting a new design on iOS and can do 16 tracks on an iPhone or iPad.
- Apple’s iWork applications have been redesigned for iOS 7 and rewritten for the desktop. iWork productivity apps are now included free with every new Mac purchase. They include Pages, Numbers and Keynote with Keynote adding new effects with object-based animation.
- Apple says 170 million iPads have been sold to date with more than 475,000 apps in the App Store custom-designed for the iPad.
- The new iPad 5 (called iPad Air) and the new mini are thinner, lighter and more powerful. The iPad Air has a 9.7-inch Retina display with a smaller bezel and 20 percent thinner. It uses the new A7 chip from the 5s. There’s expanded LTE support with more carriers across the world. A 5MP iSight camera, a 1080p HD video came and dual mics. Up to 10 hours of battery life. It starts at $499, replacing the last-gen iPad. The Air is shipping November 1st to many countries, including China.
- The Mini is getting a Retina display with 2,048 x 1,536, the same resolution as on the full size iPad Air.There’s an A7 chip inside making the CPU up to 4x faster and graphics up to 8x faster. It’s got 10 hours of battery life, MIMO and a 5MP camera. It’ll be priced at $399, later in November. The last generation is sticking around with a price drop down to $299. Neither tablet includes 802.11ac, perhaps because it takes too much juice (although the Nexus 5 is rumored to have it). No touch ID on either the Air or Mini. No Smart Covers with keyboard.
Neither the iPad Air nor the Mini support LTE in Band 41, used by Sprint/Clear, China Mobile and Softbank. That could be important for heavy data users if Sprint makes the 2.6 GHz band a relative bargain with unlimited service. The HTC One Max includes both a/c WiFi and Band 41 LTE.
To summarize, Apple today introduced a new iPad Air and iPad mini with A7 processors, a new MacbookPro, a new MacPro, the OSX Mavericks operating system (a free upgrade) and new (free) iLife and iWorks applications for IOS-7 and Mavericks.
Apple’s iPads are still arguably the best tablets of their kind on the market. But they’re expensive. Apple’s market share is dropping rapidly, reports IDC.
Unit sales of iPads have decreased significantly this year, reports Henry Blodget in Business Insider. Inexpensive competition could keep iPad sales tepid in Q4.
As of July 2013, the Google Play Store officially reached over 1 million apps and had over 50 billion downloads. Google’s Sundar Pichai says that by the end of 2013, 225 million tablets will have been sold, leading to more tablets being sold than PCs.
Apple has a great niche, but it will loose the phone and tablet war to Google and may have a tough battle ahead with an integrated Microsoft/Nokia platform.
End of story.