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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Apple's Future With The iPad Mini, Macbook, iMac And iPad 4

Roger Aguirre |
October 24, 2012 | 10:20 a.m. PDT


Phil Schiller going over the iPad sizes (screenshot Neontommy)
Phil Schiller going over the iPad sizes (screenshot Neontommy)
On Oct. 23, Apple unveiled some of its latest devices.  

For the most part the media’s predictions rang true when the iPad mini and 13 inch Retina Display MacBook Pro was announced, but some other surprises were also brought up like the iPad 4, the Mac Mini, and the iMac. The other big development was Apple’s big push for their lightning connecter, their new USB  format for current and future Apple devices.  

The iPad 4 and iPad Mini will both have lightning connecters which, along with iPhone 5, sets an Apple standard for Apple accessories, both officially and unofficially.  

With the opening of the presentation, Tim Cook made sure to have the audience know how well OSX Mountain Lion and iOS 6 is doing (no mention of maps though) and that five million iPhones have been sold.  Cook then went to Phil Schiller who revealed the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.  

For $1699 you’ll get the Retina Display, a MacBook Pro that is twenty percent thinner and three and a half pounds, or in other words one pound lighter than the regular MacBook Pro.  This MacBook Pro will also have an HDMI video-out, 8 GB of RAM, and a 2.5 GHz dual core processor.  Schiller also mentioned the Mac Mini starting at $599 for the base model.  Schiller then promoted Apple’s push into being more of a green company, by touting the lack of mercury in their computers and the use of recyclable materials.

Schiller showing the new iMac (screenshot neontommy)
Schiller showing the new iMac (screenshot neontommy)
Schiller went on to show what is arguably the biggest development: the new iMac.  The new iMac is impossibly thin, an edge to edge screen, quad core processor and Apple’s new development, a Fusion Drive.  In older Mac’s they would choose between flash memory or HDD memory, the fusion drive would be a hybrid of both, having the capacity of HDD and close to the speed of flash memory.  This isn’t unique to Macs and has been in PCs for a quite a while but is a still a nice development nonetheless.  Even with desktops on the decline Apple seems to have put out a really good product and with their focus on aesthetics it seems like they hit the mark. The iMac will be missing an optical drive, something Schiller treated as archaic by saying “And for those who are still are stuck in the past, yes, you can get an optical drive; we offer a great SuperDrive that plugs into USB”.  The iMac’s starting price is also $1299 and much like the other products, green materials were used.  

Schiller then gave the floor back to Cook who spoke about the iPad 3 and how 100 million iPads were sold and also mentioned how iPads have entered schools and business.  He also spoke about the new app iBooks Author, where textbook authors can better personalize their content.  The author can choose their own fonts, add mathematical expression or add multi-touch widgets within their books.  They can also add updates for their work so students can always have the most up to date textbooks.  

Schiller and the iPad 4 (screenshot Neontommy)
Schiller and the iPad 4 (screenshot Neontommy)
Schiller came back to announce the big one, the one everyone was waiting for… the iPad…4.  Only six months after the iPad 3 came out, Apple revealed the iPad 4 with a faster A6x chip which should double performance speed, a new image processor, faster Wi-Fi and of course, a lighting connecter.  The lighting connecter will also be able to work with lightning to SD card reader and HDMI adapters.  The new iPad will still have the 10 hour battery life, HD Facetime, and LTE data service and a starting price at $499 for 16 GB in black or white.

After all the build up the iPad Mini was finally revealed, 7.2 mm thick, about as thick as a pencil.  It weighs .68 lbs and has 7.9 inch screen.  The iPad Mini also has an A5 chip, Facetime HD camera, a 5 megapixel back camera, LTE, 10 hour battery life and a lightning connecter as well.  The iPad Mini will cost $329 for 16 GB Wi-Fi or $459 if you want LTE.

Overall it was a good presentation and wound up being about more than just the iPad Mini.  Of all the products Apple revealed the iMac may stand as their best one.  Again it’s so thin and although a PC could give more bang for your buck, the iMac seems to be packing a lot in a thin package.  The other item of interest was not even hardware but the app, iBooks Author. If it really takes off it could change how textbooks are done.  

The 13 inch MacBook Pro with retina display is a nice addition but at the price of $1699, the amount of sales is questionable. As an owner of a regular 13 inch MacBook Pro, I’d personally appreciate the better screen but don’t know if it’s worth $500 more. The new iPad is also only marginally better and has already led to uproar on Twitter and various online websites because the iPad 3 was released only 6 months ago. Of course the main reason for the change was because of the lightning connecter but still will be a sore spot for customers.

iPad Mini prices (screenshot neontommy)
iPad Mini prices (screenshot neontommy)
The big one in the presentation was supposed to be the iPad Mini. Like usual the iPad Mini is a good-looking device and has some good attributes such as strong battery life and LTE to distinguish it from other 7-inch tablets.  The problems is that Apple made quite a bit of sacrifices in order to get the iPad Mini to the $329 price point, such as using an outdated A5 processor and middling screen resolution. Unlike most of Apple’s other devices this one isn’t sporting the Retina Display of the iPad or iPhone, which could be a problem for some.  

During the event Schiller also compared the Mini to the Nexus 7 and mostly compared the Mini’s larger screen but did neglect to mention screen resolution and price, two areas the nexus would win.  Ultimately the iPad Mini should sell well but unlike the iPad Jumbo success won’t be as easy.  Apple is entering the 7 inch tablet market late and will compete against the Nook, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and even to an extent basic E-readers, the iPad Mini’s success is hardly guaranteed.  One more thing to note, Google will be having their own Event October 29 and will possibly have a new Nexus. 

Regardless of where you side on Apple, Android or Windows, it is a great time to love technology.


Reach Contributor Roger Aguirre here.



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