Apple’s October Event 2013
Apple held its fall event today to unveil new iPads, Macbook Pros, Mac Pros, as well as to release its new operating system update, OS X Mavericks.
CEO Tim Cook took center stage in Cupertino, CA and began the event by touting the success of the iPhone 5S, Apple’s self-proclaimed biggest release ever. Nine million iPhones in one weekend is a pretty big number. I guess one billion potential first-time customers in China really makes a difference.
First up, OS X Mavericks. The update brings new functionality to Apple’s laptop and desktop OS with new apps like Maps, Tags, and iBooks. The update also improves battery life and graphics performance with some clever coding. Most of these features were laid out a few months ago, but the big take away is that Mavericks is free, even for people still running Snow Leopard on a 2007 MacBook. Oh yeah, and it comes out today. Go get it.
Up next, MacBook Pro. The 13-inch model went on a diet down to 0.71 inches think and 3.64 pounds and includes a Haswell processor. The 15-inch model is the same thickness and is one pound heavier, plus it gets a Crystalwell (what the hell is that?) processor and optional discrete graphics card. All with a $100 price cut. Improvements to the entire line include:
- Thunderbolt 2
- PCIe based flash memory
Apple followed up with a refresher on the Mac Pro, which included a bunch of jargon-heavy slides expounding on the amazing-oicty of all the tech shoved into its tiny package. This was followed up with a video of how it was manufactured, which I could watch all day long. The Mac Pro launches at $3,000 in December and apparently, that’s a steal.
iMovie, iPhoto, and Garage Band got some cool updates for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Sorry drummers, but Garage Band now lets you use personalized software drummers for your music.
iWork gets a full makeover too, with better editing for Pages, interactive budget tracking in Numbers and better effects transitions and animations in Keynote. The best part? You can collaborate via iCloud and you can edit a document in real-time in tandem with someone else. And that’s not even the best part; the best part is that it’s free!
Apple characteristically saved the iPad announcement for last. The newly coined iPad Air keeps the 9.7-inch display but has a new 7.5mm thick design that basically mimics an iPad mini. Oh, and it weighs just one pound. The air will use a 64-bit A7 chip (of iPhone 5S fame) and will be available Nov. 1st starting at $500 for the 16-gig model.
The iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display gets a much desired improvement, and it now includes a retina display that will double the resolution from 1024 × 768 to 2048 x 1536. That’s a big jump and puts it ahead of the Kindle Fire HDX and Nexus 7. The iPad Mini 2 will also be powered by the A7, making its CPU four times faster and gives it 8x faster graphics. All of that tech makes the new mini more expensive at $399. The original will still be sold at $300.
Although some of the hardware updates are just refinements of (admittedly spectacular) existing products, the real killer here is the aggressive price points on everything, especially the free software. The successful adoption rate of iOS updates helps Apple nurture and maintain its walled garden of software and making its desktop OS updates free will hopefully spread that ubiquity over to Mavericks, iWork and iLife.