Apple’s event yesterday introduced four new products to the market and a whole new range of free software applications and Mavericks OS for Mac. The event featured lots of announcements, but also showed a roadmap of where Apple is taking their software and iPads in the coming years.
They kicked off the show with the MacBook Pro, announcing the retina display with Haswell processor. There are two different models, the 13-inch that comes with a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD, 802.11ac WiFi and nine hours of solid battery life, prices start at $1299.
On the other side, the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 2.0GHz Crystalwell Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SDD, GeForce GT 750 M for improved graphics and 8 hours of battery life, prices start at $1999.
Then came the new redesigned Mac Pro and Phil Schiller ran down a list of really impressive specs, including a Intel Xeon E5 chip with 4,6,8 or 12 cores available, 30MB L3 cache, 1866MHz DDR3 memory available up to 64GB, 60GB of bandwidth, AMD FirePro graphics, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, 1TB of flash storage, ports for three 4K monitors, the new Mac Pro starts at $2999.
On the subject of software, Apple turned a corner in their pricing, by making almost everything free with a new Mac OS device. Mavericks will be free to all users from 2008 and above using a Mac or MacBook. iLife and iWork come free on any new Mac OS device, really pushing up against Google and Microsoft.
Tim Cook got back on stage to announce some impressive feats for the iPad, over 170 million units sold since its inception, 475,000 apps designed specifically with the iPad in mind and still the number one in customer satisfaction, still controlling 81% of the tablet marketshare.
Instead of going for the iPad 5, Apple has removed the number name and made the iPad Air, a new lighter design of the tablet. The new iPad Air is still a 10-inch model and comes with the same design as the iPad Mini, it is also thinner and lighter than the previous generation, with less bezel.
The iPad Air also comes with an A7 chip, 5MP iSight camera, 1080p front facing FaceTime camera, dual microphone, 10 hours battery life and will be available in silver and white or space grey and black. Prices start at $499 for the 16GB WiFi version and $629 for the cellular version. Apple is also still hanging on to the iPad 2, available for the ridiculous price of $399.
Last, the iPad Mini, Apple finally announced a retina display for the smaller iPad, adding a 2048 x 1536 resolution, the highest on a tablet that size. This blows the Nexus 7 (2013) and Kindle Fire HDX out of the water in terms of display and the iPad Mini also comes with an A7 chip, 10 hours of battery life and is available in silver and black.
In a rather crushing move for the cheaper tablet market, Apple bumped up the price of the iPad Mini to $399 and $499 for the cellular option. The iPad Mini will be available in November with colorful smart cases and leather wrap cases, priced at $39 and $79 respectively.