Apple’s special event on Oct. 23 was supposed to be home to an iPad Mini. But over the hour that Apple’s top executives were on stage, it quickly became clear that the company had more up its sleeve than anticipated.
From a fourth-generation iPad to a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, it seems poised to capitalize on the busy holiday-shopping period.
But beyond the glitz and glamour, some key facts from the event might surprise today’s consumers and enterprise users. Apple today stuck a flag in the ground to make clear where it stands on several issues. The company also hinted at where it might be heading with its decisions in the coming years. The event was unusual in that Apple introduced many more products than most observers expected.
The event produced a lot to think about, which makes it a good idea to examine the announcements and the market trends that seem to be developing in Apple’s product line based on the news discussed at Oct. 23 event. Some of the items might just annoy some long-time Apple fans.
Here are the key facts and market developments came out of the Oct. 23 Apple event.
1. Retina is now running on a 13-inch MacBook Pro
Apple’s high-end Retina display is now available on a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple had previously offered Retina display on a 15-inch notebook. According to Apple, the computer, which starts at $1,699, has the second-best screen in the world—behind the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
2. 100 million iPads have been sold
Just before Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announced the iPad Mini, his boss Tim Cook announced that the company has sold 100 million iPads since the device’s launch in 2010. Wow.
3. There’s a new, big iPad
Apple is catching the ire of some critics today who are upset that the company has unveiled a fourth-generation iPad to replace the so-called “new iPad” that launched in March. The fourth-generation iPad has the same dimensions and design as its predecessor, but comes with the Lightning adapter and an A6X processor that offers twice the graphics and processing power as its predecessor.
4. There’s a small iPad, too
As expected, Apple has announced the iPad Mini. That device comes with a 7.9-inch screen and the same screen resolution as the first- and second-generation iPads, ensuring proper support for legacy apps. The iPad Mini also comes with a Lightning adapter and new design, and starts at $329.
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5. Apple really can’t stand Google
If there’s any company Apple doesn’t like, it’s Google. At the Oct. 23 event, Apple compared its iPad Mini to the Nexus 7, saying that its slate has a 35 percent larger screen and offers more on-screen real estate for browsing Web sites and apps than Google’s option. The war is on.
6. Pricing seemingly doesn’t matter to Apple
As noted, the iPad Mini will start at $329. Although that’s far more affordable than the larger iPad, it’s $130 more expensive than the cheapest Google Nexus 7 model. What’s worse, Apple’s top-of-the-line iPad Mini, which comes with 64GB of storage and LTE support, will set customers back $659—Yikes!
7. The new iMac is thin
Apple’s new iMac is downright impressive from a design perspective. The computer is just 5mm thin around its screen and its display reduces 75 percent of the reflection owners were previously experiencing. A Fusion drive has been added that combines some of the best features from a hard disk drive with Flash storage. The new iMac’s prices start at $1,299.
8. Apple doesn’t like the optical drive
Apple just really doesn’t like the optical drive. The feature is missing in the new iMac, and it’s gone from the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Considering it’s also not available in the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, how much longer will Apple even bundle it with its other products?
9. Lightning is infiltrating Apple’s mobile products
Apple has been making the move to Lightning awfully quickly. Announced just a month ago in the iPhone 5, the new, smaller port is now coming to the fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini. Apple is wasting no time trying to get customers to move to the new port.
10. The casual user reigns supreme
When it’s all said and done, Apple’s Oct. 23 event proved that the company is still extremely committed to appealing to general consumers rather than business users in particular. At no point did Apple show off a new Mac Pro to appeal to enterprise customers. And although the Lightning port is fine to transition to, Apple has done little—aside from a $29 port—to ease a company’s transition to its new products. The casual user still reigns supreme in Apple land.