2OS X Mavericks Is Free
Apple surprised just about everyone when it announced that its latest operating system update, OS X Mavericks, is available now at no charge. In comparison, Microsoft offers its Windows 8 operating system for $199. Apple’s decision reflects its realization that it’s generating so much cash on hardware that capitalizing on software sales doesn’t make much sense anymore. More importantly, it gets Microsoft to rethink its software strategy and gets those who have lagged behind with Lion or Snow Leopard to finally jump to its latest platform.
3Pay to Play With the Mac Pro
There’s no doubt that the Mac Pro is an important step forward for desktops, but Apple won’t make it easy for customers to buy its top-of-the-line desktop. The computer starts at $2,999 and will cost even more for those who want the full-featured version. Apple might be ushering in a new era in desktops, but the company has realized that only power users are after such devices. Unfortunately, a small market, coupled with high-end components, means a monster price tag.
4Apple Cuts MacBook Pro’s Price
On other side of the price list, Apple announced that the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will now start at $1,999, instead of the earlier $2,199 list price. The move is more than likely a reflection on Apple’s reduced cost to produce Retina displays. But the move also makes the company’s high-end notebook more competitive in the marketplace.
5The iPad Is Now the iPad Air
6What Wasn’t Said: An iPad Pro in the Works?
If Apple has a new iPad in the works, it might just follow the MacBook’s lead and go with a “pro” model. There’s no telling what the iPad Pro might come with, but the fact that Apple is only offering an iPad Air indicates that the company has something up its sleeve. Look for the iPad Pro to be unveiled sometime early next year.
7Apple’s iPad 2 Is Still With Us
Apple could have chosen to keep the fourth-generation iPad on store shelves. But the company instead decided that the second-generation iPad should remain available for the foreseeable future. The tablet, which costs $399, allows Apple to hit an important price point, Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller said during the event. This perhaps makes it harder for competitors like Amazon and Google to make a play for the cheaper end of the market.
8App Store Has Over 1 Million Apps
Here’s a biggie: Apple announced that its App Store now has 1 million applications available. Don’t think that matters? Think again. The race is on with the Google Play store to deliver ever more applications. If Apple ever loses its crown as the top destination for apps, it won’t necessarily change the quality of the programs users can add to their devices or even hurt its relationships with developers. It could, however, cause some trouble on the PR front as Google touts its success at attracting more developers than Apple.
9iTunes Radio Puts the Pressure on Pandora
Although Apple’s iTunes Radio has only been available for the last five weeks, Apple is already claiming 20 million listeners and more than 1 billion songs streamed to users. The service’s success is notable. In a short period of time, Apple has become a credible threat to Pandora and has created a new business model through music with help from ads. iTunes Radio could very well become a key component in Apple’s digital initiatives in the coming years.
10Apple’s iOS 7 Is Already a Hit
Apple’s iOS 7 is a hit, Tim Cook said during his company’s event on Oct. 22. He said iOS 7 is now running on 64 percent of all iOS devices, an extremely fast rollout for an operating system that launched just weeks ago. More importantly, the success of iOS 7 highlights Apple’s ability to get users to its latest software and cut down on fragmentation—something Android is still trying to work its way through.
11So Many Hoped-For Devices, So Little Time
Before Apple held its special event, rumors were swirling that the company could unveil a new Apple TV set-top box, a partnership with cable companies, an iWatch and several other products. But Apple didn’t announce any of those products, making their exclusion from the event just as notable as the products that did make the cut.