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Quick Thoughts on Apple’s “We’ve Got A Little More to Show You” Event

This isn’t a comprehensive review. Read The Verge, GigaOm, or some other site if you want that. These are just my impressions as I listened to the keynote event today.

Mac Refresh

Seems to be inline with what we’d expect from Apple. 13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina, a new iMac–with an insanely thin screen–and a new Mac Mini. All drool-worthy hardware.

The Fusion Drive sounds interesting–combining SSD and traditional hard drives. Obviously we’ll have to wait for some real benchmarks to come out.

iBooks

Seems like an evolutionary update. Clearly Apple is trying to push more into digital textbooks with these updates as they spent a lot of time talking about it. I am curious what has more environmental impact, though: the iPad or all the trees that have to be killed to print textbooks?

iPad 4th Generation

This one was actually a surprise as “the new iPad” only came out 6 months or so ago. Faster processor, better LTE support, better camera, updated WiFi, uses Lightning connector, etc. Same pricepoints as before (starts at $499 for 16GB WiFi only up to $829 for 64GB WiFi + LTE). Two different models for LTE depending on which carriers you plan to use. The Verizon/Sprint one seems to be the one to get if you want to use LTE outside of the US/Canada, though.

Interestingly, the 16GB iPad 2 is still being sold for $399, whereas the 3rd generation iPad is no longer being sold

iPad Mini

This thing everyone’s been clamoring for. Rather than a 9.7 inch screen, it has a 7.9 inch screen. Theoretically, you can hold it in one hand, though I assume you have to have reasonably large hands to do that. It has the same Dual-Core A5 the iPad 2 has and the same screen resolution (1024×768). It has a better camera than the iPad 2 (5mp back, 1.2mp front). It is also available in LTE variants.

Obviously, this offering will do nothing to sway the Apple haters–and there are plenty of them out there.  That said, those that were on the fence due to price now have a far lower entry point–$329 for a 16gb WiFi-only model. That is more expensive than the $250 16gb Nexus 7, still, but Apple is betting it doesn’t need to drop its price that low. But unlike the Nexus 7, Apple has models with both more storage (up to 64gb) and LTE.

In short, Apple will sell metric ass-tons of both the iPad 4th gen and the iPad mini. They’ve already sold 100 million iPads to date. None of the other tablet manufacturers are anywhere close to that.

What Will PhoneBoy Buy?

I have no huge desire–or excess cash–to buy any of these devices right now. Not that I can, since pre-ordering on the new iPads begin on Friday.

That said, I’m feeling pretty good with my iPhone 4s that I bought earlier in the year–which I guess I can now call an iPad Nano–and the iPad 2 I bought more than a year ago. They’re all running the latest iOS and meet my needs. Given that Apple is still selling the iPad 2, I suspect my iOS devices will remain useful for at least a couple more years.

And quite honestly, given what this stuff costs, thats important to me.


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