Apple Shows Off iPad mini and Much More

Apple held its media event today at the California Theatre in San Jose, California. Tim Cook, CEO, and Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, took the stage to announce several product upgrades as well as the much-anticipated iPad mini.
The presentation began in typical Apple style with Tim Cook reviewing blockbuster sales figures for iPhone 5. It is the fastest selling phone in history, with five million units being sold during its launch weekend. In addition, more than three million new iPads have been sold. In total, there are over 200 million devices running iOS 6.

There are 700,000 apps in the App Store now, including 275,000 apps specifically for the iPad. There have been more than 35 billions downloads of apps. Apple has paid its app developers $6.5 billion.

Mac sales have outpaced PC sales for the last six years. Apple now boasts the #1 notebook and desktop.

Over 100 million iPads have been sold. iPads account for 91% of tablet web traffic. 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or have deployed iPads.

iBooks textbooks are in 2,500 classrooms and have 80% of high school curriculum.


Now, on to new and improved products…

4th Generation iPad

The 4th generation iPad sports a new A6X chip which offers twice the performance of the A5X chip. It also has a 10-hour battery, a 720p FaceTime camera and faster WiFi. The 30-pin dock connector has been replaced with the Lightning connector and supports both Lightning-to-USB and Lightning-to-SD card reader. Offered in the standard black and white, the configurations and pricing haven’t changed. Configurations are 16 GB ($499 Wi-Fi only, $629 Wi-Fi + Cellular), 32 GB ($599 Wi-Fi only, $729 Wi-Fi + Cellular) and 64 GB ($699 Wi-Fi only, $829 Wi-Fi + Cellular).



iPad mini

The most anticipated announcement of the day was for the iPad mini. And, yes, it’s even called iPad mini. It is 7.2 mm thick, about a quarter thinner than the 4th-generation iPad. It is also 53% lighter, weighing in at 0.68 lbs.  It is offered in the standard black and white models. Its screen size is 7.9” with 1024 X 768 pixels. That is about 20% smaller than the iPad’s 9.7″ screen.   It has a Dual-core A5 chip, a FaceTime HD camera, a 5-megapixel iSight camera, a Lightning dock connector and a 10-hour battery. As with the iPad, it is available in 16- , 32- and 64-GB configurations with both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular. Also, as with the iPad, WiFi + Cellular will cost $130 more.

The prices are:
Wi-Fi Only                 16 GB ($329), 32 GB ($429), 64 GB ($529)
Wi-Fi + Cellular        16 GB ($459), 32 GB ($559), 64 GB ($659)

The pricing was higher than many anticipated.  The most mentioned (and hoped for) price was an entry price of $249.

Preorders for the 4th-generation iPad and iPad mini begin this Friday (October 26th) with Wi-Fi Only shipments starting on November 2nd.



13” MacBook Pro

The new 13” MacBook Pro sports a Retina display with 4,096,000 pixels, almost twice that of a HD TV. At 0.75” thick, it is 20% thinner than the previous generation. It weighs a mere 3.5 lbs. and features a FaceTime camera, glass multitouch trackpad, backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, dual microphones and a 7-hour battery. It has a standard 8 GB of RAM and up to 768 GB SSD storage. It supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n wifi and has an Intel Dual Core i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processor. A MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage is priced at $1,699. Shipping starts today.





As expected, the iMac saw a refresh. The iMac is now 5 mm thin, 80% thinner than the previous generation. The 27” display has 2560 X 1440 pixels while the 21.5” has 1920 X 1080 pixels. There is 75% less reflection than the prior version. It has stereo speakers, a FaceTime HD camera and dual microphones. It supports up to 3 TB of storage and come with an Intel i5 or i7 processors. There are four USB 3 ports, an SD card slot and two Thunderbolt ports.

For storage, you have three options — hard drive, flash storage or Fusion Drive. A hard drive is usually preferred for capacity while flash storage is preferred for performance. Fusion Drive offers the best of both worlds. It contains 128 GB Flash and 1 or 3 TB hard drive in a single volume. It offers faster read/write capabilities. It will run the OS from the flash storage and store documents on the hard drive. Apps that you use the most will shift to flash storage. The performance of Fusion Drive is almost that of flash storage.

The 21.5” iMac has an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. Priced at $1,299, it is available in November. The 27” iMac has an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. Priced at $1,799, it is available in December.



Mac mini

The new Mac mini comes standard with either a 500GB or 1TB 5400-rpm hard drive. It can be configured with up to 256GB of flash storage in a solid-state drive instead of a traditional hard drive. A Mac mini with 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive is priced at $599. A Mac mini with OS X server configured with 4 GB of RAM and 2 1-TB hard drives is priced at $999. Shipped starts today.




The new version or the iBooks app supports continuous scrolling and allows you share passages with Facebook and Twitter. The iBooks Author app has been updated as well to provide portrait templates and multitouch widgets. The updates are available today in the App Store.




All in all, a rather eventful event.  Unfortunately for the other product announcements, the iPad mini is what most people are talking about.

For more product information and to view today’s event, visit Apple’s website.

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