Recap: Apple announces the iPad Mini at $329, fourth gen iPad, new Macs
Today was a big day for Apple and the team from Cupertino did not disappoint. In addition to the iPad mini, the company announced a fourth generation iPad, an incredibly thin iMac, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and a Mac mini speed bump. The new products were just one part though, as the company had lots of big numbers to run through and an incredible amount of success throughout this year to celebrate about.
As always, we were treated to a few minutes of updates about how Apple is doing before every Apple event really gets started. Today, Tim Cook cook came out on stage, and started off with iPhone 5 and iOS 6. The iPhone 5 sold more than five million units in its first weekend. That’s the most phones ever sold on an opening weekend. iOS 6 has been similarly successful — in just one month, over 200 million devices are using iOS 6. That is the fastest upgrade rate in history for any software product.
Next, Cook gave some stats from iCloud and app usage. 125 million documents are stored in iCloud in the last year. 300 billion messages are sent through iMessage — that is 28,000 messages per second. Over 70 million photos have been shared, and that’s just the start. 700,000 apps are available for iOS, and 275,000 of them are iPad optimized. This is seriously great news. The ecosystem is very healthy for the iPad just two and a half years in. Over 35 billion apps have been downloaded, and that has generated over 6.5 billion dollars for developers.
Interestingly, Apple focused heavily on iBooks at this event. We got some stats about what’s available, and why Amazon should be concerned. We learned that 1.5 million iBooks are available, and 400 million books have been downloaded. To be fair, that doesn’t mean 400 million sales, but that is not a small number. As of today, we have an updated version of the iBooks app that includes continuous scrolls as well as better integration with iCloud syncing.
Even more impressive is that 80% of high school curriculum in the United States is available through iBooks. 2500 schools in the US use books made with iBooks Author. This is a big deal for teachers and students, and Apple is clearly taking Amazon’s dominance in books very seriously.
The Mac platform continues to outgrow Windows-based personal computers for six years straight now. Both the number one desktop and laptop sold in the US are Macs. Earlier this year, Apple introduced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and it has done well. Now Apple has given the 13-inch MacBook Pro the same treatment. Since it’s their most popular laptop, it needed some loving!
The new Retina-capable 13-inch MacBook Pro is now only 0.75-inches thin — that is a 20% reduction from the last model. Apple was also able to trim away almost an entire pound from the weight. It sits at a 2560×1600 resolution with four times the pixels of the previous model. If a 13-inch notebook is what you’re in the market for, this just might be what the doctor ordered. The standard configuration ships with a 2.5GHz i5 dual core CPU, a 128GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, and 8GB of RAM for $ 1699. The laptop has seven hours of battery life.
The desktop wasn’t left out of the fun today at all. The Mac mini is getting a minor but noticeable upgrade to a 2.5Ghz i5 dual-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU for $ 599. The server version of the Mini sits at $ 999, but packs a 2.3GHz Core i7 quad-core CPU and two 1TB hard drives.
Perhaps most impressively, the iMac received a huge redesign. At its edge, it is a mere 5 millimeters thin. It’s 80% thinner than the previous model and has 45% less volume. It shaves an amazing 8 pounds off of the total weight. That is very substantial, and makes taking it to the Genius Bar a lot easier. The display is certainly improved with 75% less reflection and an IPS panel, but there is no mention of it being Retina-caliber. The 21.5-inch version ships in November for $ 1299 while the 27-inch version ships in December for $ 1799. You may not be able to crack open the case to fool around, but it is configurable with up to 32GB of RAM, so you’ll be good to go for quite some time.
Next page: Finally, the iPad Mini…
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