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Apple unveiled new products today in San Jose. Everyone was expecting an iPad Mini, and Apple delivered this. Many people already suspected Apple would introduce a new, thinner iMac. After all, it’s a safe bet to assume an update to the iMac. The model hadn’t been updated in almost two years. It’s also fairly obvious that Apple would make it thinner. No one expected a fourth generation iPad. Most of us techies, including me, thought the iPad Mini would be the big announcement. Much to the dismay of recent iPad 3 owners, there is a new iPad with major improvements. Additionally, Apple introduced a new, thinner MacBook Pro, which is starting to look more like a MacBook Air, but with greater processing power, a bigger solid state drive, and a Retina display. There is also a new Mac Mini, however it was given little attention.
The new iPad 4 has a new processor — the A6X. It has twice the processing power and graphics performance of its predecessor. The new iPad 4 also has the new Lightning connector, just like the iPhone 5. It offers the same 10 hour battery life, and starts at $499, the same as the iPad 3.
I already see comments from iPad 3 owners grumbling that they feel ripped off. No one expected an iPad 4 just 7 months after the iPad 3 was released. Keep in mind, it has not shipped yet. Also, one can still get a lot of use out of an iPad 3. Rest assured, the company that made iOS 6 compatible with the iPhone 3GS, will not leave iPad 3 users in the cold when it comes to upgrades. On that note, I would advise my readers to look at the Macrumors Buyer’s Guide before making any Apple purchase. That said, no one expected an iPad 4. We all expected the iPad Mini. I can understand why iPad 3 owners would be so upset, but their tablet will be useful for sometime. I have an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4. They are still very useful and can run pretty much every app. I don’t have Siri. My iPhone 4 cannot do AirPlay mirroring (but it does support AirPlay). I can live without those features for now. I would be upset if I bought an iPhone 4 and the 4S was released a few months later.
One could say this is a victory for Apple in terms of maintaining secrecy. For some time, there have been many loose-lipped suppliers and employees. Apple’s releases became sadly predictable. No one expected the iPad 4!
The iPad Mini brings a smaller 7.9″ screen to the tablet market. It’s not as small as the 7″ tablets offered by Amazon, Samsung, and others. This differentiates it from the competition. The screen takes up most of the area of the device, again, differentiating it from competitors. It offers the new Lightning connector as well as a 5MP eyesight camera. At $329 the price is not that competitive. It costs over $100 more than competing devices from Amazon and Samsung. I personally don’t see the appeal of a smaller tablet. It’s still too big to fit in one’s pocket, and only 2″ smaller than the full version. I still expect it to fly off the shelves, mainly because it runs iOS 6 and offers users access to a huge selection of apps. People are willing to pay more for an Apple product, as they perceive higher quality and a superior user experience. Perhaps if I didn’t already have an iPad 2, this might be appealing. (continue…)