Today’s announcement from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) started off with a review of sales for the recently introduced iPhone 5. Sales were good — no surprise there. Apple CEO Tim Cook also noted that the company has sold 3 million iPods since the introduction, a combined total for both the iPod Touch and the iPod nano.
Cook also noted that 200 million iPhones have upgraded to iOS 6, a number he called “phenomenal.” Cook then went into a laundry list of stats related to iOS: number of apps downloaded, photos uploaded, etc.
The first new product introduction was a MacBook Pro with a 13-inch Retina display and without the optical drive. Thinner and lighter than the previous model, the new MacBook is second only to the 15-inch MacBook in display resolution. Starting price at $1,699 with Retina display.
Next up, a Mac mini, a new version of the venerable iMac with an entry level price of $1,299. The iMac incorporates a “FusionDrive,” a combination of a flash memory drive and standard hard drive. A version costing $1,799 will be available in December.
The run-up to the iPad mini begins with Cook saying that the company sold its 100 millionth iPad last month. According to Cook, iPads account for 91% of web traffic from all tablet devices. Before the new mini, though, we saw another generation of iPads which includes a new, faster processor (A6X), longer battery life, upgraded camera, expanded LTE coverage (whatever that means), and a Retina display. Starting price for the new iPad with 16-Gbytes of memory is $499 for the WiFi version and $629 with the 4G LTE built-in.
Finally the iPad mini (and that’s the official name) made its debut. The new device has a 7.9-inch screen and weighs less than 3/4 of a pound. The iPad mini uses the A5 processor. And the price – a fairly lofty $329 for the 16-Gbyte WiFi only version. The iPad 2 will continue to sell for $399. The iPad mini will be available for pre-order on Friday, and the WiFi versions will ship next week. The WiFi+cellular version ships two weeks later.
No big surprises. The iPad mini is priced to replace the iPad 2 and Apple won’t get into the game of matching or beating list prices for tablets from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) or Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). As long as consumers are willing to pay for the Apple logo, the company will be happy to charge for it.