Consumer Electronics

Live Blog Apple Event: New iPad mini and Air Disappoint

iPad, Apple, iOS7, mini, charging
Source: courtesy, Apple Inc.

October 22 | 2:30 – Conference Over, First Impressions via Twitter

October 22 | 2:25 – New iPad mini Announced, Stock Sells Off

The new iPad mini will be available late November.

The mini will get the retina display, apparently the most requested feature. Odd for something that can’t be detected by the human eye.

The mini will also get the new A7 chip, which the iPhone 5S runs on. It will be 4X faster than last year’s model.

The $16GB version will be $399.

It appears neither iPad will get new champagne color or fingerprint sensor, both big expectations. While it wasn’t really expected, there’s still no mention of iWatch. Stock is selling off.

October 22 | 2:15 – New iPad Air Announced

New full-size iPad to be called iPad Air ships Nov. 1. The Air starts at $499 for 16GB with wiFI. The Cellular version goes for $629. 10 hours of battery life.

It appears there will be no Touch ID for the iPad Air.

There’s a reason they call it that.iPad air will be 20% slimmer than the iPad 4: 7.5mm thick, down from 9.5. Besles are 43% skinner. Apparently, it’s the lightest full-sized tablet in the world, Shiller boasts. Will weigh 1 Pound, down from 1.4 pounds. 28.5% lighter.

Nice, but not going to bring anyone to their knees.

October 22 | 2:00 – 170M Apple iPads Sold

Tim Cook is really, really excited about how truly amazing iPads are. They’ve sold a bunch, 170 million mark just reached, and they’re a heck of a lot more popular than “competing” tablets. iPad has sold more than four times all other tablet devices combined, says Cook.

There are now 475,000 apps just for the iPad. And apparently, according to the accompanying video Cook is playing, it can perform surgery and fly a plane.
October 22 | 1:55 – New Mac Pro Expensive, Looks Like Space Age Robot Brain

New Pro is built in the U.S.  The device, which is clearly for high end buyers — costs a whopping $3,000 — is built with performance in mind.

Mac Pro, which will include 3.7GHz quad core Xeon, 12GB Dram, 256GB SS, Dual Firepro D300, uses significantly less power while still being powerful enough to run an entire hollywood studio. It uses only 43 watts idle vs. 167 watts or current Mac Pro.

The Pro, which is a space age-looking aluminum cylinder looks beautiful, but also mildly threatening. If it wanted to take over the world, it could.

Twitter not entirely blown away with Mac Pro

October 22 | 1:35 – MacBook Pro Updated Pricing

MaBook Pro 13″ will cost $1,299, $200 less than previous model. That makes it only $300 more than the Air. Will that make it an easier upsell for buyers?

MaBook Pro 15″ also dropping price by $200 from $2,200 to $2,000.

Both are available today with lots of fancy new specs.

October 22 | 1:25 – OS Mavericks Free

Apple newest operating system, OS X Mavericks, available free for download today. The first time an OS X upgrade has been free. Crowd going insane.

October 22 | 1:22 – 13″ MacBook Air now has OS X  Mavericks

The new operating system can compress memory that isn’t being used, making the computer faster and more efficient.

Modest feature improvements: Apple maps and iBooks arrive on mac, notifications better, multiple display support improved, may have newer version of Pages that appears to be optimized for touch.

None of it revolutionary…

October 22 | 1:10 – is iOS 7 Most Important Thing Ever?

According to Cook, 20M devices were running iOS 5 days after launch. As of today, 64% of all compatible devices are running it.

October 22 | 1:00 – Apple Event Starts

Video down . . . apparently, Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken the stage. And he’s smiling!  According to folks at the event, he’s talking about how things have looked this year.

Apple sold 9 million iPhones, making it the biggest iPhone launch ever. Old news, but everyone seems to be very excited.

October 22 | 10:52 – Top Rumors Ahead of Announcement  

Apple Store was taken offline this morning in preparation for today’s announcement. While Apple may have a few surprises in store for the public, leaks and media speculation have identified a number of possible changes.

1. iPad getting smaller – According to multiple sources, the iPad is expected to shed a few pounds, likely getting 25% lighter and 15% thinner. Smaller bezels and rounded edges may help with the size. Adopting the iPad mini’s GF2 thin-film screen may help with the weight.

2. iPad mini gets bigger battery – While the iPad may be getting smaller and lighter, the iPad mini may be adding a few millimeters. A modest increase in size may be necessary to accommodate a bigger battery that will offer longer life.

3. Faster chips for iPad and iPad mini – The iPad will be updated with a faster A7X chip, a variation of the iPhone 5S A7 chip that was just released. iPad mini may get the same A7 chip as the iPhone. The 64-bit design will permit more RAM which would accommodate more memory-intensive applications. Think better video games.

4. iPad mini to get retina display – The fourth generation iPad’s retina display offered resolution of 2,048×1,536, pixel density the human eye cannot detect. While the iPad resolution may not improve much — not particularly necessary if the screen isn’t getting bigger — the iPad mini 2 will now feature the popular retina display tech.

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5. Better camera for iPad and iPad mini – The iPhone 5S was recently equipped with a new camera chip that’s more sensitive and faster. It’s likely that the iPad and iPad mini 2 will get an upgrade to an 8MP front-facing camera with a faster shutter speed.

6. New Color Options – According to BGR, the full-size iPad will abandon the previous color scheme to match the iPhone 5’s — white and silver, or “space grey” and black. The Mini is also rumoured to be available in white and gold.

7. Fingerprint sensor – While there’s rumors going both ways on this one, a number of sources expect that the iPad and iPad mini will adopt the iPhone 5S Touch ID, the company’s fingerprint identity sensor that works on more than just fingers.

October 22 | 9:55 – Market Reacts Ahead of Announcement

iPad, Apple, iOS7, mini, chargingApple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will release new versions of its iPad at 10:00 AM pacific time today, at an event in San Francisco. Sales of the current iPad have been slow, down 27% in its last fiscal quarter to $6.3 billion, compared with the same quarter a year ago. The new iPad has to be a rousing success.

Most likely Apple will release at least two versions of the iPad today, one which matches the current full-size version in dimension, and one which matches the current iPad mini.

The greatest barrier Apple faces to the success of these products is the army of tablets already in the market, particularly Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Recently, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) launched a new version of its embattled Surface, and the company Microsoft is about to buy — Nokia (NASDAQ: NOK) — launched its first tablet today.

Apple also faces the trend toward Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android powered machines which run 62%% of tablets in the market as of the second quarter, up from 38% in same quarter last year.  Meanwhile, Apple’s tablet market share fell by nearly half to 32% in the second quarter from 60% last year, according to IDC.

Wall Street expects that the iPad will do well, and that the launch will be well received. Shares of Apple traded flat for the last week, but spiked higher yesterday..$525. It traded as low as $496 five days ago. The announcement will rippled to the share values of other companies, particularly Microsoft and Nokia, which need strong sales of their new products to make inroads in a market where their share is negligible.