Things may have been quiet around these parts (the pressures of life) but two things seemingly never change. The first is that I never stop loving the Apple rumour game (and the associated news cycle), and the second is that those that know me, both online and off, never lose the impression of me as the person to go to to find out the latest Apple gossip. It’s a bit like your friends discovering that you’re “that guy” that knows how to fix their Windows PC and never being able to step foot in a house without being pounced upon with a problem—yesterday I visited a friends new house, within 15 seconds of arriving I was staring at the admin panel of their internet router.
Category: Apple Events
The quiet season is behind us, it was the most prolonged period of quiet from Apple in terms of product releases that I’ve ever known. There’s nothing nefarious to read into; Apple is a company that absolutely loves patterns and consistency and there is no better way to stay consistent than to release products in the same week year after year.
So here we are, the week of Apple’s first announcement event of the season is upon us. I would usually be sat here writing a rumour roundup or something similar. Maybe I’d be having fun shooting down stupid rumours—that’s always a laugh if not sometimes very infuriating.
But life is different for me and spare time is a luxury. Don’t get me wrong I’m still closely watching every rumour, dissecting and calculating the possibilities and the accuracy of individuals. But the rumour game has changed and it’s honestly no where near as bad as it once was. (9to5 Mac and Mac Rumors both have decent roundups.)
Which means I’m going to look at something completely different.
Apple today announced both the new iPad mini and a brand new updated version of the larger 9.7-inch iPad. Ahead of the announcement of the new iPads Apple took the opportunity to discuss iPad sales and related content. During the keynote CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has recently sold its 100 millionth iPad and growth of iPad sales continue to outgrow that of the PC market 15% to 2%.
Apple also announced a new version iBooks with continuous scrolling, iCloud syncing and sharing options via Facebook and Twitter. Apple also released an update to iBooks Author to continue in the proliferation of Textbooks in the education market.
During today’s event Apple released a slew of Mac updates including updating the Mac mini, completely refreshing the iMac and releasing a brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Apple’s Phil Schiller kicked off with the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display which joins the 15-inch as the top end of Apple’s notebook range. The 13-inch model packs over 4 million pixels into the 2560 x 1600 pixel display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processors with the option to choose faster 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 processors, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of RAM, and up to 768GB SSD. Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports allow users to connect to multiple displays and high-performance devices, and a HDMI port.
Moving on from the Mac mini Schiller moved on the iMac which has received a complete refresh including an all new super-thin enclosure. Apple has also decided to remove the optical drive on the iMac. Measuring just 5mm at the edge the iMac is 80% thinner than the previous generation and is still a powerhouse.
Today is the day that Apple will show off its latest offering, with expectations resting on a smaller, thinner and lighter iPad. Invites went out last week to select members of the media inviting them to the California Theatre in San Jose for a special event, Apple teased members of the media and onlookers with the simple phrase “We’ve got a little more to show you”.
Whilst I’m not a fan of overanalysing Apple’s invites it’s a safe assumption based on the strength of rumours and past knowledge of Apple’s subtle hints on invites that little is referring to the smaller 7.85-inch display iPad—expected to be dubbed “iPad mini”.
However the smaller iPad might not be only smaller product Apple has up its sleeve today, many are also expecting a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display to join its larger sibling that was released in June this year.
Apple today announced an unsurprising update to the iPhone. The iPhone 5 as Apple is calling it includes very few surprises following a remarkably detailed series of leaks several months ahead of today’s announcement.
Unlike the iPhone 4S before it the iPhone has had a makeover. The new anodised aluminium body is 18 percent thinner than the 4S and 20 percent lighter. The new carefully manufactured enclosure also returns the prize of the thinnest smartphone in the world back to Apple with the new iPhone 5 measuring just 7.6mm.
Sharing the stage with the iPhone 5 Apple’s iPods and iTunes were updated in front of the world’s media today. Starting with iTunes Apple’s Eddy Cue announced a whole new version of iTunes on the desktop, version 11, with a major redesign (see it up close). Joswiak also explained how over 60% of music bought off the iTunes store is done through iOS devices so kicked off his section of today’s keynote by announcing a redesign of the iTunes store on iOS.
The changes to the desktop iTunes app are deeper than just the iTunes store which has also had a redesign. iTunes 11, set to land in late-October is much simpler to use and includes iCloud integration for seamless syncing of content between all devices, iCloud also remembers where you are in your favourite movies or TV shows no matter which device you’re viewing on. The new library view makes it easier to view your music, TV shows and movies, allowing you to click on the category of content you want to browse and that’s all you will see. The expandable album view allows you to see track listings for an individual album, while letting you continue to browse your music library. The new search feature searches across your entire iTunes library, including music, movies and TV shows.
One feature I’m personally keen on is called Up Next and is a new way to see what songs are coming up and queue songs or albums you want to hear next.
Apple also took the opportunity to show off the impressive statistics attached to the almost decade old iTunes store. The iTunes store includes 26 million songs, over 700,000 apps, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films and is available in 63 countries around the world.
Apple also refreshed some of its iPod lineup in preparation for the upcoming Christmas shopping season. Both the iPod nano and iPod touch got major updates whilst the iPod shuffle got minor colour changes and the iPod classic remained untouched as with previous years.
The new iPod nano features a 2.5-inch multi-touch display, a small home button, navigation buttons on the side for quick track changing and Bluetooth for wireless transmission of music. The iPod nano is now just 5mm thin and available only in 16GB size in six different colours.
iPod nano is available in October for $149.
The iPod touch also got a major revamp. Following in the steps of the iPhone 5 the new touch has a 4-inch retina display and a a 5MP camera with autofocus, support for 1080p video recording with video image stabilisation, face detection and an LED flash, and the new panorama mode. Every new iPod touch comes with a colour-matched iPod touch loop, a clever and convenient wrist strap a perfect accessory for kids.
The new iPod touch is just 6mm thin and weighs 88 grams. Inside Apple has managed to pack in last years A5 SoC but the graphics capabilities of this chip were enough for Apple to spend a considerable portion of the keynote showing off how good a gaming device the iPod touch is.
iPod touch is available in October in five colours in 32GB and 64GB capacities for $299 (£249) and $399 (£329) respectively.
Today is the day, the venue is set, the press are descending on San Francisco, and the rumour mill is firing on all cylinders but something isn’t right. There’s a sense of disappointment, confusion, despair in the Apple community—in fact even outside of it. The subject is, “if this is the next iPhone, then what’s so special?”
It is this subject that I’ve been throwing around in my head for some weeks now. The rumours are about as set in stone as they can get although they remain rumours; we know what the—potentially named—iPhone 5 will look like, what features it has, what accessories it comes with and possibly whether iPods will be refreshed alongside it (I suspect quietly).
Apple today announced a new iPad finally putting an end to the chorus of iPad 3 rumours that have been circulating for many months. The new iPad, which is simply named iPad, is very much in line with the rumours. Also announced today, in line with expectation, was a new Apple TV.
Apple’s new Apple TV offers 1080p output and a new user interface which very much looks like Apple is positioning the device for more apps in the near future. Apple TV users can choose from over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store, now available in 1080p. Apple TV also continues to offer content from Netflix’s streaming catalogue, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.
In a little under two hours Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to the stage alongside his other senior executives and show the world the new iPad. In addition to the new iPad Apple is expected to announce a new Apple TV too. Rumours about both of these products have been circulating for many months, catch up on the iPad 3 rumours here and the Apple TV roundup here.
World of Apple will not offer a live blog of today’s event but I will be tweeting key announcements on the World of Apple Twitter account. The following sites are my favourites for following these kind of events:
World of Apple will provide full coverage of the announcements from the event and detailed analysis. The event begins at the following times:
- 10:00AM – Pacific
- 11:00AM – Mountain
- 12:00PM – Central
- 01:00PM – Eastern
- 06:00PM – London
- 07:00PM – Paris
- 09:00PM – Moscow
- 02:00AM – Tokyo (Thursday 8th)
- 04:00AM – Sydney (Thursday 8th)