Another solid Apple update with few surprises

Posted on October 16, 2014

Today Apple announced updates to its iPad, iMac and Mac mini lines. Overall, these were really solid improvements to each product line, without bringing in any new surprises.

The iPad Air became thinner, lighter and faster; and gained a Touch Id. All of this was actually quite predicable. The increase in speed was shown by Apple to be dramatic, which is good news. There was one great surprise in the increase of the quality of the iPad Air’s Retina display. Overall, this is a great update for the device which becomes better, without it being in anyway what so ever a reinvention.

Interestingly, Apple increased dramatically the quality of the cameras on the iPad, finally acknowledging what we all see: consumers confuse their iPads for cameras. At least now they will be able to take better quality images! This was a great move from Apple.

On the other hand, the iPad mini had a very light upgrade in the form of gaining a Touch Id. Nice add-on, not enough to get excited about. Still, if the iPad mini form-factor is the one you prefer, it still remains a very good choice.

Most post-event excitement seems to be about the new iMac with a Retina display. This is great news for people who prefer desktop solutions – once you’ve had a Retina display, you have little desire to go back to a standard one. The difference is that great and that important. It was obvious that at some point Apple was going to introduce one, but it has clearly been a game of waiting for the technology to be mature enough for that to happen. The new iMac starts at $2,500; but you’re probably going to expect to pay somewhere in the range of $3,500 for a good model.

That might seem expensive, and it certainly is. But this is new, premium technology and it will take a few years for that technology to trickle down into other devices. Retina is not just expensive for the screen, but it takes a lot of other high-end components to make it work. This, I believe, is the reason we haven’t yet seen Retina Macbook Airs. Yet.

Overall, Apple did today exactly what they could have been expected to do. Improve their products, increase the technologic progress, make it harder for the competition to catch up with their capabilities.