Today, Apple went before an auditorium full of journalists (and an audience of millions via the internet) and pitched their future. Here’s what’s on their plate.
The iPad (in which we are reminded that the iPad is, indeed, spectacular):
So far, 84 million iPads have been sold. “Our competitors have taken note,” Cook says.
Despite all of the new Android tablets, the iPad has risen from 62% market share to 68% market share.
More craziness: 91% of tablet web traffic comes from iPads. Cook, again: “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing!” He continued to poke the competition in the ribs: “They must be in warehouses, or store shelves, or maybe in someone’s bottom drawer!”
Cook also declared “Yes, we are in a Post-PC world,” citing 17 million iPads sold last quarter. Mac has seen 15% growth over the last year, whereas PC saw 2%.
iPhone 5 (in which Apple decides to change the game yet again):
As the iPhone 5 rose from the podium, Cook described it as “the most beautiful product we have ever made” and informed the crowd that it is “made entirely of glass and aluminum.”
Cook told the crowd that the iPhone 5 is “unlike anything made in our industry before” and is the “most challenging engineering our team has taken on”
It is the thinnest, lightest phone Apple has made yet. It is7.6 mm thin which makes it 18% thinner than the 4S. It features the same retina display (326 pixels per inch) as its predecessor and has a 4 inch display. That display is 1136 x 640 with 19:6 aspect ratio.
Cook elaborated on the new screen dimensions: ”All of our software is being updated to take advantage of this gorgeous display. iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band …” As for third party apps: ”It runs at the same size. You don’t have to stretch or scale it. Black borders on each side.” The display also has 44% more color saturation than the 4S, which makes it “the most accurate display in the industry.” That’s good news for gamers: “It’s full console quality on the iPhone.”
You know how iPhones have always had four rows of icons per page? The iPhone 5 now has five rows of icons.
As expected, the camera in the iPhone 5 is built to be a game changer. Technical specifications suggest pictures that will look better and be captured 40% faster. Photos taken with the iPhone can shared with family members and friends who can comment in real time.
A new feature called Panorama will allow you to take massive widescreen photos. The camera will “stich together” multiple photos and build a gigantic panoramic shot.
The iPhone 5 will be available in black and white. Prices are $199 for 16GB and $399 for 64GB (with various prices in between). You can pre-order on Friday, but the phone won’t be available until September 21st.
New Connector (in which Apple wants you to re-buy all of your accessories):
The port connector that came with the original iPod way back in the day is finally being replaced. To quote the presentation: ”So much has changed since we first created that.” The new connector is called Lightning.
It’s a reversible connector, meaning that either end can plug into anything.
The new connector is 80% smaller than the last one. Adapters are available and Bose, JBL, Bang and Oulefson are developing new accessories as we speak.
iOS 6 (in which Apple gives Google the final shove-off):
iOS 6 has been “designed from the very beginning” to work with the features of the iPhone 5.
First, they give Google the boot: “We’ll start off with our new Maps app, built from the ground up.” The new maps app will come with 100 million points of interest built in, 3D “turn-by-turn” tech and real time traffic info…among other things. It looks slick, but can it be as reliable as Google Maps?
Siri has also received an upgrade. She can now launch apps, post to Facebook, give your sports standings and recommend movies based on Rotten Tomatoes. Our little lady is growing up.
iOS6 will launch on September 19th.
New iTunes (in which the oldest school of Apple gets reinvented):
This is a “brand new version” of iTunes. It’s simpler with an emphasis on cloud technology.
Apple has integrated Facebook “likes” into iTunes.
Playlists are hidden until you choose to use them. You can now view your library and your playlists at the same time.
The player has been completely redesigned. Controls are now hidden unti you movie your mouse over them.
A new feature called Up Next will let you view upcoming tracks and change them on the fly.
The new iTunes will be available in late october.
iPods (in which Apple makes a case for owning an iPhone and an iPod):
350 million iPods have been sold in total.
Cook: “We really wanted to take the opportunity to reinvent the Nano.” And they have: the 7th generation iPod Nano is 40% thinner than the last one. The 2.5 inch display is the biggest Nano screen ever (and it’s multi-touch).
The FM tuner on the Nano now functions like a TiVO, letting you pause live radio.
The new Nano has the longest battery life of its kind so for: 30 hours of playback.
Meanwhile, the iPod Touch is only 6.1mm, which makes it almost as thin as the Nano. It has vastly improved graphics, making it the ideal iDevice for gamers.
In addition to gaming, the new iPod Touch makes a good case as your newest camera. Specs are similar to the iPhone 5, including a 1080p video camera and editing functionality.
Oh, and Siri will be on the Touch, too.
EarPods (alas, poor ear buds: we knew you well):
“We’ve spent 3 years designing an entirely new headphone … EarPods.” Goodbye ear buds. Hello EarPods!
“EarPods are designed to intentionally direct sound, right into the ear …”
“We scanned hundreds of ears, looking for a commonality…”
“And of course, we want to make them available as soon as possible … today.”
That’s right: you can go buy EarPods at your local Apple Store right now. They’ll also be included with the new iPod Touch and iPhone 5.
And then the Foo Fighters took the stage to play a set. And that was it.
The biggest thing missing? No iPad Mini! However, there is another Apple presentation scheduled for October. Count on it being there!