Tag Archives: iMac

Apple Announces New iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, Updated Mac mini, Announces iOS 8.1, Releases Mac OS X Yosemite

In an event in Cupertino on October 16, Apple announced a slew of updates to their iPad and Mac lineup.

As usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook started off with some tidbits, including the how well-received the iPhone 6 has been, the big deal with Apple Pay (which launches on Monday October 20) with offline and online payments, the reception for Apple Watch, the WatchKit SDK availability in November, and as we know, the launch of Apple Watch in “early 2015″.

Biggest iPhone Launch Ever

Cook claimed that these are the fastest-selling iPhones in history. In the first 30 days that the iPhones have been available, Apple took the most orders for the devices. Curiously though, no hard numbers were provided. The phones will be available in China on all three carriers simultaneously for the first time, and the pre-orders there have set a high watermark, per Cook.

iOS 8 and OS X

Craig Federighi, the senior Vice President of software engineering at Apple, then came on stage to talk about iOS and OS X. Federighi showed an adoption chart that had iOS 8 on 48% of iOS devices and iOS 7 is on 46%. He made it seem like that it’s a good thing that the latest two OSes are on such a large percentage of devices, whereas in the past Apple used to be able to claim that the latest operating system was the one on most devices already. He clearly dodged the issue of slower iOS 8 adoption. However, any such chart will compare very well compared to Android. On the Android chart, Federighi showed that the latest version, Android KitKat was on 25% of the devices only after 313 days of release.

After the competition trash-talking, Federighi moved on to recap all the iOS 8 features which have already been discussed in previous events, and are well-known to most of the audience. There was a focus on Swift, the programming language introduced with iOS 8, and its huge adoption. He also talked about how IBM has devoted many resources on building enterprise line of business apps using Swift.

Federighi also announced an update to iOS 8, iOS 8.1. This update will provide Apple Pay support, iCloud Photo Library (5GB free, 20GB for 0.99 and tiers up to 1TB), and in a cheeky acknowledgement, he said it will bring back the Camera Roll which was inexplicably omitted in iOS 8.

On to Mac OS X, one of the curios facts that Federighi mention was that Yosemite beta had a user base of 1 million just two days after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Technical Preview (not really a beta) has a user base of 1 million too, but that is only over a period of 10 days.

Similar to the iOS 8 recap, Federighi rehashed various new features already announced in Yosemite, and then announced that it will be available today. In addition, he announced that an updated iWork, Apple’s free productivity suite, will also be available for free today.

iPad Air 2

Cook came back to talk about the success of the iPad. He said that there are more iPads sold in the first 4 years (225 million) than any other product Apple has sold, ever. It is the #1 tablet in customer satisfaction, usage, education, enterprise, as well as consumer.

Phil Schiller, senior Vice President of worldwide marketing then came on stage to talk about the new iPads. The focus of the iPad Air 2 is on thinness, with it being only 6.1mm thin. It is 18% thinner than the iPad Air which was already one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest, tablet in the market.

There is no air gap in the next-generation Retina display, so the images and text are even sharper now. Apple has also added an anti-reflective coating on the surface, to reduce reflections by 56%.

iPad TouchID
iPad TouchID

iPad Air 2 Key Specifications

  • New A8X processor with 2nd generation 64-bit architecture
    • 40% faster CPU, 2.5x faster GPU.
  • New motion co-processor M8
    • Tracks motion
    • Calibrates sensors
    • Barometer included, like the iPhone 6
  • New 8MP iSight camera
    • f/2.4
    • 1080P HD video
  • First time in an iPad:
    • Panoramas up to 43MPixels
    • Burst mode
    • Timelapse
    • Slo mo video
  • Dual microphones to capture better sound when recording video
  • New FaceTime camera:
    • Burst selfies
    • HDR with single image, so there is no image composition involved
    • HDR videos
    • Updated image detection
  • Faster WiFi: 802.11ac with MIMO delivers up to 886Mbps
  • Faster and expanded coverage of LTE with 20 LTE bands
  • The most requested feature was adding TouchID to iPad and it is now available
    • With TouchID, Apple Pay is now enabled for the iPad, but only for online purchases, not retail stores

iPad Air 2 pricing

Like Apple did with the iPhone 6, the second tier of storage was skipped and bumped up to the next higher tier. So there is no 32GB iPad anymore, and it goes 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

WiFi only: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB, $699 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 64GB, $829 for 128GB

iPad mini 3

The iPad mini did not get much stage time, but it’s probably because the only thing “new” in the mini is the TouchID. Other than the TouchID, the mini 3 is much like the mini 2. The pricing:

WiFi only: $399 for 16GB, $499 for 64GB, $599 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $529 for 16GB, $629 for 64GB, $729 for 128GB

Apple is keeping both, the original iPad mini as well as the iPad mini with retina (newly renamed to iPad mini 2) in the lineup.

Pre-orders for the new iPads start on 10/17, and they ship by the end of the next week.

iMac

The iMac finally gets a Retina display but Apple has packed their 27″ iMac display with a 5K resolution. That translates to 5120 pixels by 2880 pixels. It is the world’s highest resolution display. This 5K display packs 7x more pixels than HD TV display of 1080P and 67% more pixels than  a 4K display. It is also incredibly thin, at only 5mm. Among other things, Apple has made custom components like the timing controller, oxide TFT material, organic passivation technology and power-efficient LEDs for backlight, which results in a computer that uses 30% less energy than the previous iMac.

Retina iMac
Retina iMac

iMac Key Specifications

  • 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, configurable up to quad-core 4.0GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB memory, configurable up to 16GB or 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive, configurable up to 3TB Fusion Drive, or 256GB/512GB/1TB of Flash storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB of DDR5 memory, configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 memory

The iMac with Retina 5K Display ships today for $2499.

Mac mini

Finally, Schiller spent a few minutes talking about what he called “the first Mac for many”, the Mac mini. It is updated with a spec bump across the board, with 4th-generation Intel processor, Intel Iris HD 5000 graphics, PCI-e Flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. It will be sold for $499 now, instead of the earlier model’s price of $599, and it will ship today.

So, that was a lot of stuff Apple announced and is going to take pre-orders for and/or ship. One thing missing conspicuously from the event was Apple TV. Many anticipated some sort of an App Store for the Apple TV but that did not happen.

What did you think of the event and the announcements? Are you going to buy any of the new products?

Apple Unveils The Next-Generation Super-Thin iMacs

Along with the new 13″ Retina MacBook Pro and refreshed Mac Mini, Apple also unveiled the next-generation iMac. The next-generation iMac is super-thin with an edge-to-edge display. The edges of the new iMac are only 5mm thin, with the chin being added using friction stir welding.

Apple has also fixed the 2mm air-gap that was found in the iMacs, which was one of the major complaints of iMac owners. The 21.5-inch iMac has a resolution of 1920×1080, while the 27-inch has a resolution of 2560×1440.

The updated 21.5-inch base iMac will come with a Core i5 quad-core 2.7GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU and a 1TB HDD for only $1299. The 27-inch iMac will come with a quad-core 2.9GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GTX 660M and a 1TB HDD for $1799. The Fusion drive from Apple will be optional only on the 27-inch iMac.

Other upgrades to iMacs include a FaceTime HD camera, stereo speakers, lower power consumption and a more eco-friendly manufacturing process. The new iMacs will start shipping sometime in November.

13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Reportedly Still on Track for 4Q 2012 Launch

Back in August, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim claimed that suppliers had begun production on 2,560 by 1,600 high resolution displays for a rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Then in September, Digitimes reported that full production on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is on its way with shipments from Apple’s supply chain beginning to ramp up ahead of a speculated September or October launch. Now CNET reports on comments from DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, who says that Apple’s plans for a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro remain on track for production during this quarter. This would suggest that a launch may come in the near future.

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim has been telling CNET for a while now that a 13.3-inch Retina version of the MacBook Pro (MBP) is slated for production in the fourth quarter. And today Shim reiterated that he sees no change in those production plans.

What’s not clear is when Apple would release the new MacBook. Shim speculates that it would happen after the iPad Mini announcement — which is expected to be released in the coming weeks — though he said he has no first-hand knowledge of this.

Shim restates that that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will carry a resolution of 2560×1600, doubling the number of pixels in each dimension over the current model. As Apple has done with the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Apple will probably offer the new 13-inch Retina model alongside the current non-Retina model at different price points. New iMacs also said to be in the works.

Production of 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro and Updated iMacs Reportedly Ramping Up

Late last month, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim claimed that suppliers had begun production on 2,560 by 1,600 high resolution displays for a rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Today, Digitimes reports that full production on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is on its way with shipments from Apple’s supply chain beginning to ramp up ahead of a speculated September or October launch.

The report also claims that production on updated iMacs are ramping up. Digitimes also reports that Apple maybe facing difficulties with its high-end iMac models. If Apple is indeed encountering difficulties with new displays, it is unclear on how the company will handle the launch.

As for the iMac, Apple originally planned to release three new models with upgraded panels and CPUs, but due to poor yields of the panels, the mass production of the high-end model, has been postponed, without any launch schedule. The other two models – targeting the mid-range and entry-level segments – saw shipment volumes from the supply chain increase in September.

Digitimes’s track record is known to be unreliable, but it does sometimes offer correct information and guidance on other reports.

Retina Display Coming to Macs?

With WWDC 2012 less than a month away, the Apple rumor mill is in full swing. Today, Bloomberg has confirmed a report from earlier today that Apple is preparing to release thinner MacBook Pro models with Retina displays. The new MacBook Pros will reportedly also includes ports for the MagSafe power connector, two USB ports, and audio in/out jacks along the left side, with a battery level indicator also included along the same side. The right side is said to offer a pair of Thunderbolt ports, another USB port, an SD card slot, and a Kensington lock slot.

thin_mbp_15_comparison
Mockup of thinner 15-inch MacBook Pro design (left) compared to current design (right)

Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup was last updated in October of 2011, and is due for an update anytime. The MacBook Pro hasn’t had a significant redesign since 2008 either.

In addition, ABC News reports that not only the MacBook Pro family but also the iMac line is set to gain ultra high-resolution “Retina” displays.

As incredible as this sounds, it should be pointed out that nothing is confirmed until Apple announces it officially.

Apple Launches $999 iMac for Educational Institutions

iMac Education ModelThis morning, Apple has announced a new lower cost $999 iMac for education institutions. The new low-end model is being advertised as “Education only” and is not available to individuals. The new iMac is available for purchase via Apple’s Higher Educational online store and the specs have been published online too.

  • 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 Dual-Core
  • 21.5-inch LCD
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 256MB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 250GB Hard Drive
  • SuperDrive
  • OS X Lion

This new iMac offers a mini Display Port, but no Thunderbolt port, which is interesting because all other Macs that are currently for sale offer a Thunderbolt port. The next higher model is $1149 and offers a 2.5GHz Quad-Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

In the past, Apple has offered exclusive education only models for institutions. Possibly, these educational purchases may be more price sensitive than the rest of the market, and Apple has adjusted the pricing of the hardware so it fits the $1000 price point. In addition, Apple offers even an even cheaper 20″ iMac for $899. This iMac features an Intel Core 2 Duo and does not include OS X Lion.

Apple iMacs Refreshed With Faster Processors, Thunderbolt Port And FaceTime HD Camera

Apple has just updated their beautiful iMacs with the latest cutting-edge hardware from Intel and AMD graphics cards, FaceTime HD camera and a Thunderbolt port.

The newer iMacs still comes with a 21.5-inch and 27-inch screen, with an IPS LCD screen like its predecessor.

The base model of the newer gen iMac comes with a quad-core Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD. The top of the line 21.5-inch iMac comes with a 2.7 GHz Core i5 processor, 1TB HDD and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB memory.

Apple_iMac

The base model of the 27-inch iMac comes has the exact same specs as the top of the line 21.5-inch iMac. The top of the line 27-inch iMac features a faster 3.1GHz Core i5 quad-core processor, and a slightly powerful AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics card.

The base model of the 21.5-inch costs $1,199, while the lowest rung 27-inch iMac costs $1,699. The top of the line 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac’s cost $1,499 and $1,999, respectively. All the new iMac now feature a Thunderbolt port and a FaceTime HD camera, which were earlier seen on the newer gen MacBook Pro(s).

Users who want more performance, can easily customize their iMac to their wish, and can include SSDs with up to 256GB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM. Readers interested in purchasing the newer gen iMacs should head over to Apple Store.