Apple iPad Event Notes

1) The iPad mini got 10 seconds of stage time.  At this point Apple is keeping it around just to make sure they are selling tablets for less than $300. Watch the iPad average selling price (ASP) over the next few quarters to see if there is any evidence of people buying the cheap (and old) iPad mini instead of other iPads. I doubt it. 

2) Most of Apple’s iPad Air 2 sales pitch focused on the camera and corresponding apps. While I’m sure there are some neat use cases (children’s sport events, physical therapy sessions, etc.), does an iPad really do a better job than an iPhone 6? For some the answer is yes, and those people will buy iPad Air 2, but for most, I suspect the answer is no. 

3) Notice how “iPad apps” just doesn’t have the same ring and excitement it once had. Apple had a few demos onstage and “this is okay” seemed to keep ringing in my head.  The app ecosystem is tired (not just iOS). 

4) Apple announced a new retina iMac for $2500, $700 more than the non-retina option. I’m sure once you use a retina iMac you never want to go back, but as I look at my non-retina iMac, and it’s pretty decent screen, $700 seems steep. 

5) New Mac mini with a lower $499 price.  I’m sure there are people who were waiting for this and it will open up the Mac to new customers, but nothing too noteworthy when compared to the rest of the Apple product line.  Look at the specs and no wonder it’s $499. 

6) Overall, a pretty laid back Apple keynote, especially when compared to last month’s blockbuster of an event. I published my latest thoughts on iPad a few days ago and I have nothing to add after watching this event.  I would expect a larger iPad Pro next year and I think Apple should get rid of the iPad mini and reduce the price of old iPad Airs. 

Random bits:

  • Tim Cook almost called the Apple Watch, “iWatch”. He has already called it iWatch in public before (which is rare for an Apple executive to do).  Seems likely that “iWatch” was used internally to describe the watch while it was being developed. 
  • We may have seen our first Hitler reference in an Apple keynote (can thank Stephen Colbert).  Never understood why someone would reference Hitler to anything, but that’s another topic. 
  • Just another confirmation Apple is an iPhone (and Apple Watch) company. I suspect that is where most of the excitement and attention will be focused on for the next 2-3 years.