Impressions of the October 22nd Event

The first thought running through my head is “Wow, it’s incredible how wrong I can be sometimes”.

Beyond that, this event that seemed geared towards engineers. From the products (and some of the jargon used), to the feats of engineering required to make them happen. 

It’s tough to say which iPad is more incredible, but I think based on how wrong I was, the Retina iPad mini is more unbelievable. I’m very pleasantly surprised by how wrong I was, both from the pricing, to the specs, to what can be achieved from an engineering standpoint. What I can nitpick is that the Retina mini is .3mm thicker (about the width of two human hairs), and 23g heavier than the previous mini, but who am I kidding.

In my last post, I made a comment that pretty much said it all:

If Apple does release a Retina iPad mini, it will be a compromise in some sense. I am interested to see which way they go.

Apple seemingly did the impossible and created a Retina iPad mini without any compromise. It’s almost too good to be true. I have a hard time believing that for $399, I can have a Retina iPad mini with an A7, that’s (virtually) the same size and weight as the previous model, while retaining 10 hour battery life and remaining comfortable to hold. The late November release date means I won’t know if I’m right or wrong for some time though, but I can’t wait to get my hands on it at an Apple Store. What I can nitpick is that the Retina mini is .3mm thicker (about the width of two human hairs), and 23g heavier than the previous mini, but who am I kidding.

The iPad Air is also a marvel, but one that pales slightly in comparison to the Retina iPad mini. Since it’s introduction in 2010, there has never been an iPad that has had as drastic a redesign as this one. 28% lighter, 20% thinner, equal battery life, 2X the CPU and GPU performance over the previous generation. The first two are the truly incredible feats, as any engineer will attest to. 

Apple’s market strategy continues to employ hiding in plain sight. When the entirety of the tech industry is wondering what Apple will do amidst the shark tank of sub-$200 7" tablets, Apple chooses to push the market upward instead of delivering to it. By offering the previous iPad mini at an approachable $299, it has chosen to go extremely aggressive in offering a powerhouse of a tablet for only $100 more. While it may affect Apple’s margins, it’s still a smart play. When someone comes into the Apple Store to buy the cheap $299 mini, they will see the Retina iPad mini sitting right next to it. Who wouldn’t plunk down an extra $100 to have a faster, future-proof, smoother, more beautiful iPad?


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