The moment has arrived for the eight thousandth, breathlessly live-blogged, arguably newsworthy Apple Event, and today it's all about the new iPad. After more than an hour of jibber-jabber about iTunes Radio, OS X Mavericks, and goddamn Garage Band, Team Apple finally got around to unveiling the new, thinner iPad model: the iPad Air.
It's 9.7 inches, 43% thinner, 0.4 pounds lighter (so it now weighs only 1 pound), and will retail for $499 just like the regular one, with the larger capacity model going for $649. It ships November 1, just in time for Xmas. Ta da.
The other main news is an upgraded model of the iPad mini with retina display, available "later in November." And much to every geek's disappointment, there was no announcement about the widely rumored iWatch, and nothing said about the widely rumored 65-inch TV that the company is likely releasing next year.
Apple has much to be pompous about when it comes to their game-changing tablet, and CEO Tim Cook made sure to tout the various figures they're proud of: cumulative iPad sales are approaching 180 million, iPads are now used four times as much as all the other tablets put together, and no competitor has anything close to the hundreds of thousands of apps for the iPad and iPhone.
Cook kicked off today's latest Apple event talking business, bragging about how the most recent release of the new iPhone 5S and 5C was the biggest phone release event of all human time. Also, 2/3 of all i-devices are running iOS 7 now, despite its bugginess. And he says that 20 million users have listened in on iTunes Radio in the U.S. alone, listening to over a billion songs. Multiple observers noted that Cook wasn't so sure of himself on stage today, and stumbled over his words a bit.
He took a moment to make a jab at Microsoft and other competitors, saying "The competition is confused. First they chased after netbooks, now they're trying to turn PCs into tablets, and tablets into PCs."
Software guy Craig Federighi took the stage to talk about the new non-mobile operating system, OS X Mavericks (10.9), which they say will provide better graphics memory and allow laptops an hour more internet browsing on the same battery charge by using battery power more efficiently.
As for MacBook Pro announcements, the new 13- and 15-inch models are shipping today, with both of them getting price cuts -- the 13-inch will now start at $1,300, and the 15-inch at $2,000, both now with 8 hours of battery life. Aaand we're sure if you're interested in a desktop model you will be geeking out about new specs elsewhere.