Discussion about
frankspin

Apple's "A Little More to Show You" event is underway, what do you think?

Tim is up on stage and talking! What do you think so far of what has been shown off and said? Don't forget we're also there, live! live.gdgt.com­/live­-ipad­-mini­-launch­-event­-coverage...

Announced:

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47 replies
TgD

Added the 13" with Retina to my Want List.

This is a real contender for my next laptop.

EDIT: I am a little wary about running such a high res display on Intel Graphics 4000
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abczyx

This was my issue with the 15". Great screen, but would things run well on it? Would be worse with integrated graphics.

I'm waiting a gen or two until you can get the best of both worlds. I doubt it'd be terrible, though. Apple wouldn't release it if it was slow and sluggish.
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mdulcey

It should be fine for typical productivity applications but it will be a dog for 3D graphics. Sadly, the 13" doesn't have the NVidia 650M that is in the 15" version.
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cjtylr

That's what I'd be worrying about. I had to turn off graphics switching on my 15-inch because the HD 4000 was only giving me 15-20 FPS on websites.
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Jgstew

I think the next rev of the 13 MBP Retina with Intel Haswell graphics will be the one to get. I think Ivy Bridge's graphics are much improved, and satisfactory on my Macbook Air, but I think Retina is asking too much of Ivy Bridge graphics.
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LocarionStorm

I think they missed the psychological mark with the iPad Mini. Sure, it's smaller and cheaper than the regular iPad but it doesn't have the cheap, impulse buy price of something like the Nexus 7. I would have preferred for them to leave out the camera on the backside and get that price down below $300.

The value proposition between the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini just isn't that great - $80 extra mostly for a slightly larger screen (but at a lower ppi) and a rear camera. I think this will become even more of a problem as the Nexus 7 16GB gets the likely price cut next week - making it a $130 price difference.

I appreciate Apple adding some more competition to the smaller tablet segment but would have liked a tablet that was more competitive on price point. However, it's a good option for someone tied into the Apple ecosystem and looking for that smaller tablet instead of the larger iPad.
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dsstrainer

Agreed. That is why I say they pad their numbers for hype to make people think that other people are spending lots of money on their devices but everyone I talk to says its all about price and Apple just won't come down to that level.. so there is no way they are selling 100 Million anything. 60 million tops
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kernco

100 million isn't that high of a number, since that's worldwide sales not just U.S. Also you have to factor in some of those sales are to retail stores, so they might just be sitting on shelves or in warehouses. You might think that counts as padding numbers or lying about sales, but that's how every electronics manufacturer does it, not just Apple.
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StonehamMel

Actually, Apple doesn't count Apple store inventory until it sells. It DOES count sales to independent stores, but that's a small fragment of total sales - and since those devices aren't returnable (which is how some end up on Buy.com) they are legally "sales."

As the world's most valuable and closely followed company, rest assured if Tim Cook says they sold 100 million iPads, they sold 100 million iPads by general accounting standards.

dsstrainer, you may not have enough money or sense to invest in an iPad, but rest assured, the SEC would be all over Tim Cook if there was a scintilla of falsehood about that 100 million number. It would be a flagrant violation of Sarbanes-Oxley, for which CEOs personally are held criminally responsible.

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StonehamMel

Have you looked at Google stock recently? Shows what lousy earnings can do to a company that tries to sell hardware at a loss when its core business is tanking.

What will cutting the price of Nexus do but increase GOOG losses? Apple knows it may take some short term hits for not pricing to meet grossly inferior products selling at a loss. But it didn't generate a $100 billion cash pile by stupid pricing. Ballmer and others said the iPhone was overpriced - and we know where THAT went!

Mel
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LocarionStorm

I hope you realize that none of the Nexus 7 lineup has been sold at a loss. In addition, Google's decrease in earnings was related to a shift to mobile ad revenue and the Motorola division - not the Nexus line of devices. Lastly, the earnings of a company does not have much direct bearing on my purchasing of their products - you should attempt to focus on the products being discussed. However, you seem much too focused on praising Apple no matter what and are not facilitating an engaging and worthwhile discussion about the gadgets.
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TgD

So I have taken some time to analyze the significance of the iPad Mini and its existence. The following is somewhat of a jumble of thoughts in my head that I am just writing down for fun.

When I was at RIM in late 2010 and as a company that was looking to get into the tablet market with the PlayBook, the words of Steve Jobs really stuck to us. He said this in Apple's F4Q10 report:

"Well, one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple's done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

Third, every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong trade-off. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad."

Now don't get me wrong. I am sure Apple has figured out how to allow users to reliably touch, flick, and control a smaller iPad. The market has shown a demand for the 7 inch form factor. Apple is adjusting to this.

I have heard some of my Apple faithful friends be concerned with the "What would Steve Jobs Do?" and how under him, Apple Maps wouldn't have seen an iffy launch, or this iPad mini may not even exist. (That being said, I bet the iPad mini has been in the works for over a year) The fact is, I like that Tim Cook is running the company and not afraid to take risks. He can't afford to live in the shadow of the legacy of Steve Jobs. Steve was great, no question about that, but Tim isn't Steve.

I find the public reaction to the iPad mini very interesting. Some people think it is a disappointment compared to other tablets, some think it is a great idea. (I am in the latter, as I prefer the 7" form factor) but the truth is, having more selection and competition in the market is a great thing. It is capitalism. Consumers will vote with their wallets. Sales will probably not be as good as the larger iPad, but still great.

Yeah so I guess that is it
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mdulcey

Increasing the resolution of the display isn't about showing more stuff on the screen; it's about making what you see look better. Apple itself demonstrated that with the Retina Display.

Proper app design for a 7" tablet won't take a 10" tablet app and shrink everything; Jobs's point is right, that will lead to a UI where things are too small to use reliably. Sadly, that's exactly what we'll get on the iPad Mini, at least in the beginning; apps will present a display identical to what you got on an original iPad, just smaller. (Though perhaps Apple, the undisputed leader in touch UI, has made it work.) A more intelligent app will adjust the UI to suit the size and form of the device; good Android apps already do that, as they have to be prepared for a huge variety of screen sizes and resolutions: everything from a 3" 320x480 low-end smartphone to a 1920x1200 10" tablet (and perhaps even higher resolution in a few days if the rumors are correct).

For me, the nice thing about a 7" tablet is that it's small and light enough to take everywhere. It fits in my purse; a 10" tablet sometimes wouldn't. I can easily hold it (one handed if necessary) for reading. It's not a direct replacement for a 10" tablet; there are apps that would work well on the larger screen but not at the 7" size. But there are also uses, ones where the higher portability of the smaller tablet matters, where a 10" tablet wouldn't do. For me, the next logical step up from the 7" tablet isn't a 10" tablet but something more keyboard-centric: a netbook, an Ultrabook, a Chromebook, a MacBook Air, maybe a Surface Pro. Once I'm moving up to a larger, heavier device I want one with a full keyboard interface and near-desktop power.

The disappointment I've heard about the iPad Mini isn't about whether the smaller size is a good idea; it's about how it compares to the other tablets that are already occupying that space. It's caught between the less expensive 7" tablets (Google, Kindle, Nook, and many more), and the price competitive 9" Kindle and Nook. The single most commonly heard slam is that the price is too high, and I agree. I believe that Apple needed to bring in the Mini at $249 to really be competitive in this space; they will still sell some, but a LOT of people will vote with their wallets and buy something else.
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TgD

I agree with you.
As someone who has worked on Android apps in the past, I know the pain of dealing with resolutions and Apple basically made things simple with the iPad mini to work for previous apps. :)

But they will be shrunken apps designed for a 10" display. At launch however, the iPad mini supports all current apps and will at least look distant. I probably sound like a broken record (I have said this many times on this site) that when the Galaxy Note 1 came out, my app required work to get it to display nicely and I am sure other app developers had to put in a conscious effort to support it. A lazy Apple app developer doesn't necessarily need to change theirs.
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abczyx

New iPad, as well as the new iPad mini. I'm actually not that surprised, I think people were getting burned when, after opening up that iPad 2 on Christmas Day, Apple puts a retina one up less than three months later!
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andrewkalies

I was really impressed with the new super-thin iMacs. They looks really awesome. I also appreciated the Mac Mini update since both lines really needed one. Other than that, I was pretty bored with the event.

The MBP 13" with Retina is nice, but it's only using an Intel HD 4000 graphics chip instead of the better ones used in the 15" Retina models. The iPad 4th-gen is the same as the 3rd-gen except they bumped a few internals and added the new Lightning connector. As for the iPad mini, it's price is pretty good I guess, but the display isn't even Retina.

That's just my take.
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TgD

Other thoughts so far:

I was excited for a new Mac Mini, but am just meh on the new one. Also wary of the intel graphics. I still think this would work well as a low power server.

The new iMac looks great, but is the "Apple Fusion Drive" really that different from Hybrid drives on the market already? I suppose if the OS is optimized to utilize it.
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frankspin

It looks like the OS is optimized to better manage the files which different but the concept isn't entirely different.
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TgD

Yeah it definitely sounded like optimization was the key. Right now a hybrid drive in windows doesn't make a distinction between which apps are in which memory.
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TMLF

Windows doesn't have to. The hybrid hard drives from Seagate et al. automatically track usage and move thing in and out of flash. This is all done in the drive's built in logic. No software needed.

That being said, it's unclear if Apple is using hybrid hard drives, or using a separate SSD/HDD and doing all the management with OSX.
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frankspin

Ars broke down the new 'fusion drive' technology arstechnica.com­/information­-technology­/2012­/10­/app...
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TMLF

Thanks for the link!
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kernco

Linux and Unix users have been doing something similar since SSDs were released. Unix systems allow you to specify which directories are on which disk partition, so it could be as simple as OS X just being configured to put the Users directory on the HD, and the System, Applications and Library folders on the SSD.
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frankspin

Well OSX is built on Unix so it makes sense. They did say though that the OS would recognize which apps are in use more frequently and keep them on the SSD but if they're not used often they go on the HDD.
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dsstrainer

Apple would have you believe that "Fusion" is something new.. but yea.. its just a hybrid drive
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frankspin

It is and it isn't, the OS plays a part in how the files get managed which is different from hybrid set ups.
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TgD

I missed the figures, does iPad mini qualify as "retina"? I don't think so

Seems it is iPad 2 resolution in about 8 inches (7.9")
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frankspin

1024x768,162ppi so no
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mdulcey

Although it's not really a surprise, the fact that Apple continues to show no love for the high-end professionals who use the Mac Pro is a disappointment. The iMac doesn't meet the needs of graphics professionals or serious gamers, and the Mac Pro hasn't seen an update for a while.
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Met

They have officially announced that it will be updated in Q1 2013. Or did they say first half of 2013? Don't remember. But it's finally coming soon and I'm expecting something HUUUUGE!
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Paulmichael

$1.7K for a 13" laptop? Never would I ever. Absurd.
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StonehamMel

$1700 = a bargain, if you appreciate the screen and its "just works/doesn't crash" performance. I fought Apple since it deviated into Mac in 1984. I suffered decades of Windows eccentricities with top-flight IBM and Lenovo gear, most recently, a fully tricked out T61p....until finally, the iPad lured me in. Then the iPhone, and finally, a MacBook Pro.

I never paid less than $1700 for a laptop since my $1100 Tandy 100 in 1986. My MacBook Pro cost me about as much as my T61p. If you can get away with cheap stuff, good for you.

I run business with my equipment. I sold a $32,000 contract the first time I used my iPad 1 in a lunch meeting. The price of quality equipment is zilch.

Go buy a Nexus and a Google laptop.

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Paulmichael

"Just works/doesn't crash" seems to me like a myth. I have a MacBook Pro from mid-2010, and it's rock-solid whether I am in the Windows or Mac partition of the hard drive. Neither OS is without fault, and I experience just as many crashes on Mac as I do on Windows. They're rarely actual OS crashes, though - in most to all cases, it's a poorly-programmed application at fault.

Anyway, I'd rather spend $100 more for the 15-inch, non-"Retina" model. I appreciate the build quality of these laptops, and that offers the best bang for my buck. When the time comes, I can just swap out the HDD for an SSD at market price, not whatever inflated value Apple gives their SSDs. As for the "Retina" display, well, my boss has one on his MBP, and I don't really see much of a difference. Same with the latest iPad, but I haven't spent much time with that.
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swiftwind501

I honestly think the 13" Retina MacBook Pro is NOT an investment. It doesn't have the Kepler/dual graphics like its 15" sibling, and such dense resolution is too awfully populated on a 13" screen. Kind of a let-down for its price, too.
Don't get me started with the iPad mini and the sudden original iPad refresh. I had just bought an iPad 3rd-gen in July/August, and now I feel like I've been bamboozled (again!) by Apple. I like the iPad 4, but the iPad mini feels like another wasted investment.
HOWEVER, to be optimistic, I can finally go to sleep peacefully without thinking about replacing my dying 2007 iMac with an expected-to-be-updated current iMac. Sure, the Mac mini is basically the same thing as before, but the iMac is 100% different than before (to me). What I question are the November and December release dates...
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Nathaniel

Thinking about the iPad mini for my Mom to replace her Playbook. It's appealing, but I'll have to think about it for a bit.
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OwenVersteeg

Nobody is going to get the iPad mini. Nobody.

Even my good friend (an extreme Apple devotee, Apple gives him their prebeta products to test early) said that nobody would get the iPad Mini at $329.
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dsstrainer

so 29.6 is 35% more screen space than 21.9?! See.. who is fact checking this stuff. 35% larger would be 32.26
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TgD

Dude... math

21.9 x 1.35 = 29.57
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dsstrainer

Math?! what's that?! I guess I carried the 1. Still where is the 67% at?
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StonehamMel

I think today was a grand slam. Stock is down because investors are "over-reading" the "100 million iPad" number as a disappointment. Also - some expected a lower price on the iPad Mini. Apple will prove all the doubters wrong.

Can you imagine being Steve Ballmer trying to intro the Surface RT and Windows 8 3 days from now? He doesn't have a shot in hell chance of selling his crippled Surface against an iPad 4, even with the keypad cover (too many 3rd party sellers of better keypad cases for iPads - with no need for the "kickstand").

And how long will it take MSFT to sell as many copies of Windows 8 to match Apple sales of its new OS? Months? Years?

Today, Apple showed its determination to own the desktop, laptop and tablet space...and with $6.5 billion paid out to app developers, the software-replacement market. No much space left for others in the +post-PC" world.
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dsstrainer

Apple can upsell anything. 200M devices upgraded to iOS6.. this isn't a headline bullet point. #1 this and that.. notice it doesn't say "Number 1 selling".. they are just calling it "#1" like Nelly. I think my sports team is "#1" too.. they are second to last in the real standings.
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dsstrainer

67% larger!? first you said it was 35%.. now its 67%? look at the picture.. anyone can see its roughly 30% larger. cmon apple.. how stupid do you think people are? Throwing made up numbers and people are supposed to just say "hooray" and move on?
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dsstrainer

Unfortunately we can't fact check most of what Apple says about internal sales. They say 100Million iPads and we believe them... well most of YOU believe them. I think they just pad the numbers to build hype
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abczyx

Trust me, if this was true somebody would have noticed by now!
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dsstrainer

I doubt it.. once you start that trend.. people just get used to it and go with it. We can't see what they really sold. I call BS!
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abczyx

Look at their revenue figures then. If iPad was a failure they wouldn't be generating nearly as much.
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dsstrainer

Like I said.. they drive up hype and that drives up sales.. they definitely make money.. but I question the numbers.. 100million ipads.. I'm guessing more like 60 million. Still making bank. But I think they shortsell their quantities.
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