Apple’s latest event was promoted with invitations stating, “we still have a lot to cover.” Judging by the wide range of topics and products they touched on during the press conference, it certainly wasn’t false advertising. It wasn’t, however, terribly exciting, either.
While the new iPad Air and revamped iPad Mini have received the majority of the attention from consumers and tech experts alike, Apple executives made a number of smaller announcements as well. Foremost after the iPad news is the fact that the new Mavericks operating system is available, and it’s free. Any Apple user with a system capable of handling the latest OS is able to download it, at no cost, from the Mac App Store. In addition, the iWork and iLife suites of applications have been upgraded considerably, and updates for them are also available on the App Store and iTunes Store at no additional cost.
Though the latest series of Apple announcements have further established the computing giant as a provider of premium hardware with prices to match, such as the soon-to-be-released $3000 Mac Pro desktop and $799 iPad Air, it has also dropped prices in other instances. Apple slashed prices on older iPad models, in what many are calling an attempt to compete with the lower-cost Amazon, Google and Microsoft tablets. Furthermore, the prices for MacBook Pro laptops are being discounted by $200.
Despite a myriad of interesting announcements, some in the tech world have felt that the latest Apple event lacked focus. It covered a lot of ground, but there were no significant revelations in any one category. Even the upgrades to iPads and apps were expected, and in line with recent developments from Apple’s competitors. They’re good, but they aren’t terribly exciting or innovative.
If it wasn’t apparent already, the most recent Apple event solidified the fact that the company, while still great, isn’t the same without Steve Jobs. This is not the same Apple that changed the world with the iPhone and shook up consumers and technological rivals with the iPad. While developments such as Thunderbolt and Mavericks are great, they aren’t earth shattering. Still, because we all remember the early days of the iPhone and the eagerness to line up overnight and be the first with the new Apple gadget, we continue to hope that each next product release will be “the big one” again.
Items such as the iPad Mini with retina display or iPhones with Touch ID are fantastic. Despite expected low fourth quarter earnings, the iPhone 5s has been a bestseller, and reportedly 200 million devices are running iOS 7. Apple is arguably the most valuable public company in the world. Unfortunately, recent products have failed to create excitement and capture hearts like earlier Apple tech did. While the company will steadily continue, in many smaller ways, to shape cultural and technological trends, it will take a major product release like the fabled iWatch or even a significant update to an existing product, such as an infrared keyboard, to really get the world buzzing about Apple again.