Apple’s anticipated announcement on Tuesday brought news for consumers and industry of a new iPad Air tablet that is 20 per cent thinner the current model, and an iPad Mini with 2,048 pixels instead of 1,536.
The news comes as Apple competes with Google’s Android for market dominance in the mobile device market.
The Drum caught up with a few industry names to find out their reactions.
Thomas Husson, Forrester analyst
As always with Apple, expectations on systematic breakthrough hardware innovations are irrational. Apple is good at inventing new products (eg iPod, iPhone or iPad) and at maximizing profitability of its product range over time through software innovations and clever marketing. Today's new range of products from iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and new line of MacBook computers are great additions to the Apple product portfolio just in time for the holiday season. They will maintain Apple's premium positioning in the increasingly competitive tablet market.Apple is increasingly offering free content, services (iLife, iWork, iPhoto, iMovie etc.), and software across iOS and OS X to enable cross platform engagement on top of its million-app ecosystem. Marketers need to wake up to these new opportunities by differentiating their tablet strategy.
Nadeem Khalid, business analyst, TH_NK
While expected, the announcement of the Retina display iPad Mini 2 alongside the new iPad Air, Apple continues to occupy the technological and aesthetic high ground. Thinner, lighter and faster may not be radical enough for some, for the majority of consumers and indeed the press, the iPad line will continue to be number one in the desirability stakes. However, this announcement isn’t just about hardware, by offering a host of productivity apps for free, Apple is making a concerted play for the enterprise market, and also challenging the assertion that iPads are limited to web browsing and casual use. In a nod to a market concerned with commoditisation, Apple will continue to sell the existing Mini and iPad 2 line with a marginal discount to the former. Competitors such as Google and Samsung may be quick to gain technological parity, but will continue to struggle to compete with Apple’s ecosystem, ease of use and in the clarity of purpose stakes.
Mark Mason, CEO, Mubaloo
The news was more about software than hardware. By making productivity suites free across iPad, iPhone and Mac, Apple is making its biggest play for the enterprise market ever. Its new software will help companies to become more creative, more productive and more collaborative. Whether employees are on the move or in the office, Apple is letting them do the work they need to do. A7 across the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina is seriously exciting from a development point of view. We will be able to create ever more powerful apps for our clients that let them improve their businesses in ways that are only just being explored.
Jason Kingsley, CEO, Rebellion and chairman of TIGA
If Apple makes the TV OS open to apps developers (like the current AppStore) Apple may suddenly take a huge handful of the gaming micro-console market. Just like with MP3 players (where others got there before the iPod but ended up trounced) the ubiquity of iPhones/iPads as a controller, big game intellectual properties as well as the creative independent games space, could make the Apple TV a mainstream success for casual gamers who don’t have a console. With Apple’s marketing clout competitors could be presented with a major challenge before the micro-console market has really even taken off. Just like with iPad and tablets.I’m very excited about the new Mac Pro, it looks intriguing and a little bit like a desk-mounted bin, but inside it has blistering speed, and is obviously focussed on moving images and picture manipulation more than anything. I can imagine several people in our office already composing emails about why they must have one very soon. If it helps productivity and creativity them it might just be a valid argument.
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