Apple’s ‘Take Note’ Announcements
Oct 21, 2022 • Extra Ordinary • Apple Event
Don’t call it an Apple Event. It was a day of unprompted product announcements via press release! We haven’t had one of these since I started writing up summaries for Extra Ordinary. (I didn’t think about that when I made the ‘Apple Event’ tag for these articles. No ragrets.)
No Mac news today — you can read my attempt to manifest the Mac mini I want into existence at Cult of Mac.
Apple TV 4K
The headline feature here is that the prices are significantly lowered. The base model goes from $179 to $129. The upgraded model goes from $199 to $149. The old HD model goes from $149 to discontinued.
The second best feature is that the Siri Remote switches to USB-C. With the European Union inching ever closer to requiring USB-C by 2024, this to me is an indicator that Apple won’t push back. This is an inconsequential peripheral that Apple is switching to the USB-C train far ahead of time.
Storage options also doubled.
It also features HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos — great features for everyone out there who has a really expensive TV with these premium features but bad enough built-in software that someone would want to spend another $129 on an Apple TV. All twelve of them.
Even though I only rated the second generation Apple TV 4K three out of five stars, it is by far the best TV operating system and interface. This market is crowded with terrible products.
Since 2017, the bottom of the iPad line has been held down by the no-adjective iPad at $329. The formula is not unlike the iPhone SE or Apple Watch SE: piece together the cheapest parts from the bin without skimping out on the chip. It uses the original iPad Air-shaped case, a cheap rectangular display, a Home Button and a one- or two-year old A-series chip.
They were able to pull that off four years in a row without raising the price while dripping in new features: support for the first-generation Apple Pencil, the Smart Connector, True Tone and Center Stage.
This was the fleet vehicle iPad if you just want a big iOS canvas and you don’t need any fancy features. The iPad Air bridged the gap with a modern design and modern features; the iPad mini was brought in sync as a smaller size of the Air; the iPad Pro represented the top of the line with all the latest tech for people who get their daily work done on an iPad.
It was only a matter of time before the basic iPad moved on to the small-bezel design, ditching the Home Button and getting its flat-sides makeover. Apple prioritized the wrong features and jumped the gun to get it there.
Sure, it has the modern square design. But the chief benefit of that is compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which snaps on magnetically and stays permanently charged. Keep it there whenever you’re not using it and you’ll forget it even has a battery inside. With the first-generation Apple Pencil, not only do you not have a place to keep it — not only do you need to plug it into the iPad to charge it — but the iPad doesn’t have a Lightning port, so you need to first plug it into an adapter, then into the USB-C cable dangling off of your iPad.
Sure, it has virtually the same dimensions as the iPad Air, but it isn’t compatible with the same attachable keyboard and trackpad accessory. It needs a completely different one with an extremely confusing name.
These could be forgiven if they were necessary tradeoffs in order to maintain the $329 price point. But they aren’t. The previous iPad 9 is still for sale at $329; the new iPad 10 is priced at $449. If they were willing to raise the price anyways, why not support the good Apple Pencil?
Yes, those components cost money. The original Apple Pencil does not require any hardware in the device itself; the second generation requires magnets and an internal charging component. Why not raise the price a little more? They have already lost on keeping it as the cheapest $329 iPad; selling it at $459 instead of $449 will hardly lose any additional sales, and users get this instead of this.
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have a drop-in upgrade to the M2. You can use that extra power by crashing Stage Manager up to 15% faster than M1.
The smaller one does not get the mini-LED display of the bigger one and neither of them get the horizontally-mounted camera of the iPad 10.
Today’s iPad announcements introduce more exceptions and asterisks to an iPad lineup that is dangerously close to boiling over.
Apple AR/VR Headset
Mission failed, we’ll get ’em next time.
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