Apple Fall Announcements Delivers A Few Surprises

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Today, following a rather successful launch of this year’s iPhone lineup, Apple delivered a number of follow-up announcements that provided even more good news to its legions of fans.

A completely redesigned iPad Air leads the pack with its 1lb. frame that is, to date, the lightest full-size iPad ever. The introduction of the new iPad Mini with Retina display complements the iPad Air, as well as the upcoming minor update to the Macbook Pro and Mac Pro desktop computer. Finally, wrapping up the event were the tandem announcements about the now free Mac OS X Mavericks and the new versions of iWork and iLife, both of which are also free. Read on as we delve a bit deeper into the details of all these announcements.

iPad Air

A couple of millimeters thinner, half a pound lighter and looking like the iPad Mini’s bigger twin brother, the full-size 9.7inch iPad has seen its first major design overhaul since the introduction of the iPad 2. Similar to the new iPhone 5S, the iPad Air packs a 64bit A7 chip and Retina Display. It will be shipping starting November 1 with an SRP of $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only version and $629 for the celullar-capable model.

iPad Mini with Retina Display

Finally, due to insistent fan demand, the iPad Mini now ships with a Retina Display, complete with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 just like the iPad Air. Aside from this, it also comes with the same 64bit A7 chip as the iPhone 5S, although to handle the costs of all these enhancements, Apple has upped the SRP of the base 16GB WiFi model to $399 a pop, while the cellular-capable model will be available starting from $529. The older iPad Mini variant will still be available with an SRP of $299, making it the cheapest tablet offering from Cupertino.

Mac Pro

The completely redesigned Mac Pro, which is the first Apple computer in years to be manufactured in the US, was also covered during the event. Following its preview during the WWDC last June, the futuristic cylindrical computer aimed at multimedia professionals will be available this December with a price tag of $2,999. It runs on an Intel Xeon E5 processor and has a 1TB flash storage capacity.

Macbook Pro

The Macbook Pro lineup was also refreshed today with two minor upgrades for both the 13inch and 15inch variants. For the former, the new 13inch Macbook Pro now weighs at a slim 3.46lbs. and runs on a 4th generation Intel Haswell dual-core processor. It also promises up to 90% faster graphics and 9hours of battery life. The 13inch Macbook Pro is also cheaper with an SRP of $1,299. On the other hand, the 15inch Macbook Pro packs Intel’s Crystalwell processor, an improved graphics performance and 8hours of battery life. It retails starting at $1,999, also cheaper than the previous version. Both models also incorporate improved flash storage, WiFi and Thunderbolt 2. The two starts shipping today.

OS X Mavericks, iWorks & iLife

After its announcement last June, OS X Mavericks will finally ship today, for free. That’s right, Cupertino’s latest Mac operating system willl be shipping free of charge to encourage all Apple computer users to use its latest OS. OS X Mavericks is an iteration of Mountain Lion, packing a slew of refinements and significant performance improvements.

Similarly, the iWorks and iLife, now completely redesigned to work greatly with the new OS X and iOS 7 operating systems, will be shipping free for those purchasing a new Mac or iOS device.

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