Apple had a good day, but I miss Steve Jobs

Fall 2013 Apple Launch

iPad Air

10/22/2013 – Apple launched the new iPad Air. Faster, lighter, and thinner than previous versions. Rather than designate this iPad 5, they chose to name it after the thin Macbook Air laptop. Along with the iPad air, the iPad mini was given a refresh that included a much requested Retina display.

The MacBook Pro laptops also received an update, including a battery saving faster Intel Haswell processor. On the desktop front, Apple delivered on their promise of an all new Mac Pro. Clearly a computer for power users, the Mac Pro boasts a unique cylindrical design and a whopping price tag of $2999 for the Quad Core processor or $3999 for a 6-Core processor.

Though the new products are impressive, the launch itself was a yawner. Tim Cook and Phil Shiller read their lines, and the crowd applauded politely. But….where was the excitement, where was the….”and one more thing” that Apple had become famous for? Though the show must go on, the showmanship evidently died with Steve Jobs. What a shame. I remember being blown away when Jobs opened a thin manila envelope and pulled out the super thin MacBook Air. Even without a dramatic reveal, Jobs always put on a show and created excitement.

In my opinion, Tuesday's really big news was probably a strategic change that Apple appears to be making that probably won't get any headlines. Here's what they did:

  1. The new OS X Mavericks operating system for Mac users is now available. Cnet reviewers were trying to guess the price in advance. One guessed $20, another $30, and a third guessed $50. Apple shocked them all with a FREE upgrade to the new system for existing Mac owners.
  2. Apple is also including two suites of apps iLive and iWork with all new purchases. These apps include favorites such as Keynote, iMovie, and Garage Band as well as word processor Pages, and spreadsheet Numbers.
  3. Pricing on the New 13″ MacBook Pro was reduced $200 from the old model at $1499 to $1299. Similarly the new 15″ MacBook Pro has an opening price point of $1999 down $200 from the $2199 price of the old model.

In addition to the surprises above, Apple is keeping the old iPad 2 in the line at $299 and the non-retina display iPad Mini also at $299. It looks to me like Apple has chosen to forego the software profit from the new Mavericks operating system and the app suites in order to create a reason to buy. I'll write more about Apple's Marketing and Pricing strategy in the days ahead, but in the meantime….I miss the magic of Steve Jobs. How about you?

– art johnson


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