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About those insane pricing announced at Apple event

October 24, 2013

tim cook on stage oct 2013

In yesterday “We still have a lot to cover” event, Apple unveiled lots of things, none is entirely new but they’re exactly new upgrades from previous iterations. Again, some may say those are just incremental upgrades, the same and slightly different physical appearances, but still they’re a delight for those who’s planning to buy them. In layman’s terms; you’re getting more bang with the same bucks.

New Macs

The MacBook Pros received better and faster processor, SSD, WiFi, Thunderbolt 2 and longer battery life. Better yet, the 13-inch model is now thinner and lighter. But the best thing about those new MacBook Pros are their lower price tags, the 13-inch is down $100, while the 15-inch got shaved up to $200 from previous price. Those are insane, in fact it’s better than what I said up there, you get more bang with less bucks. Apple is making its MacBook Pros more affordable year after year, this aggressive pricing will really appeal to those who’s looking to buy a new MacBook Pro, or simply replacing their old one.

Then there’s the long waited new design Mac Pro, which pack lots of impressive performance inside its small frame. Apple claims the new Mac Pro can simultaneously render video effects in the background while you edit 4K resolution video, that’s unbelievable prowess compared to its size. But its size does have a major disadvantage; users can’t upgrade the internal components nor add their own graphic cards. The standard model will set you back $500 more from the last generation, it comes with quad-core Xeon E5 processor. While the six-core processor costs $1,000 more from the standard model.

New iPads

Apple made a nice little surprise with the iPad Air naming, no leaks or rumors whatsoever have indicated Apple would change the name, glad to see Apple can still keep things secret. But what really interesting is that Apple still able make the new iPad Air thinner and lighter than before, it’s now easier to hold with one hand. Apple keep the base price of the Air like previous iPad, $499 for 16GB WiFi model.

The new Air name suggests Apple is aligning the iPad along with its MacBook line-ups, I suspect for the next one Apple will add a Pro version into the iPad. If the recently patent filing of iPad keyboard by Apple is any indication, it fits with the “Pro” moniker.

Another interesting tid bit comes from Apple mini’s pricing; the base model (WiFi only, with 16GB storage) is a tad pricier at $399. This shows why Apple didn’t put Retina display in the first iPad mini, it was not just because of supply limit, but also for price reason that Apple had to hold it until now.

Although all of us expected Touch ID, surprisingly Apple decided to exclude the new fingerprint sensor from its new iPad line-ups. This must be because of supply constraint on the sapphire glass needed for the Touch ID front, Apple is still trying to keep it up with the incredible demand for the iPhone 5s.

Old iPads

And here’s the controversy that has been making rounds ever since the announcement; Apple keep the iPad 2 and selling it at $399, that’s just a $100 buck less than the new iPad Air. Some may find this infuriating, and question it, the answer is because Apple is beginning to diversify its iPad line-ups just like it did with the iPods.

The reason why the iPad 2 sticks around is because it still can run iOS 7, yes it can’t give the best experience of iOS 7 since its innard came from 2.5 year old technology ago, in spite of that it still got a punch or two until next year. I still use mine till this day, after installing the iOS 7, sometimes I use it for surfing on the net or play games. And yet, my iPad 2 is as useful as I first bought it.

And the reason for the iPad 2 price is because Apple feels comfortable with it, it’s no big secret Apple always keep lucrative margin within its product line-ups. For personal purchase, a $100 less doesn’t make much sense if you can get a better one, but it makes a huge difference for those who’s buying it in bulk. Such as schools, hospitals and airlines are the perfect example, they usually only need the iPad for basic use and buy it in big volume. Tim Cook subtly explained this during the event opening, when even Apple is surprised to learn how more and more people are using their iPads everyday for anything. The iPad opened up new ways for us to use technology in daily basis, everywhere anywhere. It’s huge, and Apple understand it well.

It’s the same reason for the old iPad mini’s pricing, the $70 difference is something that will attract buyer who buys it in volume, but definetely not for personal buyer.

Free!

Oh, and let’s not forget that the best things in life is free, so Apple just made iWork and iLife free for those who buy new iOS  devices and Macs from now on. Including the new Mac OS X Mavericks, Apple doesn’t just give it away free for new MacBooks owners, but also for those who own four year-old Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It’s an all new era of free OS revolution, Microsoft must be shitting itself right now.

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