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Apple, in a jolly mood and sporting excellent sales numbers, pokes fun at itself while launching updated devices.
On Oct. 16th, the Californian tech giant indicated that it might be bad at keeping secrets. It seems like that the launch event of the iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 and the first Mini-Me Mac — sorry, Mac Mini –wasn’t much of a surprise for many people. If truth be told, people were talking about how Apple itself leaked some of the information to certain media members about the launch event before the official onstage announcement.
This seems quite a switch from the jobs reign of years gone by, when most of the company employees intentionally avoided their CEO while walking down the halls. They seem scared that the hysterical genius would probably ask them a question they might not be able to answer.
Colbert as ‘Chief of Secrecy’
To its glory, Apple poked fun at itself on the Oct. 16th launch by announcing in ironic fashion that it has hired comedian Stephen Colbert as a ‘Chief of Secrecy’.
“Get back to work!” said Colbert in a call to CEO Tim Cook onstage. “Do you know what I see when I look at my wrist? MY WRIST.” Laughter from the audience.
For those who don’t follow the humor, his reference was to the Apple Watch, which won’t be in stores until February.
Cook presumably was glad to have Colbert helping out. “I hope he can do a better job than I’ve done [when it comes to handling secrecy],” Cook said with a smile.
Can’t Argue with the Numbers
Well, a famous quote, “Loose lips sink ships” didn’t affect Apple at this launch — not that a single launch event, particularly one that doesn’t introduce a major new product, matters that much in the long run. But Apple was in a jovial mood, no wonder why; though, the business numbers continue to be inspiring indeed. For example:
- 163 million iPhones have been sold in the last four quarters; 35.2 million in the last quarter alone
- 225 million iPads have been sold — about a third of them, 70 million, in the last year
- 675,000 iPad apps are now available in the App Store
- iMac sales are up 18% — the rest of the PC industry is down 5%
- Apple Pay goes into general availability on Oct. 20, and 500 banks are now ready for it
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering stated that, Apple fanatics stay on top of upgrades. Moreover, 90% of customers are using an OS that’s a year old or less and that 48% of the installed base are on iOS 8.
Now, let’s talk about the not so surprisingly new and improved devices: the new iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 and the first Mini-Me Mac — oops, my apology again — the Mac Mini.
For sure, it’s seems funny that only a year ago, the regular iPad Air and its brothers and sisters were the “greatest devices in the world.” Now they are just discounted also-rans in comparison to the shiny new devices.
In the subsequent year, the iPad 3 Air will obscure everything that was introduced on 16th Oct and we’ll go round and round once again with the positioning.
Certainly, the iPad Air 2 is lighter, thinner (“Can you even see it?” Cook, holding it sideways, asked rhetorically), has a better camera, a more powerful processor and more new apps to download. It has the new Retina display. They now come in Space Gray, silver and gold, whatever you like.
On the other hand, the iPad Mini is less pricey and fits a certain market. The Mac Mini also will find an audience. Apple has its basic product lines and is slicing and dicing them to find more and more possible customers. But there was nothing as interesting as the announcement of the Apple Watch and Apple Pay from the September event.
Apple TV? Current Apple TV users are dying out for an upgrade. But there wasn’t a word about that in the 16th Oct event.
Apple’s barely anxious, though. Only if those iPhones, iPads and Macs keep going out the door, and all that profit keeps rolling into the Infinite Loop, the company can afford to take its time on another new product.