Apple, thinking small

“We have a little more to show you.”

At the beginning of the year, Tim Cook said they were going to revamp every single product line this year, and this will almost certainly be their last media event of the year.

The event will start with a recap of the iPhone 5 launch, the phenomenal sales numbers and media praise.

Then they’ll move on to sales of the iPod nano and iPod touch. They’ll show the new commercial, and show some great numbers.

They’ll do a quick recap of iTunes 11, remind everyone that they said it would be out in October, and announce that it’s available as of now.

They’ll talk about how it’s in Apple’s DNA to make their products better over time, and how because of their experience and product volumes they can make products of a higher quality and precision than anyone else in history.

It also lets them make things smaller.

They’ll talk about the 15" Retina MacBook Pro, what a game-changer it is and how well it’s been received. Then they’ll introduce the 13" Retina MacBook Pro.

They’ll talk about the venerable iMac. First introduced in 1998, it turned 14 years old this summer. It’s been revised over a dozen times, getting better each time. ‘Today, we’re announcing a new iMac. It may look familiar but it’s been rebuilt from the ground up. Faster, and smaller.’

Getting really small, they turn to the smallest footprint Mac, the Mac mini. It gets a processor upgrade to Ivy Bridge, and will be faster than a Mac Pro from just a few years ago. (It may also be made smaller if they ditch the two-disk server model.)

They’ll thank everyone for their hard work and when nobody (and I mean everybody) expects it, Tim Cook will say “Oh, and there’s just ‘One more thing…’”. The crowd cheers. And then they unveil the iPad mini.

The iPad mini stats have been rehashed to death, but on pricing, my guess is a base of $399 for 16 gigs and Wi-Fi. $100 more for 32 gigs, another hundred for 64 gigs. Add $129 for 3G+LTE. Black or white, with smart covers and smart cases.

These base prices line up nicely across the line: iPod nano: $149. iPod touch: $299. iPad mini: $399, iPad: $499. It’s possible that they’ll get the price down to $349, but that may make an uncomfortable gulf between the iPad mini and the iPad, while making the iPod touch look expensive in comparison. I would have speculated that they could lower the iPad base price to $449, but with Microsoft just announcing that their Surface RT will start at $499 it’s clear there’s still good support at this level without undercutting Surface on price.


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