Live from Apple’s Brooklyn Academy of Music event

Apple comes to BAM.

Newest posts on top. All times Eastern.

And that’s a wrap. Apple delivered pretty much as rumored. The MacBook Air is a strong update at a $1,199 starting price that should help gross margins. The new iPad Pros, with new pen, pack enough power to run huge files in “real” Photoshop. The word of the day was “creative,” and Apple hit the theme at every opportunity. (If we had been in Manhattan, I wonder what the theme had been?) In any event, the traders across the East River seemed to receive the event well enough. At least they didn’t hate it. The stock is up about .6% as I write this, a bit ahead of the Dow. (Later, when the indices took off, Apple trailed.) No AirPods or AirPower charging pad, BTW, in case you were holding your breath. Next Spring?

11:28 Tim Cook invites audience to hands on. I took one look at the queue, which reached the whole block back to BAM, and blew it off. As a rule, New Yorkers don’t stand in lines that long. I can wait.

11:19 Cook introduces the musical guest. Uses “creativity” several times to intro New York native Lana Del Ray. They asked her not to swear so she can’t say the name of the new album. Beautiful voice. Standing O.

11:15 Tim Cook back to stage. A brief word about iOS 12. Off to great start, he says. 60% already running. (Android, eat your heart out.) Today shipping 12.1, with group facetime, 70 new emojis. Best iOS version ever he claims. It better be.

Summarizing: MacBook Air, MacMini, Today at Apple, iPad Pro.

11:14 The two iPad Pros start at $799 and $999. Pre-order today, shipping next week.

11:11 John Turnip is back. [They really should show these people’s names on screen.] Cue the video. Phil Schiller narrates. Like holding light is a good line. 102 magnets. Apple loves these little magnets.

10:58 Woman whose name I missed comes in to talk about apps

  • Autodesk.
  • Assassins Brotherhood
  • Video clips, music (not clear what app)
  • Intro two developers:
  • Greg Thomas NBA 2K. Impressive. Beads of sweat. Squeaky sneakers.
  • “Now let’s turn to creativity” (glug) Jamie Myrold from Adobe. Chantel shows “real Photoshop” on iPad. 12,000 pixel (9-feet by 9 feet) PDF zooming through with now delay. Cool! Double tap on pencil to zoom out, double tap to zoom back in. Project Arrow does augmented reality demo that creates the illusion of moving butterflies on stage.

10:45: John Turnip (?) VP of engineering.

  • LCD from edge to edge (not OLED) calls it “liquid retina display”
  • 11″ display in same footprint as original 10.5 real estate
  • 12.9 display in smaller footprint (roughly 8.5×11)
  • 12.9 is 15% thinner. 25% less volume
  • Face ID. More secure than any computer.
  • A12X Bionic. 7 nm.
  • [Drinking game: Aa shot every time someone uses the word “creative” or “creativity.”]
  • 90% faster. Faster than 92% of PCs sold in the last 12 months. They love to compare to real computers.
  • Graphics now 1000 times faster. X-box graphic in box 90% smaller.
  • Latest neural engine. Faster and smarter. Wasted, as far as I’m concerned, messing with my photos.
  • Up to 1 TB storage.
  • Moving to USB-C. That leaves the iPhone using the old power.
  • Cool pencil that attaches, pairs and charges automatically.
  • Invite

10:43 All new iPad. Cue the video. No home button, as rumored. New pencil that attaches magnetically, as rumored. Big applause.

10:41 iPad. 0ver 400 million iPads. Sold more in last year, than all competitors put together.

10:40 Back to Cook. Shouts out to staff, gets huge applause. 

10:33 Angela Ahrendts makes a rare appearance, in super-high heels, with new Brooklyn Apple Store as backdrop. 505 retail locations. (official count?). Runs through the Today at Apple topics, featuring a different city with each anecdote. “Global platforms for local talent.” Teaching and celebrating drawing. Launched 18 months ago, 18,000 sessions per week. Wow. Points to app, which is useful. 60 newly designed session announced today, including video, photo and design labs with Foster & Partners (who designed the spaceship). This is a bigger deal than I knew. 3,000 apple creatives (whatever that means)

10:31 Tim Cook back to talk about Apple Retail. Framing Today at Apple sessions as a way to encourage creativity.

10:30 MacMini starts at $799. Order today, available next week. 100% recycled aluminum.

10:24 New Mac Mini video. Tim Cook intros someone whose name I missed.

  • quad cores
  • 6 cores
  • 5X faster than before (given how long ago before was, I should hope so!)
  • up to 64 gigs.  (only staffers applauding now. this machine does not have a huge market)
  • T2 security chip. Geeking out: “HEVC video encode, get this, 30 times faster”
  • Choose your own display, keyboard and mouse.
  • Examples of use are mostly education or industrial. Photo of datacenters running on Mac Mini pretty impressive.

10:23 Price starts at $1,199. Preorder today, ships next week.

10:13 Touch ID, not Face ID. Hmm. Seems retrograde.

  • T2 chip for secure enclave etc. system management, always on processor for hey siri.
  • Keys 4 times the stability, whatever that means. “Latest generation” butterfly keyboard.
  • 20% larger trackpad forcetouch. Not something I asked for, but OK.
  • 25% louder, 2X the base, 3 mic array, better voice recognitio for Siri.
  • 2 thunderbolt ports (Apple’s version of USB-C?)
  • Intel dual core. up to 16 GB, up to 1.5 TB solid state drives (but you pay extra)
  • 12 hours wireless web browsing. 13 hours music playback
  • 17% less volume, whatever that means.
  • 10% thinner
  • Weights 2.75 pounds, (only) a quarter pound lighter.
  • All the eco checklist checked.
  • About aluminum. Used to mine aluminum ore. As of today, 100% recycled aluminum, thanks to Apple-invented aluminum alloy. [IP alert!]. Big applause, not just staffers.
  • Cue the video. Laura Metz, not Jony Ive with his funny pronunciations.

10:10 Laura TK, VP engineering to stage. Bezel mostly gone. (Still borders, but 50% thinner, 13.3 inch display. Quadruple pixels. 4 million. 48% more color? What does that mean?

10:09 Here it is. Cue the video. Same shape. No MagSafe. ‘Nuff said.

10:07 Cook gives shoutout for MacBook Air. Big applause. All-day battery life, my ass. Most beloved notebook ever. (Stat?) Time for new MacBook Air. (big applause) Retina display. (big applause)

10:03 Starts with the Mac. Yay! Cue the video. 51% of buyers new to Mac, 76% new buyers in China. 100 million active installed base. Summarizing the Mac OS Mojave improvements we heard about in June.

10:01 Wild ovation for Tim Cook. Mostly Apple staffers, as usual. His sound is bad.

10:00 Apple discovers it happens to like New York. Products in the wild.

9:58 T minus 2. My backpack lost its seat. The lights dim. Jazzy lightshow on screen.

9:45 With 15 minutes to go, suggest you find the livestream, if you haven’t already done so. I’m going to assume you’re watching along with me and will try to limit my remarks to commentary, context and maybe, where appropriate, a pinch of snark.

9:30 Mezzanine off-limits for media. Back downstairs. After several more badge checks I’m inside. Looks like a full house. Much climbing over backpacks, fishing for power in the dark under the seats.

9:15 The lobby is a madhouse. I’m headed to the mezzanine. 

8:50 They’ve opened the doors. The reporters are rushing in, probably just to hang out in the lobby. But I’m having FOMO. More to come.

7:45 Random observation: The ratio of police vehicles to satellite trucks, 21:2, is the highest I’ve seen at an Apple event. Apple PR czar Steve Dowling, who used to cover Apple for CNBC, says that since he left the business it’s mostly digital and fiber, retiring a generation of satellite hardware.

live apple brooklyn event

7:30 I’m here, checked in, eating a free breakfast burrito at a restaurant across the street. A little bird tells me there may be a post-keynote event at One Hanson place, the Roaring Twenties-era skyscraper that was for decades the tallest building in the borough. Manhattanites know it as the Tooth Building because of all its dentist’s offices.

See also:


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    PED, is it going to be a new MacBook Air or a new iPad Pro?

    October 30, 2018
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    The A12X is going to fire up A-Series for Mac rumors again.

    Next year?

    October 30, 2018
    • Steven Noyes said:
      I hope not. Not to poo-poo on the A12X because it is a beast of a processor but I am guessing 92% of laptops are fairly low performance Core-i5/Core-m3 level chips and 90% of Apple laptops are actually faster than the A12X.

      This is not a slight on the A12X but a simple observation of the sheer number of $300-$500 super cheap low powered laptops making up the 92% number. Add in an emulation layer to allow ARM to run iAPX86 software and… well… it won’t be pretty.

      October 30, 2018
  3. Ralph McDarmont said:
    Where in the world are Jony and Angela? I have asked PED before but the answer seems as elusive as these two incredibly important Apple employees. It’s actually an unintended insult to call them employees. They are cornerstones. Steve drew attention to Apple just by being Steve. RIP. Tim doesn’t do that so well and investors suffer. He needs backup from Ive and Ahrendts. Very visible and vocal backup. Cook has guided Apple to phenomenal wealth and success so I am not criticizing at all. Millions of AAPL investors have made millions of dollars. I just sense that Apple Magic is slipping and needs all hands on deck. Brooklyn did not help.

    October 30, 2018
    • John Kirk said:
      Angela presented today. Apparently, she’s camera shy, so this is a rare presentation appearance for her.

      They said Jonny was there, but he didn’t appear, not even in a video.

      October 30, 2018
  4. Richard Wanderman said:
    Very strong products and I’m glad Apple brought back the Mac mini even though I’m not a customer, it’s a great machine to pull Windows users over.

    I thought the MacBook Air was fantastic and I’m going to order one. It’s a much better deal than a low end MacBook Pro with as much power and Touch ID. And, it’s lighter.

    And, the iPad Pro looks excellent too and if I were in the market I’d pick one up (the 11″).

    Since the iPad mini was in the picture Tim put up of the current iPad offerings I was hoping they’d release an update but it may be out to pasture forever. Lots of pilots use it and while they can use bigger iPads the mini fits on yokes quite well.

    Seems like there were a lot of retail folks in the audience or, Angela has a real fan club in New York.

    October 30, 2018
    • Fred Stein said:
      Yes, I wondered about the low-end iPads. Just my guess, Apple has figured out that upgrade buyers will put used iPads on the resale market addressing the lower price band. Note that 134M used iPhones were sold last FY. Finally is that mini form factor desirable anymore for iPad users?

      October 30, 2018
      • Richard Wanderman said:
        I think the mini form factor is is desirable, not for me but the folks I know who have them love them. Many are pilots, both commercial and private but not all.

        I guess it just ever sold enough or Apple would surely be making them.

        I’m writing this on an iPad Pro on your lap and wishing I had a new MacBook Air. The new iPad Pro is desiresblembut I need a MacBook Air and a real keyboard more. Never thought the iPad would become so useful but it is, except for typing which sucks.

        October 31, 2018
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    New York native Lana Del Ray. Beautiful voice. Standing O.

    I agree and may purchase her album.

    I’ve purchased maybe a dozen new artist albums since 1970.

    October 30, 2018
  6. David Emery said:
    I just looked at the ‘build to order’ page for the new Mini. Base config on the cheapest model is 8gb RAM/128gb SSD. To add another 8gb of RAM costs $200!!! To add another 128gb of SSD costs $200!!!

    Those prices are outrageous. I will NOT be buying a new Mini, unless I can update RAM/SSD using affordable 3rd party alternatives. (I’ve owned at least 8 Minis since they first came out, and have 3 running right now.)

    WTF is Apple thinking?

    (Update, the internal photo here looks like at least the RAM is user-upgradeable:

    October 30, 2018
  7. Fred Stein said:
    This was a tour de force.

    1) The obvious: It will drive iPad and Mac upgrade business creating very nice comparisons to last FY.
    2) The rest of the business, iPhone, Services, and Apple Watch also compare very nicely. That combo looks really sweet.
    3) The buybacks amplify the organic growth from 1) and 2) by at least 5%.
    4) Longer term, the A12X and non-X make Apple the first choice for Games, AR, creative, and Matching Learning Apps all of which will generate revenue for the App developers and Apple. The remaining SmartPhones and Tablets will be reduced to being terminals for Cloud-based services.

    October 30, 2018
  8. John Konopka said:
    I don’t see the point of either Touch ID or Face ID on a laptop. Just unlock it with your Watch.

    October 30, 2018

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