Apple comes to BAM.
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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
- 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.
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.
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.