Apple announced some huge numbers yesterday for the App Store. Crazy big numbers in fact:
— Customers spent over $10 billion in the App Store in 2013
— Over $1 billion was spent last December alone
— Almost 3 billion apps were downloaded in December, which was the most successful month in App Store history.
Jon Gruber adds some useful perspective on how striking this is:
Interesting comparison to today’s App Store announcement. Apple’s retail stores, which the company started in 2001 and which sell hardware costing thousands of dollars a pop, generate $20 billion in annual revenue. The App Store, which started in 2008 and predominantly sells apps costing a few bucks a pop, is already at $10 billion in annual revenue.
These are incredible numbers and it’s still a little amazing to see the momentum and impact of mobile apps. I know I’ve done my share to contribute to those crazy figures – to the tune of hundreds and hundreds of iOS apps purchased.
I’ve spent 6 days with the iPad Air now, after braving the non-line and getting home with one by around 8:30 AM on launch day. I already have some strong feelings about the iPad Air and some quick first impressions to share.
And here they are, in no particular order:
Living Up to the New Name
The iPad Air does a great job of living up to the ‘Air’ portion of its name. Just as advertised, it’s far lighter and slimmer than the previous iPads. Even knowing how much lighter and slimmer it was going to be following Apple’s unveiling event, it’s still surprising how well they managed this transformation. It really feels like a whole different class of iPad, and I love the slimmer bezels.
I like the Space Gray back of the iPad Air – I think it’s as handsome as the Slate back on the iPad mini.
I posted about the highlights of the full tech specs for the iPad Air a couple of days back. There are some very impressive specs – none more so than the powerful new 64-bit A7 chip. I also mentioned at that time that the one important spec detail we didn’t yet know, and that Apple is never very forthcoming on, was RAM.
Now thanks to the lovely and talented folks at iFixit, we have a complete teardown – or thorough dissection – of the iPad air. And it reveals the, very disappointing, amount of RAM for the iPad Air: just 1GB.
– 1GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM is found within the device but is now housed on one chip, compared to the two Elpida chips that housed the RAM on the fourth-generation iPad.
I just don’t see how 1GB of RAM for the iPad Air can be viewed as anything other than very unimpressive – especially now with iOS 7 offering real multitasking and a 64-bit chip which should bring more and more powerful apps to the iPad.
This could be the one spec that drags down performance on the iPad Air, and presumably on the Retina iPad mini too – since it’s just about a certainty that the smaller iPad won’t have more RAM than its bigger sibling.
Heck, there are numerous smartphones these days that have 2GB of RAM, and phablet devices that have 3GB. I’ve always been one to say that it is never all about specs when it comes to iDevices, but this is one occasion where a spec seems like it may leave the new generation of iPads noticeably underpowered.
What do you all think? Will other specs make up for the low amount of RAM on the new iPads?
In less than 24 hours sales of the new iPad Air will kick off. It’s a significantly lighter and slimmer version of the iPad – nearly 1/3 lighter than the previous generation with reduced bezels and a distinct ‘minified’ feel to it.
Here are some of the highlights of the iPad Air’s technical specs:
Finish: As you can see above you can choose from Space Gray or Silver.
Connectivity: There are WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular models. The +Cellular models are $130 more than the WiFi only models. With the cellular models there is support for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Storage Capacity: There are 16, 32, 64, and 128GB models – starting at $499 for the WiFi only 16GB and going up to $929 for the 128GB WiFi + Cellular model.
Chip: The iPad Air has Apple’s impressive new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and a dedicated M7 motion co-processor
Display: a 9.7 inch Retina display with resolution of 2048X1536
It looks like personal pickup for the iPad Air may be an option when sales of the new iPad go live on November 1 – at least according to reports MacRumors and others are hearing.
Personal pickup means you can place an order for the iPad Air and then pick it up at a local Apple store, even on the same day if you get you order in on time.
The iPad Air will be available to buy at 12:01 AM Pacific time this Friday, November 1 at Apple’s online store. If I lived in the Pacific time zone I would probably be banging the heck out of the F5 key on my keyboard late Thursday night trying to get an early order in with personal pickup. Since I’m in the Central time zone that strategy doesn’t work well for me. It would mean being up at 2:00AM trying to be fast enough to get an order in – and, given the troubles many people had in past years with Apple’s servers being overwhelmed at times like this, there would still be a good chance that I wouldn’t get an order placed.
So I’d rather just go with my standard iPad Acquisition Process – aka go stand in line in the wee hours of Friday morning at my friendly local Apple Store.
That’s my plan – what’s yours for iPad Air launch day?
Apple’s first TV ad for the iPad Air is a good one. For most of the one minute ad the focus is on a pencil, and some similarities between the iPad and a pencil are made clear in the ad’s opening line:
It’s an extremely simple tool; but also extremely powerful.
The voiceover ends powerfully as well, just before the iPad Air is revealed just behind the pencil:
It’s used by scientists and artists, scholars and students. It’s been to classrooms, board rooms, expeditions — even to space. And we can’t wait to see where you’ll take it next
Oh, and one little extra thing that makes this ad great: the voiceover is by Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White of Breaking Bad. His great voice goes perfectly with this style of ad and reminds me of the iPad 2 ads that featured Peter Coyote. Good stuff.
Apple’s big iPad event is set to kick off in around 30 minutes. If you’re wanting to follow the announcements of new iPads and whatever other goodies Apple has in store, here are some good options for live coverage:
Apple’s Own Live Stream: available in a web browser or on Apple TV
The Verge Live Blog: this great all-round tech site’s live coverage of recent Apple events has been stellar
Ars Technica: one of the venerable old school Apple tech sites is live blogging the event.
GigaOm: One of my favorite mobile tech writers, Kevin C. Tofel, will also be live blogging the event with Om Malik. This may be my big favorite, apart from the live stream itself, just to get Tofel’s platform agnostic view on things.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all the new iPad news of course as the day goes on – so I hope you’ll check back here often today.
What are your plans for taking in the event today? Are you able to with work and life schedules?
Apple will be live streaming their special event today where they’ll announce new iPads and plenty of other fun stuff by the sound of things.
The live stream will be available on the web and on Apple TV starting at 1:00PM Eastern today. Here’s the link to use in a web browser to tune into the live stream:
And here are the system requirements:
Live Streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.
It’s been a long year waiting on new iPad announcements, and now the waiting is almost over.
The App Store is heading for another big milestone – one million apps. And apps designed for the iPad now account for more than one third of those available in the App Store, despite the iPad being released nearly two years after the App Store opened.
The last announced numbers from Apple, back on their Q3 earnings call, were 900,000 apps total and 375,00 iPad apps. Appsfire.com recently tweeted that the store had hit the 950,000 apps mark – and Appshopper.com shows 953,218 available apps as I type this.
One million apps will be a notable milestone for the App Store. 500,000 iPad apps will be a big one for the iPad as well – and I imagine that’s not far off. We should see a new iPads Apple event next month and I’m sure we’ll get plenty of detail on all these big numbers.
Today Apple is expected to announce the next generation of the iPhone – at a live event that starts at 1:00PM Eastern. It’s widely expected that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5S and also a lower cost new model dubbed an iPhone 5C by rumors and tech pundits.
There is little to no expectation of hearing any new iPad news today from Apple – but there are still a number of reasons for iPad users to be more than a little interested in today’s Apple event. For starters, we’re likely to hear the latest on iOS 7 and when it will be released. We may also hear about new models or new initiatives for Apple TV. And of course, we’ll also get a good feeling for how impressive, or not, the new iPhones are.
I’ll certainly be tuning in to the event.So, what are the best ways to follow it live? Thus far, there are not as many big sites planning live blogs as I’ve seen for many past Apple events. The two best I’ve seen and that I will follow along at are these:
Engadget: these guys have been live blogging Apple events for as long as I can remember, and do a great job of it.
The Verge: great all-round tech site and their live blog coverage of recent Apple events has been very good.
I am also hoping that Apple may announce they’re live streaming the event at some point this morning, as they have with several of their most recent events of this type. If they do, I’ll update this post with a link to their live events page.
Last week Apple launched a major redesign and revamp of their Apple Support / AppleCare site. One of the biggest changes is that they now offer 24/7 live chat support for the iPad and a number of their major products and services.
The products and services supported include iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac, iTunes, and Apps & Software. The redesigned support pages make it easier to select the area you need help with and get to various help options quickly.
Once you choose a product / category, you’re shown lists of sub-topics to help narrow down your issue. Then you get to a page like the one in my screenshot above – where you can choose from various ways to get help with your problem. The help options include live chat, call now, schedule a call (from Apple Support), send in for service, and take in for service.
I like the look of the redesigned pages, and having live chat available 24/7 is a big step up for Apple Support – that’s great to see, since we all know urgent problems can arise at any time of day.