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Apple iPad Mini Event Meta-Live Blog: All The News As It Happened

Meet the iPad Mini, new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, super-slim iMac, Mac Mini and more. Luke kicked off Gizmodo Australia’s meta liveblog at 4am AEDT to bring you all the big updates from Apple’s event, including Australian-specific news. Here’s how it all went down. How did your predictions go?

What’s New?

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We’ve seen the new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display which is more of the same in a smaller form factor. It’s sporting new Ivy Bridge gear which it needs to in order to fend off the competition coming from Windows 8 on Friday.

Windows 8 has touch built into laptops rather than segmenting tablets and laptops into two different sections, so we’ll have to wait and see if that’s going to turn the tide for Microsoft.

We’ve also seen new Mac Minis and a crazy-thin new iMac. It also doesn’t have touch, meaning that Windows 8 has something on it. Whether people like that little something-something over all the all-in-ones out there remains to be seen.

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Meanwhile in the tablet arena, Apple refreshed the 9.7-inch iPad to include a newer, faster chip which — by their reckoning — leaves the Tegra 3 for dead. We’ll see about that one. Either way, the new, 4th Generation iPad is going to annoy everyone who bought a New iPad just seven months ago.

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Apple also finally unveiled the iPad Mini — a 7.9-inch iPad with the look of the iPhone 5 and the internals of the iPad 2. Apple is crowing over the Nexus 7 which still has it beat hands-down on price, but the new Mini does have support for LTE.

More: iPad Mini Gets An Australian Price

This week is only just getting started, and there’s still Google’s Playground event and the Austrlaian Windows 8 launch on Friday. We’re going to see so much more sweet tech before Friday beer-o’clock comes around.

Thanks for joining us! Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day.


As It Happened…

[4:00] The music has just faded down, and we’re waiting on Tim Cook to take the stage in the theatre

[4:01] Here he is! To lots of applause, Tim Cook steps out.

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[4:03] “This is the fastest selling phone in history”

[4:02] “We’ve got some really exciting things to show you,” Tim says. But first, some updates, starting with iPhone 5.

[4:03] We’re watching a video about how awesome the Apple Stores are, now.

[4:04] Apple is super proud of its store network. Let’s see if the Sydney store gets a mention in this vid…

[4:04] Lots of smiling faces in these videos as people pick up their iPhone 5s. Mostly coverage from the 5th Street Apple Store in New York City. Rather a fancy store if you’ve ever been there.

[4:05] Applause, lights come back up, and here’s Tim again.

[4:05] Moving onto the iPods announced last time we saw Tim.

[4:06] Apple has already sold 3 million of these new iPods.

[4:07] And now we’re onto iOS 6. I wonder if Maps will get a mention…?

[4:07] There are now 200 million devices running iOS 6, says Tim. “This is phenomenal”.

[4:08] Apple always likes tos tart with big numbers. Right now, Apple is storing 125 million documents in iCloud for its users, users have sent 300 billion iMessages at 28,000 per second and 160 million Game Center accounts are registered.

[4:10] Now onto the App Store. Can we have new things soon please, Tim?

[4:10] There are 275,000 dedicated iPad apps in the store and customers have now downloaded 35 billion apps in total.

[4:11] “We’ve now paid out $US6.5 billion to developers.”

[4:12] Moving onto iBooks. Is this the subtle move into the iPad mini/whatever we’re calling it announcement?


iBooks Update

[4:12] “Today, we’re announcing a new version of iBooks…with continuous scrolling.”

[4:13] “It’s better integrated with iCloud,” Tim adds, meaning you can sync page location now. You can also share quotes via Facebook, Twitter an Email.

[4:13] There is also a bunch of new languages like Korean, Chinese and Japanese coming in the new version of iBooks.

[4:14] The new iBooks version launches right now.

More: New Version Of iBooks Comes With Synced Pages And Continuous Scrolling


13-inch MacBook Pro

[4:15] “I’d like now to talk about the Mac.”

[4:15] “We’re pleased with the momentum of the Mac, but we’re not standing still.”

[4:15] Phil Schiller takes the stage to talk Mac goodness. To much applause.

[4:16] We’re starting with MacBook. Phil’s talking about the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina model.

[4:17] “The 13-inch MacBook Pro is actually our best selling Mac…”

[4:17] Here we go then!

[4:17] “We’re going to take our best product, and introduce something so much better. This is the 13-inch MacBook Pro.”

[4:19] It’s 0.75 inches thin (20% thinner than the last one) and it weighs 1.6 kilos. 2 thunderbolt ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, no optical drive, HDMI video out and an SD card reader. Most importantly, it has the Retina display. 13.3-inches, 2560×1600 resolution. 4,960,000 pixels.

[4:20] Apple is also claiming a 75% reduction in reflection, too.

[4:20] Anyone breaking out the credit card for this one already?

[4:21] Facetime HD camera that shoots at 720p, a backlit keyboard, a glass multi-touch trackpad, and dual mics on the device. We’re now looking at the guts.

[4:22] Apple is claiming that it’s a 7-hour battery life with up to 768GB flash memory, Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 and it ships with Mountain Lion.

More: Australian Pricing On Apple’s Thinner Retina 13-Inch MacBook Pro

[4:24] And now, an ad. Let’s hope Apple dosen’t use any copyrighted art this time around…

[4:25] “For the pro in all of us”

[4:25] The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is starting at $US1699 ranging up to $US1999.

[4:26] Now we’re moving onto Mac Mini. Phil jokes that “we knew there’d be something called mini in this presentation, right?”


New Mac Mini

[4:26] Get nervous, fanboys. Maybe there is no iPad mini?

[4:27] The new Mac Mini supports dual- or quad-core Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 chips. the 2.5GHz dual-core i5 with 4GB RAM and 500GB of storage is $US599 and the 2.3GHz server model is $US999. They all ship today.

Image courtesy of GDGT

More: Australian Pricing For Apple’s New, Speedier, Ivy Bridge Mac Minis


New iMac

[4:28] One more Mac update. It’s the iMac!

[4:29] We’re announcing the next-generation of iMac. It comes up out of the stage. HOLY SHIT THIS THING IS THIN.

More: Australian Pricing On Apple’s Crazy Thin New iMacs

[4:29] Applause breaks out. That is a seriously impressive machine.

[4:29] It has the thickness you’d expect from an MacBook Air…

[4:30] Edge-to-edge glass. Phil is now cooing over how thin it is like we are. “There’s an entire computer in here!”

[4:30] Here come the specs. That’s a 5mm edge, 80% thinner than the previous generation. The aluminium “chin” and the display make up the whole computer. Apple said they wanted to bond it differently, so Phil is talking about friction stir welding. Sounds almost like fusion to me.


“Friction stir welding” means the aluminum molecules have been merged together. Also, “Plasma deposition” joins “fusion stir” in the Apple Physics Buzzword Pantheon. Plasma deposition = reduced glare, in normal human terms.

More: What Is Friction-Stir Welding?

[4:31] Now we’re taking about how Apple got it so thin. The display is now 5mm thinner, the 2mm air gap between the display and the glass is gone thanks to full display lamination and all that makes the display 45% thinner. The optical drive is gone, too.

Image courtesy of GDGT

[4:32] There’s a 27-inch with 2560×1440 pixels and a 21.5-inch with 1920×1080

[4:33] Each display is individually calibrated with a spectro-radiometer at the factory before it leaves.

[4:34] Inside it has NVIDIA Kepler graphics, up to a 3TB HDD, up to 32GB of memory and Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge chips.

Image courtesy of GDGT

[4:35] This new iMac and the new Mac Mini is giving everyone something called Fusion Drive. It’s 128GB of Flash storage with either a 1TB or 3TB hard drive. That’s all fused onto a single volume for faster reads and writes. Basically it looks like a fancy name for a caching drive. It’s just running in the same volume.

More: What Is Apple Fusion Drive?

[4:37] Apple installs all of its own software onto the Flash storage and gives you the option to install your own applications to Flash for faster boot and load times.

[4:37] Apple claims that the Fusion Drive gives performance that’s just shy of pure Flash storage.

[4:38] The 21.5-inch configuration starts off with a 2.7GHz i5, 8gb RAM, GT640M and a 1TB hard drive for$1299, coming in November. The 27-inch sports a 2.9GHz, 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA GTX660m and a 1TB $1799, shipping in December.


iPad (Recap)…

[4:39] Tim is back with iPad announcements. Oooh!

[4:40] Apple sold its 100 millionth iPad last week.

[4:41] “This is unprecedented for a new product in a new category. We sold more iPads in the June quarter than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line-up!”

[4:41] Tim is taking about tablet web traffic share, saying that 91% of it comes from iPads.

[4:41] We’re going through all the reasons that people love their iPads. There’s a “but…” in here somewhere.

[4:42] Apple is proud of how it has been embraced by education as a learning tool. Is the smaller, cheaper iPad we hope to come something Apple will pitch at schools?

[4:43] Recapping the iBooks Author announcement from earlier on in the year. The main problem we found at the time was the fact that iPads were too expensive for every student. Hasn’t stopped 80% of the US curriculum being supported on iBooks Textbooks.

[4:44] Today, we’re announcing the latest version of iBooks Author. It supports new templates like vertical-only books and people can now use their own fonts. New Mathematical expressions are coming, too. Multi-touch widgets are being crammed into books, and book updates will be rolled out through the iBook store now.

[4:46] Moving onto iPad in business.

[4:47] “We know we are just getting started with iPad…”

[4:47] “We’re not taking our foot off the gas…”

[4:48] Phil is coming back up to talk about new or updated iPads…?

[4:48] Phil is coming back up to talk about new or updated iPads…?


New iPad 4th Generation!

[4:48] This 4th Generation iPad is a powerhouse. There’s an A6X Chip in there for faster performance which doubles the CPU task and graphics performance on the A5X chip.

More: What You Need To Know About The New 4th Generation iPad

[4:49] It still has 10-hours of battery life, says Phil.

[4:49] It also has LTE, and Telstra and Optus are getting a call-out in the Keynote.

[4:50] Of course, it comes with the Lightning connector.

More: Apple Now Has Lightning Cables Now For Your Other Gadgets

[4:50] Lightning to USB and Lightning to SD card are being supported for camera connections. Can’t wait to see how people hack that first one…

[4:50] It’s pretty much the same thing as before, just with a few new things. The 16GB Wi-Fi is $US499, 16GB Cellular is $US629.

[4:51] WAIT!


New iPad Mini

[4:52] THE IPAD MINI LIVES

More: iPad Mini Gets An Australian Price

[4:52] It’s actually called iPad Mini! Here come the details.

[4:52] Aluminium-glass enclosure that you can hold in one hand. Phil is holding it up now and it looks exactly like all the renders we’ve seen before this event.

[4:53] Specs incoming…

[4:53] 7.2mm thin, “as thin as a pencil”, 308 grams. black and white models look the same as the iPhone 5.

[4:54] The iPad 2 is 9.7 inches, the iPad mini is 7.9-inches on the diagonal. The resolution is exactly the same, too at 1024×768. All of the software for iPad works on the Mini with no effort from devs. Nice one.

[4:55] Tell ‘em the price, son!

[4:56] Oooh. We’re now comparing it to the Nexus 7. This is brave.

[4:56] Apple says that the bezel is better because it’s aluminium rather than thicker plastic. The Nexus is reportedly thicker and heavier than the Nexus 7.

Gizmodo Specs Comparison: New iPads, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD


[4:57]
Apple is removing all the software keys and tabs from Chrome mobile versus Safari mobile and it’s claiming that in that respect, it’s so much larger for browsing web content. I’m not sure I buy that one…

[4:58] “Android has phone applications stretched out, not tablet applications,” Phil says of the user experience. I do agree with him there…

[4:59] We still love you Nexus 7.

[5:00] Under the hood of the iPad mini is a dual-core A5 chip, a 720p Facetime camera, a 5-megapixel iSight camera with 1080p video, LTE radio, a/b/g/n (5GHz) on-board with a Lightning connector and 10 hours of battery life.

[5:01] “Every inch an iPad”

[5:01] Now we’re seeing Jony Ive appear on video to talk about the design.

More: Watch Apple’s iPad Mini Video

Mr Ive’s shtick is kinda getting pretentious and old…iPad Mini looks great though!

[5:04] There’s also a new Smart Cover coming that removes the aluminium hinge so that it’s smaller.

[5:05] This thing is exactly like we saw in the renders. Is this how Apple releases products now? With leaked prototypes?

[5:05] I don’t know about this one. Depending on the price, it might be my next tablet. How about you guys?

[5:06] Here’s Phil again.

[5:06] The new Smart Covers match the colours of the new iPods in case you were wondering.

[5:07] 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi is $329, $429 and $529 respectively and the Cellular model is $459 $559 $659 respectively. Pre-orders open on the 26th and the Wi-Fi models ship by November 2, with Cellular models shipping a few weeks later.

[5:08] Australia is a launch country! STRAYA!

[5:08] Here’s the new TV ad for the iPad mini.

[5:09] HUGE cheers for that one. It was pretty clever.


Apple In 2012

[5:09] Tim is coming back up now. So we’ve seen new Macs and two new iPads. What else could there be?

[5:10] Tim is recapping 2012 for Apple. It’s certainly been a big year.

[5:12] Tim giving all the staff at Apple a big bear hug for being so darn clever and hard working.

[5:13] Are there tears coming…?

[5:13] And now it’s time for the hands-on!

[5:13] That’s all she wrote, folks!

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