This morning brought goodies and toys to all girls and boys in Apple’s realm of influence. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spent a few minutes going over some very impressive numbers like 25 Billion app installs, 350+ Million iOS devices sold-to-date, and 62 Million sold in quarter four 2011. Wow. Apple’s stock finished up for the day. Historically, the stock price takes a hit during big reveals due to rampant pre-keynote speculation by wannabe analysts who expect rainbows and unicorns. Instead of bitter disappointment, Apple was able to instill a sense of satisfaction into the audience with all of the new hardware and software from today’s keynote.
Apple TV Revision 3
First up in the keynote was the Apple TV. For a couple years now, bloggers have suggested that Apple will release an actual TV instead of Digital Media Receiver. Read why we think Apple should never step into TVs. This time around, Apple stuck to the DMR. Without much fanfare, they bumped the output to 1080p and simplified the interface. All current Apple TVs can get the software update (but not the 1080p output). We were a little disappointed in the Apple TV update. It could’ve been much more… but hopefully Apple is perfecting the TV revolution. We expect it to be much more that “just a hobby” for Apple in the near future.
The new iPad
Next up on the hardware side was “The new iPad.” Instead of changing the numerical qualifier, they just decided to put “The new” in front… we think it’s going to be confusing for everyone. Moving onto the updates, we have a new retina display that measures 2048 x 1536 pixels, a faster A5X processor, a 5MP rear camera that shoots 1080p video, 4G LTE compatibility and speech recognition (not Siri). While those features are certainly impressive, it’s really an evolutionary update to the iPad line. Rumormongers predicted all of the changes without much effort. Schools and enterprise customers will be happy to learn that the iPad 2 will be sold along side The new iPad for $100 off the original sticker price.
A boatload of software
In addition to new hardware, we saw every Apple app in the iOS environment receive updates to handle all of the new features announced during the keynote. Here are some of the updates: iOS 5.1 for all compatible devices, iWork for iOS, iLife for iOS, Remote, Find my iPhone, iBooks… the list goes on.
One of the best updates for enterprise happened in the background; Apple introduced a new app called Configurator. This new app allows enterprise customers to mass configure 30 iOS devices at a time — including data transfers and app installations. We’ve literally been waiting years for that to happen.
If you’d like to learn more about today’s announcements, the main page over at TUAW is a great resource.