At a recent event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, Apple announced the introduction of new features and accompanying price changes for old favourite products like the iPad Pro and Mac Book.
It was announced that Apple’s higher-end tablet and direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface, the iPad Pro, will be upgraded with thinner bezels (the outside edge of the screen display), more screen space, and have the same face unlock system that’s found on Apple’s newer iPhones.
Also, a USB-C port on the improved iPad Pro means that it can be hooked up to peripherals / an external monitor for the first time. This fact, combined with its ability to work with a keyboard, makes the iPad Pro more like a laptop competitor too.
The improvements will be reflected in a price increase for 11 and 12.9 inch models, although the 10.5-inch version will remain at $649 (£510).
Mac Book Air
The Mac Book Air, which was originally released 7 years ago, will also be re-released with improvements including a higher-resolution display and thinner bezels. The price will be increased by $200 to reflect the improvements to $1,199 (£1,570).
Software Partnerships Too
Apple is also keen to highlight how partnerships with popular software companies Adobe and Autodesk Inc enables their programs to work on Apple’s iPad Pro, thereby adding value and improving user experience. For example, the new iPad Pro will feature a full version of Adobe Photoshop.
Why The Big Improvements?
There are several reasons for the product boosts, including:
- Poorer than expected sales. For example, July brought the worst quarter of Mac sales since 2010 (unit volumes down 13% year over year), and iPad unit sales only rose by 1% from the previous year. Revenue for both the Mac and the iPad fell 5% from the previous year.
- To take advantage of the holiday shopping season. It is thought that the new, improved versions of the old favourite products will be on the shelves by November 7th, just in time for Christmas buyers.
- Extending the life-cycle of products that have a good reputation anyway. Apple products are generally held in high regard and adding a bit of excitement to old favourites and giving them a boost back into the limelight can help to extend their life and their contribution to the company’s profits. For example, the older Apple product lines still accounted for $45 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal quarter.
- Making the most of what are still market favourites. For example, Mac sales growth has outpaced the PC market, and the iPad has been the most successful tablet on the market.
News Products Too
Only last month, Apple introduced new iPhones and Apple Watches.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Many businesses trust, like, are used to (and are prepared to pay for) the reliability and usability of Apple products, and having improved features on products that they’re used to and trust anyway is bound to be an advantage.
For Apple, it’s an opportunity to get out of a slight slump and get more leverage out of some of their old and trusted favourites that are still capable of being profitable. Some of the improvements also enable the products to become more versatile and to compete in other market segments.