- iPhone SE: Unexciting but necessary update. Bumping the price by $30 seems like classic Apple penny-pinching, but is more likely due to the addition of 5G. The design is looking a tad dated, but for people who prefer Touch ID, this is it.
- iPad Air: I don’t know why anyone would buy the 11″ iPad Pro now. This should be the “regular” iPad but Apple is pitching it exactly as if it was a “Pro” model. Muddled marketing at its best. Yes, there are differences between this and the 11″ Pro, but they are mostly meaningless. I almost wonder if Apple is going to kill off the 11″ model altogether. They seem to like equating “Pro” to size (which is dumb).
- Green iPhone 13: It’s green. Do new colors midway between models really goose sales? I guess they must. Also, the sizzle reel showing off the color was almost disturbing with its jagged, sharp-edged imagery that also included a praying mantis because I guess they’re green?
- Baseball on Apple TV+. Timing is embarrassing, with the season start in limbo due to a labor dispute. Also, boring. Sorry, baseball fans.
- Mac Studio: Basically a phat Mac mini, but given that the Intel Mac mini lives on in the line-up, this is not intended to be a replacement for a higher end Mac mini, but its own thing, an in-between machine that sits between the mini and the Mac Pro. I think Apple got this mostly right. The top end model is expensive, but cheaper than the current Mac Pro, so I guess that’s some kind of progress. Apple actually put ports on the front. The world did not end. Why did it take decades for Apple to get over its form before function fetish? I don’t know. But this is a solid little powerhouse.
- On the other hand, the new Studio Display is overpriced and loaded with dubious features (does it really need a good sound system with spatial audio?) The worst aspect is the included stand is literally the terrible tilt-only stand used on the 24″ iMac and if you want something height-adjustable (you know, like every other monitor on Earth) it will cost $400 extra ($500 Canadian). This is obscene and disgraceful. I honestly don’t know how Tim Cook can justify this kind of consumer-hostile bullshit. A height-adjustable stand is table stakes, not a premium extra. Absolutely disgusting, the nadir of everything Apple has come to represent at its worst. I think it casts a pall over everything they announced. Yes, I have strong opinions on this!
Overall, I am getting kind of tired of these events. Really, everything could have been a press release, none of it was particularly noteworthy. The Mac Studio is nice, but not really a revolution, it just demonstrates that Apple can sometimes move beyond its conservative timidity with its product lines. And even now people out there will be crying that it makes the line confusing and no one will know what to buy, etc. Bah.
On a scale of 1 to 10 Polishing Cloths, I rate this event 4 out of 10 Polishing Cloths.