Dear Clients & Friends,
As you may have heard, Apple held an event in Cupertino today to talk about the future of the Mac platform and announce some new hardware. Some of this news is quite interesting, and we wanted to share our thoughts about it with you.
First up is the next release of Mac OS X, called Mavericks. The new OS (10.9) was released to the public today, and in a move that caught many of us by surprise, they’re releasing it free to anyone with a machine that can run it. If you have a machine running 10.6.8 that meets the requirements (iMac from Mid 2007 or later, Laptops from 2008 or later, Mac Pros from 2008 or later), you can download and install Mavericks for free.
Mavericks is mainly an update that provides performance increases. I’m seeing about 90 minutes more battery life per charge under the last pre-release edition, which is substantial, and there are some significant improvements in the Finder (file tagging) and general OS, including how it handles multiple-monitor setups.
The free release of Mavericks has some wide-ranging effects that we’ll be talking with in the near future, but for the moment we would recommend holding off on upgrading. With the upgrade, Apple’s servers will be deluged with users rushing to download, and there may be claim and activation issues in downloading it right away.
We would recommend waiting a week at least to let the dust settle, and we can help you make sure that Mavericks can be deployed across your entire office without wrecking your bandwidth, and without wrecking anyone’s working environment.
Second up is the release of new MacBooks Pro. Apple upgraded the MacBook Pro with Retina Display with new, faster processors, as well as faster onboard solid state storage to make for significant increases in battery life, operating speed, and overall performance. If you’ve been holding on to an older generation of MacBook Pro, this would be the time to buy. The new hardware has been released to the purchasing channels today, and we’re happy to help you identify which MacBook Pro is right for you. The best part of the upgrades? They’ve dropped the price on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. 13” models start at $1299, and 15” models start at $1999, a drop of $200 per machine.
Apple will still ship an old-style MacBook Pro, but with these new Retina machines at their current prices, I can’t fathom wanting to buy one.
Third up is the new announcement of a release date for new Mac Pros. If you’ve been waiting on bated breath for a new desktop workstation with proper power, December is your month, as Apple releases the new Mac Pro. It comes in 4, 6, 8 and 12-core models, is as quiet as the current Mac mini, and comes with dual GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports for expansion, and supports up to 3 full-resolution 4K displays. It will start at $2999, with the 4 and 6 core versions arriving in December, and the rest shipping in 2014.
Fourth is the upgrade of Apple’s iWork and iLife suites. They will have new versions in the App Store for iOS and Mac OS today, and if you have purchased a new Mac or iPhone, those upgrades are free. In addition, they will be free on all new Macs, while existing Macs will have an upgrade option through the Mac App Store.
Lastly, Apple refreshed the iPad line today. At the top of the line is the iPad Air, a thinner, lighter version of the iPad you’ve come to know and love, at the same pricepoint ($499 with WiFi/$629 with WiFi + LTE) as before. It is 20% thinner, and about 30% lighter, weighing in at just one pound. In the middle of the line is the new Retina version of the iPad mini, which will stay at the same at $399/$529. It features a new Retina display, which is double the resolution of the old version. At the bottom of the line, Apple is keeping the iPad 2 ($399) and the iPad mini ($299) available for those who want budget tablets.