Micromart’s David Crookes notes that Apple launched its new iPad lines last month with impeccable timing: just as Microsoft began to sell its new Surface devices and a few hours after Nokia launched the Lumia 2520 tablet, and just in time for the Christmas market. He says Apple is doing just about enough to stay ahead of the tablet game, even if the hardware is so much more expensive than many of the alternatives, citing the iPad Air, which at 7.5mm is 43% thinner than the previous model, and it comes packed with a 5MP camera and an A7 chip, which is twice as fast as before.
The iPad mini’s 7.9” screen now has Retina display resolution and it also has the speedy A7 chip, plus improved wi-fi and a battery life extending to ten hours. Crookes predicts that the improvements should trigger good upgrade sales and get iPad shipments growing again.
Meanwhile, the Mac is back, or actually it never went away, but now the range has been improved, and the new operating system, OS X Mavericks, is a free download. Free Mavericks will ensure that the latest Mac hardware devices remain the Apple of tech fans’ eyes, while pipping Microsoft to the post in bringing productivity software to iPad owners closes the door on a huge opportunity for its rival. Crookes notes that Microsoft generates 96% of its operating margins from operating system and productivity software licensing, and Apple is now teaching people to expect both of those things to be free, and cites Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum observing that “While this won’t disrupt Microsoft’s business overnight, it will create further pressure on Microsoft to bring down prices for its productivity software and especially for Windows.”
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