You got this one right, too, Internet: It is indeed the iPad mini, and it’s $329.
If you’re looking for a surprise here, you won’t find it. As predicted, Apple delivered a smaller version of the tablet it first brought out in April 2010.
And, earlier this morning, Tim Cook announced that Apple had sold 100 million of the full-sized ones since then.
So why buy the new one? Apple’s messaging today comes down to two basic ideas:
The iPad mini is just as good as the regular iPads.
The iPad mini is much better than the smaller tablets you’ve seen from Amazon and Google.
Is that enough? Earlier in his presentation, Cook argued convincingly that consumers didn’t have much interest in rival tablets, boasting that 91 percent of all Web traffic on tablets comes from iPads. But, as we now know, Apple’s own executives think there’s value in a smaller tablet, even if Steve Jobs publicly disagreed.
But while we obsess over the details that Tim Cook and company unveil at the California Theatre in San Jose this morning, it’s worth keeping the big picture in mind: How will Apple convince consumers to buy a smaller version of the thing they have already bought 84 million times?
There seems to be a pretty good business case for Apple here: Google and Amazon are making increasingly attractive mini tablets. And even if those gadgets don’t appear to be making much of a dent in iPad sales so far, there’s no reason to let them have the minipad market to themselves.
But that’s all behind-the-scenes stuff. For the past two years, Apple has been telling consumers that the tablet it makes is perfect for use at home, at work and on the road. So, what does a smaller version of the same thing have to offer?
We’ll get to hear Apple make its case very soon. Tune in below for live coverage. You can also watch the event stream in real time, as long as you have an Apple computer, Apple TV or iOS device.
Greetings! Typing at you live from San Jose. In theory, Apple event should kick off in 10 minutes.
9:53 am: Time to play “name that song.” Currently in rotation: Something that sounds like El DeBarge. Though pretty sure it isn’t.
9:54 am: Also have time to introduce my fellow ATD writers, who are also on hand to contribute live reports. Say hello to John “The Brow” Paczkowski, Bonnie “Boom Boom” Cha, and Adam Tow, who is so cool he doesn’t need a nickname.
(FYI, Adam is the guy who takes all the great photos you’re seeing. He’s also the guy who keeps the site running. Good guy to suck up to.)
9:56 am: Interesting. SoundHound works even with the din in here. So I can tell you we’re now listening to something called “It’s Time” by something called Imagine Dragons. (Sounds like Simple Minds, for you oldsters.)
10:00 am: And we’re on. Here’s Tim Cook. Loud applause.
10:01 am: Cook intro-ing. “Really exciting things to show you.”
Update time, beginning with iPhone.
Superlatives for iPhone 5 opening-weekend sales, which we’ve heard about.
Now a video of people buying phones at Apple stores.
Buying an iPhone 5 was very, very exciting. Even more so if you had a thumping, soaring soundtrack behind you as you made your purchase.
No ugly people bought iPhone 5s opening weekend.
10:04 am: Cook is back onstage.
Now recapping intro of iPod touch, nano. Shoutout to The Verge, which is apparently off the Apple shitlist.
Sold three million new iPod touches, nanos.
iOS 6 now on 200 million devices.
“Fastest upgrade rate” of any device “we’re aware of.”
More feature recaps.
125 million documents “in the Cloud.” Wonder if that includes music files.
300 billion iMessages in last year. [Applause] 28,000 per second.
160 million Game Center accounts. (I have one. Have never used it.)
70 million photos shared.
App store: Last month, 700,000 iOS apps. Now 275,000 iPad apps. Both numbers “growing,” Cook says.
New milestone: 35 billion apps downloaded.
“This is jaw-dropping.”
$6.5 billion paid out to developers. Someone back that math out, and you can figure out total app sales.
iBooks: 1.5 million titles available.
Cook is uptempo, selling hard this morning. Bezos-like.
New version of iBooks out today. “Really cool new reading option”: Continuous scrolling. A few “ahs” from the crowd.
New sharing feature with Facebook, Twitter.
Now supports Japanese, Chinese text.
“You’re going to love it.”
On to the Mac. Apple outgrew the PC market, 15 percent to 2 percent, in the last year. Been doing that for six years.
Because everyone everywhere says Mac is the best.
10:14 am: Going to continue innovating with Mac. So here’s Phil Schiller to talk about it. [Loud applause]
MacBook: 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was perhaps the best we’ve made. Engadget, The Verge, Wired all praised us.
But No. 1-selling notebook, and Mac, is 13-inch MacBook Pro. “Just perfect for so many uses.”
So we’re going to “introduce something so much better.”
Here’s the 13-inch MacBook Pro. [Loud applause]
.75-inch thin. Look, it’s 20 percent thinner than the last model. At 3.5 pounds, it’s “almost a pound lighter” than the last one.
“Look how thin it is.”
Bye-bye, optical drive.
Retina display, like all of you said it would have.
2,560 by 1,660 pixels.
“Second-highest-resolution notebook display.” 15-inch Macbook is highest.
Schiller is trying to tell us that you’ll get a better image on your notebook than on your HDTV.
“Surfing the Web could be like a fine print magazine.”
Great for photographers. Lots of Retina-optimized apps.
“But there’s a lot more”: Better speakers, HD camera, etc.
On to the innards: “Everything about the new MacBook Pro has been reengineered from scratch.”
Chips: Intel Ivy Bridge, Intel HD Graphics.
“It is a fantastic computer.”
10:22 am: Meanwhile! Eagle-eyed John Paczkowski points out that on the right side of the stage, there appears to be something draped in black cloth on a black stand. If you squint and hope, you could imagine something like a big monitor under there …
This sounds like The Jam in the background. Wonder if that’s right.
This isn’t just a shrunken iPad, says Jony Ive. If we just shrunk it, you’d notice “loss.” This is not just a “reduction of the original.”
More spec talk.
(Apple isn’t arguing that there’s anything you can do with this — short of holding it one-handed — that you can’t already do with the devices it is already selling. And that alone may be enough for some people. But I assume that the price will be the real kicker here.)
11:05 am: Schiller back.
Comes with its own line of covers (optional).
Starts at 16GB. $329 for Wi-Fi only.
Still selling iPad 2 at $399.
Preorder starts Friday. W-Fi ships next week. Two weeks later, shipping Wi-Fi + cellular.
And here comes a TV ad.
Not a word. Very smart.
11:09 am: Schiller off, Cook on.
2012 wrap-up. “We told you earlier this year you would see some incredible innovation this year … we think we kept our promise.”
Sparing you recap of things we’re already heard about today. My hunch: No one more thing today. Hope I’m wrong!
“Yes, it has been an incredible year.”
“A truly prolific year of innovation for Apple.”
Shout-outs to Apple employees. “They dedicate a huge part of their lives to making the best products on Earth.”
Applause. Cook beams.
“These are the most talented and innovative people I know, and it is a privilege to work with them”
11:12 am: And that’s a wrap.
Closing music from Jack Black, via his new “Blunderbuss” album, which is excellent. [Correction: That's Jack White, of course. Thanks to reader RichardL for noting.]