October 16, 2014 Last Updated 2:01 pm

Apple event introduces new iPad models with upgraded specs, new 27-inch retina iMac model

New iPad models will feature the same 16 GB of storage as the previous models, though the second tier does go up to 64GB (same changes as with the iPhone)

The latest Apple iPad event was a bit of a snooze, with all of Apple’s thunder stolen by product leaks (something Apple joked about during the event). There was no “one more thing” moment as the company did not announce an update to the Apple TV, nor any more details on when they plan to launch the Apple Watch.

(Apple did say that they would be releasing an Apple Watch SDK, called WatchKit, in November, which will allow for third party apps for the smart watch to be released still “in early 2015.”)

iPadmodels-newAs for the new iPads, you can read all the details at every tech site on the planet, but for publishers the important news is that the entry level model of the iPad will remain at 16 GB of storage, far too little to be useful for digital books and publications, nor for storing much video material. The second tier, like the iPhone, goes up to 64 GB.

Apple, as predicted, is selling thinness as its biggest sales point for the new iPad models – as if consumers were clamoring for thinner tablets, and not improvements to battery life, storage, sound and other features Apple just doesn’t want to deliver. (Look for the fringe tech site to start bending new iPads and declaring Bendgate 2.)

Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned at the beginning of the iPad presentation that the company had sold 225 million iPads to date. That is in line with what analysts were expecting sales to be at – meaning that Apple is still struggling with flat to decreasing iPad sales. At the end of the last quarter 211.57 million iPads. Apple will release its earnings on Monday and will announce sales figures at that time – look for good news on iPhone sales and predictably bad news on iPad sales. These new iPads will not get many consumers excited.

imac_retina_large_2Another segment of the presentation involved a new iMac with retina display, a machine guaranteed to make every website out there look terrible. The tech reporters on hand, and there seemed to be far fewer of them invited this time around, were enthusiastic until the entry price of $2499 was mentioned, then they realized that their bosses would never approve a new Mac for them and they better resign themselves to their existing machines.

A much needed spec bump for the Mac mini was also introduced. The entry price for the mini also went down. But what wasn’t mentioned was that the chip in the low-end model is a 1.4GHz dual-core i5. The second level features a 2.6GHz chip.

As for software, Apple will be releasing the new Mac OS X Yosemite today, and an update to iOS 8 (iOS 8.1) on Monday, the same day Apple Pay goes live.

In the end, there was absolutely no need for the event to have taken place, and no need for any media companies to have attended. All the announcements could have been handled with a series of press releases and nothing much missed. Just as Apple felt that its keynotes at the old Macworld trade show no longer served any real purpose, these Apple events are losing their magic.

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