While many consumers were watching the Apple announcement yesterday for details of the new iPad they are planning to put at the top of their Christmas list, the most interesting product revealed was the new Mac Pro.
The upgraded Mac Pro is a canister-like device, and its tech specs put it right at the top of the range. Starting from £2,499, so does the price.
In the presentation on the device, Apple had reviews from photographers, filmmakers, and music producers who were using the device, and it is clearly aimed at the high end professional market. After years focusing on consumer products like iPods, iPhones, iPads and laptops, this is a bit of a return for Apple, who really came to prominence as the go-to brand for the creative industries. There are doubtless film companies, recording studios and creative agencies ordering the new Mac Pro as I type.
Having high-end products like this also reaffirms Apple’s status as a luxury brand. When you see everyone and their toddler with a MacBook Air or an iPad it loses some of its exclusivity and appeal. The Mac Pro shows that Apple is not just churning out affordable consumer products, but producing beautifully constructed pieces of technology that people will want to aspire too. In the phone market Apple are being challenged by cheaper but equally powerful alternatives, yesterday showed they are still the brand for high-end computing design.
The new iPad Airs seem to be a highly desirable product too, and with the announcement of the arrival of an 128GB iPad mini there really is no need to compromise on either screen size or capacity – you can have exactly the iPad you want. It did seem an odd branding decision to call the upgraded device the iPad Air though. The iPad has become such an iconic device and brand that to add anything (other than perhaps a number) seems to be confusing the issue for consumers and weakening the brand.
As ever there were grumbles about what Apple didn’t announce, like no touch ID on iPads for example, but what it did announce reaffirmed that Apple is still the ultimate brand in computing and consumer electronics.