5 reasons Apple's iPad Air event means more than you thought

Apple [AAPL] is everywhere following its most recent product announcements, which tell us a lot about the company's future intentions.

Apple iPad Air and Apple's future plans

[ABOVE: Apple's latest ad suggests it sees the iPad Air becoming as pervasive as a pencil or pen. That's a big market: around 1.5 billion pens are made each year. Estimates for pencils vary.]

iPad Air: Incremental is enough

Lighter, faster, thinner, but critics whimpered that if you own an iPad 4, the iPad Air may not justify the upgrade.

I say these critics need to think harder.

They've neglected:

  • A huge number of older iPads are in the hands of people who love them, but who've never purchased a new iPad.
  • iPad resale values remain high.
  • iPads are personal devices -- every member of the family will eventually have one.
  • These powerful tablets are more appealing to enterprise and creative customers.

The new iPads hit an expanding market at a time of transition from PC to tablet. The best tablets available today, their 64-bit support means they will remain so until the next iPad upgrade.

They'll sell millions.

The Mac Pro is nude

It seems counter-intuitive that we now have a Mac Pro capable of driving multiple 4K displays -- but Apple doesn't sell one.

It appears Apple provided 4K displays manufactured by Sharp with the pre-release seed units it distributed in recent months. A 9to5Mac interview with photographer Lucas Gilman reveals: "I got to try the Mac Pro unit with a Sharp 4K display."

The conclusions?

It is possible Apple needs higher 4K display yields before it can ship affordable products with 4K displays.

Free

The move to offer Mavericks for free surprised many-- they should have known this has been Apple's intention since July 2011 when a SEC filing told us it had begun deferring a small portion of Mac sales revenue to account for "unspecified software upgrades and features free of charge to customers."

This is that unspecified software upgrade.

It places another pillar of superiority between Apple and Microsoft. The latter cannot easily offer its OS for free, as it doesn't manufacture hardware.

Apple's decision to offer iLife and iWork for free with all new systems means it now offers a fully connected Post-PC-compatible creative and productivity platform that's compatible with most current systems.

It's easy to see this as a threat to Microsoft, but it also takes on Google and Google Docs. Who in their right mind would want to work on confidential documents using a free solution that scans the content of your documents in order to sell you ads? I'll leave that answer to the NSA.

Not just this, but there's no fragmentation in Apple's ecosystem -- you can work on a document on almost any Apple system, and share it too.

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is the iPad Air. As 64-bit creative apps appear across the next 12-months, don't be too surprised to see notebook sales cannibalized. This is still the beginning.

Optical drive

That business is finished.

Google+? If you're one of those who likes to use social media and also happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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