I've just seen the Apple show of all the various shiny shiny new items which will be hitting the stores in time for the end of year festivities.
I paid attention, because I'm in the market for a new iMac. A short time ago I even prepared but then cancelled an order on the basis that the new box was just around the corner.
It raises an interesting point though, because pretty much all of the Macs I've ever owned are still quite usable and have been pressed into service as secondary devices or hand-me-downs.
Not so with the old PCs, which have usually managed to develop some kind of unrecoverable fault or collapsed under the burden of operating system updates. There's still a variety of boxes and bits in the garage from various unsuccessful resuscitation attempts.
With the Macs, the main failure has been disk drives which eventually either get full or have needed replacement - oh and occasional new batteries. My relatively ancient 15inch Powerbook still works but has had a disk upgrade. It is still used for mainly music related projects but runs a very recognisable version of the Mac system.
And similar updates to a few of the other boxes right up to my current shape 'early 2008' iMac. It just won't handle the new very fast external disk for video editing.
It's still quite interesting seeing the rest of the new stuff announced. The iPad refresh was inevitable, based upon the predictable introduction of the new Lightning connector across the range. The old Apple connector - like the two I have in my car for iPod and iPhone - is now becoming a legacy connection.
The new iPad mini has been talked about for months and notwithstanding the price differential, there should be quite a tablet market share scramble leading to the end of the year.
It raises some questions though...
- Is the new refresh cycle now as low as six months for this technology? The iPad 3 only lasted 6 months before the iPad 4 appeared.
- Will the thinning down of all the devices mean that there really are no user replaceable parts? Check out the new case on the iMac and the circa 1mm thick battery in the new iPad mini.
- Presumably the new designs have considered heat? I've had a couple of timecapsules die from what seems to be heat related component fatigue.
- Will the iPad mini game-change smaller tablets - I've preferred a Kindle for reading because the iPad was too heavy, not very readable in sunlight and a bit expensive to get sand in.
- And will the iPad mini be more or less a 'consumption' device rather than one for 'creation'?