With a trio of surprises, Cook and company burnish Apple

Summary:Apple introduced a long-expected iPad mini but also unexpected refreshes for its full-size iPad, 13-inch MacBook Pro and iMac. Quelle surprise!

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I'll make this quick.

Yesterday, Apple announced the iPad mini, a long-rumored and widely expected device. Though it didn't send out invitations to the press event until just a week ago, many in the tech press rightly suspected that the device was the reason for a second (live-streamed!) press event in the fourth quarter, something Apple doesn't typically do.

Here's what they didn't suspect: a new, Retina display-clad 13-inch MacBook Pro; a refreshed full-size iPad; a redesigned iMac. All in the fourth week of October.

Just two weeks ago, I wrote a piece here at ZDNet criticizing Apple for becoming sloppy with its product roll-outs. From the iPhone 5 to the Maps fiasco, the company in Cupertino has not exactly been executing at its highest level this year. It's been a bit rocky, to say the least.

The iPad mini reveal doesn't change that, but the choice of hosting a second press event during the quarter and the surprise of three additional major new products -- the iPad itself, along with a new version of its most popular laptop computer, and hey, why not a desktop computer, too? -- helps correct that a bit. Keeping those products a surprise helps preserve excitement leading into a quarter that's critical for any retailer.

These things tend to be planned well in advance, which means that Apple employees in-the-know probably smirked when they read my original piece. (C'est la vie.) So, credit where credit's due: you surprised us, Apple, just when we thought you couldn't manage it anymore.

Bravo.

Topics: Apple

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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