With a trio of surprises, Cook and company burnish Apple

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!


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.


Topic: Apple

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • erm

    no they didnt....

    everyone of the announcements were leaked before the event... even the new ipad with thunderbolt adapter.
    • Really?

      Where were the articles going on about the fusion drive, thinner iMacs, retina 13" MacBook pros and refreshed Mac minis?
      • ...

        Just for you Mr Fanboy....

        Retina Macbook Pro - Reported October 15th

        Mac Mini - Reported October 15th

        New thin Imac - Reported October 15th

        As for Fusion... its marketing BS.. a hard drive can not read any faster than its maximum read / write speeds no matter what you fan boys believe.

        In the words of my fav TV show (spartacus blood and sand...) Remove ones head from arse...
        • Yes and no.

          Did these stories come out before the products were announced? Yes, I'll give you that. It wasn't an airtight announcement.

          Is one week enough to declare, "We knew all along!"? No, I don't think that's reasonable.
          • erm

            If you find out about a suprise party a day before is it no longer a suprise? Yes it is.....

            Did these ruin any "suprise"? Yes they did.. That is what the post was about and the fanboy above tried to deny.

            FYI these could have been out longer, i just took the 1st result from Bing.
  • Not a big deal

    some of us actually find Apple products sterile and boring ... But, at least they have something for the faithful.
  • Aahhhh!!! Oohhhhh!!! :O

    ...a REFRESHED iPad!!! And a 7 inches mini-iPad that will rock where everyone else has (not) failed!!!
    And. Ehm. An iBook.

    Now, I can't sleep ai night.
    For the excitement, you know.
  • I'm buying 4 iPad mini's

    Christmas shopping has never been easier.
    • ...no imagination at all...

      ... pitty for you.....
  • Apple is doing it again and you guys are all falling for it

    Do you guys remember when Sammy got in trouble for reporting that their smartphones were really thin but it turned out that the camera bulged out a bit and that if you measured the phone at the camera, it actually wasn't as thin as Sammy was claiming? (my apologies if this wasn't Sammy , but I'm pretty sure it was)
    • part 2

      cr@pple is pulling the EXACT same stunt and all the bloggers are going nuts over it. Blog after blog is reporting that the new iMac is 5mm thin. This made no sense to me, I found it very hard to believe that standard components like HDDs could fit in this space. I was right. The iMac isn't 5mm thin although cr@pple is being very coy about releasing the real thickness of the iMac.
    • part 3

      (from cr@pple's iMac design page)
      "Yet it’s just 5 mm thin at its edge"
    • part 4

      How about a company sticks a razor blade at the edge of their monitor and now it is the thinnest monitor ever?

      This is so confusing because people will order an iMac online and get it home and find out that no, it is not 5mm. Mass confusion.

      (names mangled to get past spam filter)
      • Well it looks like 5 mm...

        People usually see their computer straight from the front or from the front with an angle. That means it will look like 5 mm, unless you start moving behind the computer or try to nail it to a wall. It is a bit unfriendly to have the USB, Thunderbolt etc on the back side, but I guess if you pay top $$$ for a designed computer you want to use wireless.
        • My point is that this computer is not 5mm thick


          "The new Reception Desk Mac is just 5-mm thick which is 80 percent thinner than current models"


          " the new iMac sports a 5mm edge on the display and is 80 percent thinner than the previous generation."

          It is NOT 80% thinner, it is NOT 5mm.
      • You know, you could just use "Apple."

        Just saying.
        • I thought I was clear about why I mangled company names

          In the past, I've found that mentioning company names too often in a post would result in the spam filter catching it. By mangling the company names, it would almost always make it past the spam filter. That's why I did it.

          Today though, ZDNet's spam filter seems to be working in overdrive and many of our posts are not getting through.

          So no, historically speaking I have NOT been able to just use that company that you mentioned, or ZDNet wouldn't accept the post.
  • Hurt feelings

    Mr. Nusca?
    Im pretty sure he can call said company what ever he likes, unless you know zdnet has now become a dictatorship!
    Just saying.