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Apple's new iPads and Retina iMac: 'Empty calories' or nutritious adds to portfolio?

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 17, 2014
With selective price cuts, Apple preps for holidays with a phone-tablet-PC line-up that covers all the bases, say analysts.

But the big question of the day -- were today's iPad changes enough to rejuvenate sales, which have slumped this year compared to 2013 -- remained unanswered, or at least was still in the air.

Gottheil didn't think Apple did enough. "No, the only place where the boost may come from is the lower entry price [of the original iPad Mini]," he said. "Today was such an incremental step."

Milanesi disagreed. "You do have things that matter," she said, of additions like Touch ID, the increased storage space and even the new gold color choice to jostle some current iPad owners to refresh.

In the end, the question of whether iPad sales jump back to prior growth marks -- as unlikely as that may be -- was overshadowed, the analysts said, by the breadth of Apple's entire line, with the revisions to its tablets, top- and bottom-end Macs and particularly the enhancements to iOS and OS X as demonstrated by Continuity.

"Whether its iMessage or docs or moving from one to another, truly Apple has a differentiated experience," said Moorhead of Apple's portfolio, from the iPhone to iPad to Mac. "This is what consumers want and Apple is the only one delivering on that continuous experience across products. Others, like Google and Microsoft, are delivering pieces, but not all of it."

"It's all about the line-up," echoed Milanesi "It's all about that they're not a one-device company. It's all about the experience, building a user base that wants more than one device when all those devices take advantage of that ecosystem."


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