Apple has had an evolutionary year. A year where they have realigned all of their technologies and marketing and are preparing for the competitive landscape ahead.
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Apple’s seemingly awkward but actually stellar year


Much of what has been announced this year from Apple has been expected. We got our colored iPhones, fingerprint sensors, and today, Mac Pros and thinner iPads. But what I think is being missed in all of the hubbub and subsequent analyst panic that will likely follow, is the fact that this is a transitional year for Apple. The evidence is in front of us.


Let’s start with today’s software announcements. Apple updated many of their own apps, including both the iWork and iLife suites, while making them free with the purchase of new hardware. In one announcement this tells us that they are as serious now about software as they have ever been, while also ready to gut the competition with free updates. Apple is looking to the future and realizes now more than ever that software is a large part of their user-experience, and one that can give them an exceptional competitive edge if it were to be given away for free. It’s hard to compete with free, and it makes sure that customer base is up-to-date.

This year we saw an evolution of Apple’s current hardware offerings. They are laying groundwork for a shift to come. The marketing of the iPhone was split. We now have two models, instead of merely moving last year’s model down the line as they have in years past, we now have two independent designs. This is very similar to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines and they way Apple markets them.


That of course, leads to today’s big announcements—the new iPads. Much in the same way that Apple divided the iPhone into two new lines, they have done the same with iPad. Now we have the large, but considerably lighter, iPad Air, and a new, revamped iPad mini. The thing to consider most though, is that along with the iPhone 5S, both iPads now also sport a 64-bit processor. Sure, improvements are seen now, but this suggests that Apple is positioning their iOS devices as serious workstation replacements within the next few years.


In short, it would seem that Apple is using the entirety of 2013 to tidy up, and reposition all of their main products and product lines for the fight ahead. With new software, much of which is free (to ensure that it makes its way into hands as possible), and new architectures to back it up (both on the Mac, but more significantly on iOS devices) we can clearly see that Apple is looking ahead at 2014 and beyond, and has the competition in their sights.


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