We got a glimpse of what Apple's next big product refresh would be with the announcement of iOS 7 and the preview of OSX Mavericks earlier this year. Since then users have been able to play around with the beautiful iOS 7 and bite their nails in expectation for the new Mac OS. Now that the new iPhone 5s and 5c have been on the streets for a few weeks a huge wave of newness has flown from Cupertino.
First, the release of Mavericks—Free
Apple has jumpstarted the OSX upgrade schedule and have come out with a significant upgrade each year now since Lion launched. The company has also announced that all future updates to the OS will be free. This announcement is fantastic when compared to Lion's upgrade cost of $29.99 two years ago and even more when you consider how much windows users have to pay even to get out of Windows XP or Vista. This long term, fast-paced—free—upgrade policy means that users are going to be able to expect some vigor in their products in the coming years.
Beyond that, Apple will now be offering iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) as well as iLife for free with the purchase of a new Mac (or iOS versions with compatible products). All of these apps have been overhauled for Mavericks and given a new breath of life in terms of UI and features.
iPad mini could probably now be considered a prototype of what Apple has been planning to do with iPad for years. Phil Schiller, who unveiled the new iPad alluded to this model being in the works for years. iPad Air brings the best of the iPad mini to the 9.7" screen but also adds the 64-Bit A7 chip and slew of other hardware upgrades to the mix including a new camera and antenna system. When you look at the power of the iPhone 5s, iPad Air as well as the new Mac Pro it's easy to see why Apple has just unleashed a powerhouse of products here in 2013 just in time for the holidays. Mobile devices are now as powerful as desktop PCs and desktops are now able to do herculean tasks at blazing speeds.
Consumers should be able to take advantage of these new hardware and software lineups to reach a professional level of power, while pro users are going to find themselves, perhaps, with more power than they now what to do with.