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Apple Debuts New iPad and iMac, Jokes with Stephen Colbert

Apple's presentation today was short on music-related news, surprise or otherwise (though a surprise appearance from Stephen Colbert helped to lighten the mood).

From a presentation room markedly smaller than its iPhone announcement last month (if the echo of claps are to be trusted, at least) Apple CEO Tim Cook began his company’s presentation — centered mostly around a new iteration of the company’s iPad line — by touting the company’s Chinese sales and pre-orders of iPhones, saying that the new device was its fastest-selling edition. China is a market that media companies from film to music are increasingly focused on as that country’s middle class continues to develop.


The singular mention of music was an off-hand comment from Cook when talking about the Pay system; “Find those pair of beats headphones you want? I’ve been wanting these a long time and Jimmy [Iovine, co-founder of Beats] won’t give me them!” Cook also seemed to tamp down expectations around Apple’s watch, saying the device is “as much about personal expression as it is about functionality.”

Not mentioned during the presentation was Ticketmaster’s integration with the Apple Pay system, scheduled to be live by the end of the year.


Stephen Colbert — Apple’s new security czar — made an appearance during Craig Federighi‘s presentation around OS X, referring to Tim Cook under his facetious codename “Honeycrisp.”

The new iPad, the less-than breezily named iPad Air 2, is 18% thinner than the previous version, with faster provessing and graphics capabilities. It also incorporates Touch ID and Apple Pay, as well as featuring a less-reflective screen and more powerful camera than previous versions. “iPad is a simple, magical device,” said Cook in the now-codified language of the company.

Apple also introduced a new desktop computer to its iMac line, the principal change being a higher-resolution “retina display” and thinner aluminum body.

It’s been rumored that the re-introduction of Beats Music will come early next year, sometime around the Grammys. Whether that will come via a surprise ad featuring Ellen (like its original iteration did) or an Apple keynote is anyone’s guess. The full presentation can be seen right here.

Key takeaways:

— OS X Yosemite will be available for Mac users to install today (Oct. 16)

— iOS 8.1 will be available to download on Monday (Oct. 20)

— Apple’s Pay system will launch this coming Monday (Oct. 20)

— New iPads available for pre-order next week