iOS 6, Mountain Lion Upgrade Policies Show Why Apple Customers Stay Loyal
The opening keynote at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center West featured the usual hoopla, plus a few new touches. There was a stand-up comedy routine from Siri, the madcap personal assistant, which took shots at Android. There were the usual demos with the usual bombast. But contained in all of that hype were some important facts.
But perhaps more important than the individual product announcements is the fact that Apple is doing something that its competitors aren't. Apple is releasing major upgrades to its mobile platform software, and it s doing it in a way that's highly accessible to use --in some cases free--and in the process is providing significant value to its customers. This is something Apple's competitors, Google and Microsoft, haven't managed to do.
Google's fractured, fragmented and inconsistent practices of managing updates to Android is already causing some long-time users to drop Android for mobile operating systems with more consistency. Microsoft, meanwhile, provides consistent updates, but charges a lot, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade.
Apple, as demonstrated at the June 11 WWDC keynote, is gaining owner loyalty by making it easy and inexpensive to stay up-to-date, while providing incentives to move to new devices. Your iPad 2 will get iOS 6, for example, but if you want Siri, you ll need to get a new iPad.
The keynote at WWDC was an all-mobile event. The expected desktop Macs with their quad-core Xeons were a side show. But showing instead was a new MacBook pro with quad-core Ivy Bridge i7 processors, a Retina display, 768 GB of flash storage and extreme thinness. The new MacBook Pro weighs just over 4 pounds and is .71 inches thick. This computer may measure like an Ultrabook, but this is no Ultrabook. Instead, it s the notebook, re-imagined to borrow Apple's term for it.
Apple also introduced two updated versions of its existing MacBook, the Air and the original Pro, both with Ivy Bridge processors and USB 3.0 ports, but the same screens as before. The new MacBooks will be less expensive than last year's models. Coming on the heels of the new MacBooks is Mountain Lion, which is the latest iteration of OS X. Mountain Lion arrives in July, and will feature support for the Retina display, integration with iCloud and some new messaging features. Mountain Lion is designed to allow better integration with iOS devices as well.