Apple's line in the sand
The comprehensive refresh of Apple's product lines announced by CEO Tim Cook yesterday is a clear warning to Google and Microsoft that the market leader in the post-PC computer marketplace is not going away.
With both Google and Microsoft having major product releases over the next week, the pressure is now on both companies to match Apple's announcements and product range.
For Microsoft, the stakes are now substantially higher for their Windows Surface tablets. The fourth generation iPad and iPad mini (or is that iPod maxi?) are going to be the benchmarks the Redmond tablet PCs will be measured against.
An interesting part of the Apple presentation was marketing chief Phil Schiller trash talking the Android competitors with a side-by-side comparison between the iPad and the Nexus.
These comparisons are becoming a hallmark of Schiller's marketing in the post-Steve Jobs Apple, whether this is good or bad remains to be seen, but it is a difference compared to the old boss' way of doing things – although Jobs wasn't adverse to poking fun at some of Microsoft's confusing habits.
For geeks, and those who like shiny things that go "beep", it's an exciting week and Apple have shown why they are masters at controlling the tech media.
It's now up to Google and Microsoft to see if they can match Cook's announcements and meet Apple's price points.
For business owners, it's great news if you're looking for a tablet computer as Microsoft's and Google's products are now going to be forced to compete with a very ferocious competitor.
Paul Wallbank is one of Australia's leading experts on how industries and societies are changing in this connected, globalised era. When he isn't explaining technology issues, he helps businesses and community organisations find opportunities in the new economy.