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The AppAdvice Week In Review: Apple's Catwalk And The New iPad mini

The new iPad mini finally made its debut this week. This wasn't the only Apple news during the week that was.

Apple is going even more upscale

Apple doesn’t feel the need to compete on price. Instead, the have always focused on providing premium products — even if that means losing market share. Next year, Apple could redefine what it means to be a premium brand. A new report suggests that the company’s recent hiring of Angela Ahrendts has nothing to do with expanding and overseeing its retail stores. Instead, the former Burberry CEO’s task will be to “bring the company’s minimalist aesthetic to the world of luxury apparel and accessories.” This means alongside iOS devices and Macs, Apple retail stores could soon include apparel, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, watches, and luggage. [caption id="attachment_487021" align="aligncenter" width="375"] Angela Ahrendts[/caption] Is this a good thing? Our readers are split. Revolutionarybum calls Apple's move "sad and annoying." This sentiment is echoed by Mr. Luigi who is "Not too happy to hear that my TECHNOLOGY Love Child may be diverting some of its emphasis into luxury brassieres." D_Foster, meanwhile, takes a different approach. The reader feels that "Ahrendt's personality is very bold, even brash, and she exudes an air of dynamic enthusiasm that I believe Apple could use now." What do you think? Has the time come for Apple to compete with the likes of Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton?

The latest on the “iWatch,” and other wearable devices

[caption id="attachment_487012" align="aligncenter" width="800"]iWatch concept, Esben Oxholm The iWatch concept, Esben Oxholm[/caption] Much of the attention this week focused on Apple’s surprise Tuesday launch of the iPad mini with Retina display. Behind the scenes, worked continued on what will likely become the company’s first new product line since 2010. No, Apple is no longer working on a television set — at least not one that will launch in 2014. Instead, the company’s attention is firmly on the so-called “iWatch,” which is expected to arrive next year. This week, we heard the iWatch could launch in his and her versions, which would be a first for wearable devices. This means 1.7 inch screens for men, and 1.3 inch screens for women. Apple’s competitors aren’t waiting for Jony Ive to tape one of his signature videos for the iWatch to announce their own plans for devices you wear on your wrists. This week, Jawbone unveiled the UP24, its second generation fitness tracker that is powered by low-energy, Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Earlier, Pebble finally added iOS 7 notifications to its popular smart watch. In stores, the Fitbit Force made its debut.

Apple's surprise

We knew when the iPad Air would launch. Apple chose a different path when it released the iPad mini with Retina display. With a digital flip of the switch, sales of the second generation device commenced online — not on a Friday, but on an unassuming Tuesday night. Soon after, the tablet became available at retail outlets around the world. The new iPad mini was always going to be an easy sale. Though officially announced on Oct. 22, the tablet has been anticipated for at least a year. When the first iPad mini was unveiled in 2012 without a Retina display, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before the 7.9-inch tablet would get the better screen. Apple didn’t disappoint. Though one report suggests that some early models suffer from image retention problems, most reviews for the new tablet have been very positive. For a roundup of our iPad mini with Retina display coverage, see:

In Brief: Black Friday

This much is clear: More retailers are now firmly committed to the notion that holiday shopping should begin even before the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away. This year, Apple is likely to join other retailers in opening some stores on the night of Thanksgiving. Similar plans have already been announced by Best Buy, Walmart, H.H. Gregg, and Target. What's next, Black Friday sales on Halloween?

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Here's Dom Esposito's official first look at the new iPad mini:
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