My meta-analysis was correct on all counts, except for the inclusion of the A7 in the new iPad 5, which Apple hopes you will call the "iPad Air" because everyone refused to call it the "New iPad." The decision to use the same exact chip in the iPad 5 as in the iPhone 5S is somewhat baffling, and will be deeply worrying for people previously burned by the iPad 3. The iPad 3 shipped with an inferior processor incapable of keeping up with the huge retina display, and suffered a life-time of sluggish performance and annoying bugs. Developers consistently tell me that the majority of their bug reports come from iPad 3 users.
I can't help but wonder if we're being setup for the same failure to deliver on performance, while trying to squeeze down into a smaller form factor for pure fashion. The iPhone 5S retina resolution is 1,136x640, whereas the iPad 5 resolution is almost twice as large at 2,048x1,536; yet the same processor is meant to be driving both.
My iPad 2 outperforms the iPad 3 when just moving around in the homescreen or switching apps. Apple seems to agree with the value of the iPad 2, by not only keeping it in their lineup for the next year, but also keeping it at the $399 price.
As predicted the iPad Mini Retina has been announced, also for $399, and they will continue to sell the old Mini for $299. Interestingly the iPad Mini Retina is also running the A7 chip.
GarageBand will indeed be free for people purchasing new iOS 7 devices, and new Macs. It is set to get a massive update today, but presently it has been pulled from iTunes. The update pumps the track count to 16, and all the way up to 32 tracks on 64-bit (A7) devices. There is also going to be some session drummer feature, but I believe I heard that will be a separate IAP.
Update: The GarageBand update has landed, and it is surprisingly free for everyone. The new version with Inter-App Audio will only work on iOS 7, but everyone can take advantage of this! If you try to download from an iOS 6 device it will offer to let you download the last version that worked on iOS 6.
What's new in GarageBand v2.0:
- All-new streamlined design
- Create a song with up to 32 tracks* using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops
- Record compatible Third-Party music apps using Inter-App Audio in iOS 7
- Drag and drop audio recordings to create Sampler instruments
- Support for AirDrop in iOS 7
- 64-bit support
* Requires devices with the A7 chip.16 tracks available on iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad (4th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation)