Apple on Monday announced that its new smaller iPhone SE, with features akin to its top-end devices, but in a 4-inch form factor, will be available in India early April for a price of Rs 39,000 for the 16GB version. The initially announced price was Rs 30,000 for the base model, which would have been very competitive for the Indian market.
This is still Apple’s most aggressive pricing for India and the global market, opening up the premium phone segment for a wider audience.
The phone is the most affordable to have come out of Cupertino and is expected to be available in 110 markets by May 2016. Apple, in its inimitable style, calls the iPhone SE the “most powerful 4-inch smartphone”.
Apple said the 4-inch form factor was still very popular and it has sold over 30 million iPhones last year thanks to the love for smaller phones. Also, in countries like China — and most probably in India too — the 4-inch phones make up most of its sales, essentially because these are older models that are also more affordable now. The iPhone SE will have the new A9 chipset, support 4K video and Apple Pay, seen in the top-end iPhone 6s devices.
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With the initially announced price, the phone would have been more than competitive in a market like India, but at Rs 39,000 people might think it is a better option to buy the iPhone 6 which is priced Rs 32,990 for 16GB.[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/indianexpress/videos/10154029798163826/" / height="600" width="100%"]
The pricing could still worry a lot of other manufacturers who relish in the premium segment. In India, Apple already rules the segment over $300 with over 42 per cent market share. This phone can be expected to make it more dominant.
Apple also announced a new smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, going back to the more popular size for the Apple tablet. The company is pushing the iPad Pro as a PC replacement and for the first time offered a 256 GB version in both formats of the iPad Pro.
Tim Cook started the event with a note on what he called Apple’s commitment to keeping the data of its users secure. “A month ago we started a conversation with our users and we have been overwhelmed by the response,” he said, adding that Apple will not shirk from its responsibility. This suggests Cupertino is not going to back down from its stand on allowing security agencies access data on iPhones.
Apple also announced improvement in the operating system with iOS 9.3 offering features like Night Shift.
Cook said the company wants to sustain fully on renewable energy and is already 93 per cent of what they want to be. Stores and offices are already powered by solar in places like Singapore, while the new Lium R&D project will try and recover material from older iPhones for reuse.
Apple Research Kit is helping find new data points in diseases like diabetes and Parkinsons creating new streams of study. Apple also announced the first CareKit app for Parkinsons.
Cook also announced a price cut for the Apple Watch, which will now be priced at $299 and will have new straps in materials like Nylon. Plus, the Apple TV also got a lot of software updates including Siri to search the App Store.