Updated: September 16, 2020 8:23:14 am
From the first frame it was clear this is no regular Apple event. To start with, CEO Tim Cook was not on stage at the Steve Jobs Theatre. He was downhill at the Apple Park HQ, talking to the camera from the iconic circular corridor by the curved glass panels. Then, a minute or so into his keynote, Cook was talking about the Apple Watch. No numbers that underlined another best-ever year. Yes, this was a different Apple Event.
The focus on Apple Watch was also a sign of the times we are in. The Apple Watch Series 6 has many features, but Cupertino was clear what to highlight first. The blood oxygen reading capabilities on the new Watch series will alert those wearing the smart timepiece when levels drop, one of the indicators of a Covid-19 infection. The new version ($399) will be powered by the latest S6 chip which will also let it track sleep, a much-awaited feature.
But there was more, one that could impact the watch market in a big way. The Apple Watch SE is a more affordable model with similar features and a larger screen, but a processor that is one version older. Apple Watch, which is already the most popular timepiece in the world, could suddenly usher in tough times for traditional watchmakers as well as other smartwatch companies like Fitbit with its $279 price point.
Fitbit has more to think about: Apple Watch Fitness+ clearly trains the guns on the more serious health conscious users. This also adds another service to Apple’s kitty of subscriptions services. This also adds more value to Apple One, the new combined subscription service for Apple users that bundles everything from iCloud to Arcade, Music and TV+ at tiered monthly rates. Apple has for a few years now been moving more towards services, and this new package deal is just going to consolidate Apple’s service offerings.
Apple had stored the big announcement for the last though: the all-new iPad Air with a design that looks more on the lines of the iPad Pro and a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina screen. For the iPad Air, there is a new processor, the 5 nanometer A14 Bionic processor, a first in the industry. “The most advanced chip” Apple has ever made, also brings pro-level performance to more affordable iPads.
Also Read | All the news and highlights from Apple event
There was a new iPad 8th Gen ($299) too, but with the older A12 Bionic processors, which Apple claims is “twice as fast as the most powerful Windows laptop”.
Interestingly, there was an underlining of how the iPad was superior than most Windows laptops — better at gaming, graphics and video capabilities. Apple is clearly going for the affordable laptop segment to grow the iPad segment and for all you know it might just be successful with the Magic Keyboard on the new iPad Air.
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