Despite the lack of a new iPhone, this year’s product event was a gadget galore and more with the announcement of several exciting surprises.
Sept. 18, 2020
Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) annual product conference finally arrived on Tuesday evening and without its usual pomp and ceremony, the whole thing only lasted an hour. Despite the timeframe, quite a few things were announced such as new software, including a new iOS update, and many long-awaited hardware products.
The one thing missing this year was the new iPhone 12, which is instead expected to be launched sometime next month, if not later in the year. Aside from the lack of iPhone information, some other exciting products have been announced. So here are some key takeaways from the event.
The announcement of the Apple Watch Series 6 was not surprising, we even knew its name beforehand. Yet, this watch will feature a blood-oxygen tracker, other new health apps, new case colours and new watch faces. In addition, this watch, as well as any watch from the Series 4 or later, will now have a family setup option allowing younger, or older, members of the family without iPhones to have an Apple Watch with cellular capabilities. A great hook to get people into its ecosystem at a younger age.
Another watch was also announced, which had a bit more of the surprise factor: the Apple Watch SE is following the same idea as the iPhone SE released earlier this year. It is reasonably priced starting from $279 and has almost all the features of the series 5, minus the always-on retina display and the pulse oximeter sensor.
Having made $24.5 billion in wearables in 2019, the release of two new watches is a smart move. Apple is currently the most popular company for wearables and in Q2 of this year alone it held 32.4% of the global market share. In fact, it ships more units than any other company, with the number growing 25% year-over-year.
Two new iPads were also announced on Tuesday, the iPad generation 8 and the new iPad Air. The iPad 8, following on from the 7th generation version will remain a cheaper option with plenty of iPad capabilities. It will also feature Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip processor which makes it 40% faster for still a full-days use in battery power.
The new iPad Air on the other hand will be the real moneymaker for this segment. It is a brilliant new product which, although a mid-range product, gives users a full iPad Pro experience. It features the bionic processor and supports both the newest version of the Apple pencil and the magic keyboard. It is essentially the iPad Pro with a faster system for a cheaper price.
iPads reportedly generated $6.6 billion in revenue for its Fiscal Year Q3 earnings, with two new iPads as well as two new watches, it highlights Apple’s continued move away from the iPhone as its primary source of revenue. Although some critics have pointed out the fact that the iPad range is now looking a little messy, the fact that Apple is now bringing out top-of-the-line products for cheaper prices is a great way to continue widening their customer base when other companies keep on upping their prices… cough…cough… Samsung.
In its fiscal Q3 Apple reported $13.1 billion in revenue from its services segment, that is a 14.9% increase year-over-year. This segment includes all the apps such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud, and Apple Arcade. The surprise at the event on Tuesday was that the iPhone maker will now be offering a bundle — Apple One — for all its products, starting at $14.95 p/m. The premium option will come in at only $29.95 p/m with 2 terabytes of storage and up to 6 users as well as access to Apple News+ and its new Fitness+ service.
This announcement has received backlash from the likes of Spotify who have cited ‘unfair-practices’ and ‘anti-competitive behaviour’. The taste of sour grapes might be quite strong here as Apple’s new bundle will likely entice existing Spotify users over to Apple Music as part of the new bundle.
On the other hand, the release of Fitness+ has elicited a rather happier remark from Peloton’s CEO John Foley who stated that this ‘legitimizes fitness content’. Peloton might start to worry when Apple releases fitness equipment as well, but for now, they remain unconcerned. A 3-month free subscription of Fitness+ will come with a new Apple Watch purchase.
Despite the lack of iPhone announcement, this year’s Apple Product Event was one chock full of new gadgets and gizmos to keep the many Apple fanatics out there satisfied for another few months.
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