On Tuesday in Cupertino, California, Apple announced the launch of the new SE 4 inch iPhone handset as well as the new iPad Pro with a 9.7 inch display.
Celebrating its 40th birthday on April 1, Apple revealed it had sold more than 30 million orange iPhones (a device the same size as the 5s), indicating that many consumers wanted a smaller mobile handset. For some customers it was their first foray into a smartphone, or they were switching from android.
Great news if you still have your old cases floating around, the iPhone SE is the same size as the iPhone 5s (though double the speed) at just over 10cm in height.
The evolution of the iPhone, from the first generation, through to the new iPhone SE.
The compact aluminium design comes in the same four metallic finishes of the 6S and boasts the same performance of the 64-bit A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
“iPhone SE is an exciting new idea. We started with a beloved, iconic design and reinvented it from the inside out. The result is the most beautiful and powerful phone with a 4-inch display in the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“iPhone SE is packed with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, advanced 64-bit A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor, longer battery life, 12-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash, Live Photos, 4K video, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, and Touch ID with Apple Pay. Everyone who wants a smaller phone is going to love iPhone SE.”
Offering most of the same features as the 6s (though, interestingly, missing the Deep Touch feature), the iPhone SE still has traditional earbuds, causing many to wonder if the wireless headphone rumours will come into fruition later in the year with the iPhone 7 launch.
One cool new feature of the latest software update is the ability to lock Notes (with either a passcode or fingerprint), which is one of the most used provided apps.
The new SE handset is available for pre-order from March 24th and instore from March 31st.
Australian pricing is:
iPhone SE 16GB and 64GB: From $679 (including GST)
iPad Pro 9.7-inch 32GB, 128GB and 256GB: From $899 (including GST)
iPad Pro 9.7-inch 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model: From $1099 (including GST)
At the same time the smaller iPad Pro has launched, following the success of the iPad Pro 12.9 inch which hit stores about six months ago.
At 9.7 inches, the smaller iPad pro has all the bells and whistles of its big brother, just with as smaller screen (and price). Available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB, the new tablet also comes in rose gold -- indicating the popularity of the shade in the iPhone.
“iPad Pro is a new generation of iPad that is indispensable and immersive, enabling people to be more productive and more creative. It’s incredibly fast, extremely portable, and completely natural to use with your fingers, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. And now it comes in two sizes,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a new Retina display with True Tone technology, four-speaker audio system, blazing fast A9X chip, 12-megapixel iSight camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, faster wireless, and support for Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. It is the ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users and replacement for PC users.”
At less than 500 grams, the new smaller iPad Pro features a new pro retina display, lower reflectivity as well as Night Shift -- a mode that automatically adjusts the colours of the display to the warmer end of the spectrum, away from blue light, in order to potentially aid in a better night's sleep.
The four speaker audio system is also pretty powerful -- making the surface even better for watching films and playing games. Built-in sensors automatically adjust to optimise audio.
Accessories include Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, with advanced sensors measuring both pressure (you can lean on the surface and it will read your wrist and palm so as to not interfere with your work) and tilt for natural drawing -- almost like drawing on paper.
In addition to the two new devices, Apple also revealed new woven nylon bands in a large range of colours for the iWatch, as well as a reduced entry price of $429.
CareKit was also released, which is a software framework designed to help people actively manage their own medical conditions.
Giving the public the ability to keep track of care plans and monitor symptoms and medication (and share with family and doctors), the aim of CareKit is to bridge the gap between professional health care in hospital and homecare, which is too often general instructions on a piece of paper.
Commenting briefly on recent security discussions that have been in the media, CEO Tim Cook emphasised that we need to decide how much control the government should have over our data and privacy.
He stated that Apple was humbled by the outpouring of support across the United States. He reiterated that Apple strongly believe that they have a responsibility to help the public protect their privacy. "This is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from this responsibility," Cook said.
More than one billion Apple devices are in use globally. Beyond new products, Apple is also committed to renewable energy.
Two years ago the company made the ambitious goal of being 100 percent renewable in all operations worldwide. Today they are at 93 percent and are 100 percent renewable in 23 countries around the world. 99 percent of Apple's packaging comes from recycled paper or sustainably managed forests.