Tim Cook chaired the Time Flies Apple Event and the excitement was palpable, even if it was virtual. Ten minutes before the stream went live, nearly 300 000 people were waiting in anticipation on YouTube.
Cook dove right in and confirmed that the Time Flies product launch will focus primarily on the Apple Watch and iPad.
Apple Event: Time Flies, 15 September 2020
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple’s focus is all on health and fitness this year; strong emphasis was placed on the many ways Apple Watch is saving lives: from weight loss and heart health to stay active and motivated.
The next segment saw Apple COO Jeff Williams take the stage. He explained that Watch Series 6 has a sensor that can measure the amount of oxygen in a user’s blood. Blood oxygen saturation is a good measure of overall respiratory health.
The Watch Series 6 will enable users to measure their blood oxygen levels every 15 seconds. Style-wise, the Apple Watch Series 6 will be available in blue and red for the first time ever. In addition, the Watch Series 6 is approximately 20% faster than the previous series.
Pricing starts at $399. The Apple Watch Series 6 won’t ship with a charger, according to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. Apple is reportedly pushing towards environmental sustainability with this move.
Apple also announced a fitness service designed specifically for the Watch Series. The Fitness+ service will reportedly also connect users to trainers and provide access to workout videos on Apple devices.
New workout videos will be made available weekly and can be viewed on any Apple TV, iPhone or iPad. The Fitness+ service is tied to its smartwatch line-up, which was enhanced with a Watch SE.
Apple’s new service bundle will be available in three tiers – Individual, Family and Premier. The Individual package comes with a price tag of $14.95 per month for Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud storage
The Family package will provide the same services mentioned above for up to five family members at a cost of $19.95 per month while the Premier tier will cost $29.95 and includes Apple News+ and Fitness+.
The Apple One bundle to be available later this year, likely after the launch of the keenly-expected next-gen iPhone 12 series. Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, explains:
“With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favourite devices with one simple subscription”.
Apple now has a budget tablet – the iPad 8th Generation – which is equipped with an A12 Bionic Chip and will be available from Friday 18 September 2020. Apple will also release a mid-range tablet, the iPad Air 4.
Changes to the Air include new colours, smaller bezels and an edge-to-edge screen. It also features a next-gen Touch ID fingerprint sensor situated under the tablet’s power button.
It is also equipped with Apple’s most powerful chip, an A14 processor that guarantees speeds up to 40% faster. A refreshing change: the new iPad can be charged with a USB-C, and not Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.
No iPhone update at this Apple event
As expected, there was no news at this Time Flies event about the upcoming flagship iPhone 12 series; however, Apple confirmed that a new iOS14 update for iPhones will be available from Wednesday, 16 September 2020.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy explained to AFP:
“The key part for Apple is to keep the base of iPhone users and sell them a ton of accessories like AirPods and get services”.
Primary reporting by Cheryl Kahla / Analyst comment from AFP.
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