Posted By Simon Montford on March 21, 2016
If you don't have time, or can't be bothered, here are the highlights. Apple announced a new 4-inch iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The smaller device contains the same 64-bit A9 processor as the iPhone 6 and 6S. It'll be available in four colours, and incorporate a 12-megapixel camera. It will cost around £360 for the 16GB model, and £440 for the 64GB model.
There will be a smaller version of the iPad Pro, a newer version of iOS (9.3), new bands for the Apple Watch (which will see a price drop), a new tvOS, and a health initiative called CareKit, that'll enable easier sharing of health data with medical professionals.
Tim Cook (Apple CEO) said during his keynote that there are now 1bn active Apple devices on the planet, which is an impressive milestone for the company. He also emphasised Apple's green credentials, and commitment to user privacy.
Overall, I don't see anything really innovative here. I would have liked to see the smaller iPhone using the same form factor as my 6th Generation iPod Touch, which is incredibly sleek and thin. I know for a fact that people would absolutely love it.
The reason why I know this to be true is because, I must confess, I have been undertaking covert user feedback on behalf of Apple by duping friends and work colleagues into thinking my iPod is the new iPhone Nano! The prank involves me conspicuously holding it to my ear while I pretend to make a call during a meeting or dinner party. For this to be effective, I must always ensure that the iPod logo is obscured by my palm or finger. I then have a quiet conversation with myself, and wait for the bait to be bitten. It usually doesn't take long for people to notice.
When they do, usually women are the first to notice that I'm speaking into a really elegant, ludicrously thin device. When the penny drops, they often interrupt my fake telephone conversation by exclaiming "what the hell is that phone!?" Staying in character, I then continue speaking into it, momentarily feigning irritation that my call is being rudely interrupted, and continue with my call. After the second interruption, I say with a nonchalant expression that it's the new iPhone Nano. This then solicits a barrage of questions such as "when did it come out? How much does it cost? What are the specs? I have to have one, it's so cute!"
I then end my faux conversation, quickly placing it in my pocket and wait for a while before putting them of their misery by telling them they've been hoodwinked. It's a joyous little prank, that has given me a lot of mileage, well, until I recently received a very angry call from a friend who told me she had rushed all the way over to her nearest Apple Store the following day to demand they sell her an iPhone Nano! Oops. You can guess what happened next. The first thing she did after her swift exit from the store, red faced with embarrassment and rage, was dial my digits.
I had totally forgotten to tell her that there's no such thing as an iPhone Nano. My bad.
Lost friendships aside (joke), it was proof positive that many people, myself included, would love to own a far smaller, thinner, lighter smartphone, ideally the size of my adorable little iPod. To be brutally honest, the iPhone SE is really nothing more than a slightly better iPhone 4.
As I've said in previous posts, I really believe Apple are losing their edge. Rather than rely on incremental improvement, they need to do something radical or they will get overtaken by hungrier, more innovative competitors.
You're welcome Apple.
You can view the "live" event online by going to apple.com
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