With the Christmas season approaching, September is usually the time Apple sets out its stall for what tends to be its most lucrative quarter.
There was plenty of speculation leading up to last night’s event that the company would launch a new iPhone 13, with a few minor upgrades to the new 5G iPhone 12 that was released a year ago. There was also speculation of a new iPad, an updated Apple Watch and AirPods, although there was concern that any new products could well be more expensive due to the chip shortages being experienced across the board.
We got three out of four, with nothing for those who wanted to see some new AirPods.
The event started with a new low-cost iPad, which got a faster A13 chip processor, and a better front-facing camera, and more storage capacity, at 64GB. Apple also announced a new iPad mini with a smaller screen. The upgrade to the mini was somewhat of a surprise, although very welcome, coming with support for 5G wireless, and a slightly larger 8.3-inch screen, and the new A15 chip.
The event then moved on to the Apple Watch Series 7, with a bigger screen, which would be able to display more information, with the entry level watch coming in five different colours, however the launch date had still to be decided, with the new watches likely to come bundled with the new Fitness+ workout subscription, which will be expanded internationally.
Apple CEO Tim Cook finished with the new iPhone 13, with four new models, which will consist of a standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with a price difference of around £100 between the two models. There are also two new premium Pro models, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.
The iPhone 13’s will have the new A15 bionic chip, better graphics and longer lasting better batteries which will provide up to 2 hours of extra battery life give or take, while the phones have also had upgrades to their cameras. For Pro users that might be worth the price of an upgrade on last year’s model, however it’s still a big outlay of £1,000+ for not a lot of difference otherwise. The most expensive phone is the iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage which comes in at an eye watering £1,549.
Other than that, the upgrades were fairly minimal, and one wonders whether the lack of innovation in terms of improvements to the current product line was over concern about sourcing huge amounts of new chipsets. Last night’s event certainly lacked the pizazz we normally get from these product launches, with most people coming away with the feeling of being slightly short-changed, which probably helps explain why Apple’s share price dipped after hours.