Apple held it’s first big media event of the year Monday, where it showed off a new member of the iPhone family. Here is a look at everything that was announced during the media event:
The star of Monday’s event was the iPhone SE – think of it as the iPhone 6S’ little sister. According to the tech giant, the iPhone SE was built for customers who want the iPhone experience, with a smaller display (and a smaller price tag).
The four-inch iPhone SE features the same technical components as the company’s latest mobile offering – the iPhone 6S – including Apple’s A9 chip, M9 processor and a 12 megapixel camera with True Tone Flash capabilities. It also features an upgraded battery and Apple Pay capabilities.
Demand for smaller four-inch smartphones has remained high since the iPhone 5S was released in 2013, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who noted the company sold 30 million four-inch iPhone models last year.
The iPhone SE will start at CAD$549 for a 16GB model, making it the most affordable iPhone yet.
A smaller iPad Pro
The next big hardware unveiling was an update to Apple’s iPad Pro. The smaller tablet has a 9.7-inch True Tone display that promises brighter and more colourful capabilities. The new iPad Pro will also feature Apple’s A9X chip – the same one found in the full-sized iPad Pro, released in 2014 – which promises powerful and fast computing.
The new device will also be compatible with the Smart Keyboard cover, which folds out to reveal a full keyboard, and the Apple Pencil that will allow users to draw and write on the screen.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will start at CAD$799 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, or CAD$979 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities. The tablet will be available for pre-order on March 24 and in stores March 31.
Apple Watch price drop
Good news for anyone hoping to get their hands on an Apple Watch. The tech giant announced a price drop on its smartwatch during Monday’s event, alongside a few new Watch band offerings.
The Apple Watch now starts at CAD$399 for the entry-level sport model – that’s down from CAD$449.
The highly anticipated Apple Watch was released a year ago, but sales haven’t met some of analysts’ more bullish predictions. While Apple hasn’t released figures, IDC’s analysts estimate the tech giant shipped 11.6 million watches last year.
iOS 9.3 now available
Even if you don’t plan on buying a new iPad or iPhone, new features are available to Apple users starting today. The tech giant announced its new operating system iOS 9.3 is available for download starting Monday.
The updated operating system includes a new feature called “Night Shift” that aims to help you sleep better.
No, your iPhone won’t be able to sing you a lullaby, or cuddle you to sleep – but it will change the colours of the light emitted from your device based on the time of day. Night Shift will use your iPhone or iPad’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset. Then it will automatically shift the colours to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes in the dark.
No more than five minutes into the event, Cook thanked Apple customers for their continued support and feedback on the company’s decision to oppose the FBI’s order to force it to hack an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.
“We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and privacy,” said Cook.
“We have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers/country. This impacts all of us.”
The event happened to fall one day before lawyers representing both Apple and the FBI are set to appear in a district court in California. Each side will argue their case to the magistrate judge, who is expected to hand down her ruling shortly after. The losing party will have the option to appeal the ruling.