Tonight’s WWDC was Apple’s last before its 40th birthday next month. However, for a company well known for its surprise announcements, tonight’s conference wasn’t too explosive or revolutionary, but certainly shows a change in Apple’s view of the iPhone and iPad line up. Here’s a summary of the important bits…
This had been expected for some time now, and Apple didn’t disappoint, with an updated and upgraded 4 inch iPhone, the SE. The smallest iPhone for several years, the SE is ‘the most powerful 4-inch smartphone ever’, with an A9 processing chip, the same as that found in its larger 6S sibling. With the SE also having Live Photos, 4K video and a 12 megapixel camera, Apple is certainly fighting to bring back customers who have lost interest in Apple for its larger phones or those who have been waiting to upgrade from the 5S but haven’t been attracted to the larger models available.
And as expected, the 5S has finally bowed out after many years of service – meaning all of Apple’s current line-up are all relatively new.
iPad Pro (9.7inch version)
In another highly anticipated move, Apple is beginning the process of ditching the ‘Air’ brand of iPad, which shows a move toward mirroring its MacBook lineup. The smaller iPad Pro contains a lot of the same features as its bigger brother, despite a slightly lower resolution screen, with a 12MP camera, live photos and 4K video (features which it can now be expected will come as standard from Apple from now on…). Always-on Siri support, and compatibility with the Apple Pencil is also clearly another clear move in the Apple/Microsoft tablet arms race. Apple may have been playing catch-up after the launch of the Surface, but it’s certainly back in the game now.
Schiller’s comment that the people using over 600 million PCs that are over five years old ‘could use an iPad Pro’ can be interpreted as further proof of what we all expected – portability is essential if you want to stay in the technology industry this decade, and tablets are key in that game.
Less noticed, the iPad mini, which has been ignored this year after a very small update last year – could this be a sign that Apple plans to overhaul this smaller version in the way it has done to the Air? Only time will tell…
If you were expecting a mark 2 of the Apple Watch, you may have to wait until autumn. Tonight was a bit more about bragging, with Cook telling the conference that the Apple Watch is number 1 in the smartwatch market (something that is not too surprising). In terms of updates here, we didn’t see too much other than another round of new nylon bands and also a price drop of around £50. Other than that, nothing to write home about.
Apple TV was also brought up, but is hardly worth a mention due to lack of any major updates or announcements.
Apple may have disappointed some with details that had been leaked weeks in advance, but its what was missing from March’s announcement which will get tech heads thinking what it’s next move might be. An iPhone 7 is almost certain, but the possibility of another iPad overhaul and an Apple Watch 2 might just be on the cards. But we’ll have to wait until September to find out!