The big theme from March’s Apple marketing and press event focused on going smaller. A new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the shrunken-sized iPhone SE were the highlights from Cupertino’s latest shindig.
Technology early adopters will have to wait for news about the upcoming iPhone 7. This time out Apple focused on more evolutionary changes to their product line instead of anything truly revolutionary. Will you soon be performing Internet speed tests on a new iPhone SE? Let’s take a closer look at some of the important takeaways from the latest Apple event.
Apple Positions iPad Pro Line to Compete with Microsoft Surface Pro
Introducing a new iPad Pro with a smaller footprint is an obvious choice for Apple as it tries to bolster slowing sales of its tablet line. Increased competition from Android tablets, as well as the Microsoft Surface Pro, continues to cut into the iPad’s market share. The iPad Pro’s extra features, including a detachable keyboard and the Apple Pencil, position the tablet as a laptop replacement.
A 256GB memory option is the first time an Apple mobile device sported that much storage. The larger iPad Pro gets the same memory boost. The new iPad Pro also includes four speakers, which should please those using the tablet to stream music. An enhanced camera courtesy of the iPhone 6s rounds out the major new features.
Prices for the new iPad Pro range from $599 to $899 depending on the storage options — 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The keyboard is priced at $149, while the Apple Pencil costs $99.
The iPhone Gets Smaller Too
Apple’s reasoning for adding smaller devices to its product line is all about giving the customer a choice. The iPhone SE essentially packages most of the iPhone 6s functionality into a smaller phone. A 12 megapixel camera supporting 4K video, Apple Pay, and a processor with two times the horsepower of the iPhone 5S are all major features of the new Apple smartphone.
Cupertino hopes the smaller, more inexpensive phone attracts new customers to its product line and keeps current users from exploring an Android smartphone option. Both the iPhone SE and the new iPad Pro hit the market on March 31.
Other Fresh Apple News
Cutting the price of the Apple Watch to $299 and enhanced Apple TV features (Siri voice control and Bluetooth keyboard support) are two of the other major takeaways from the latest Apple Event. The newest version of iOS (9.3) is now available for download, with a Night Shift capability that changes the screen color of a device based on the time of day.
Expect the bigger Apple news to hit later this year, with the reported announcement of the new iPhone 7 smartphone.