Apple introduces new watches, tablets, launches Apple One, fitness subscription services

Wednesday 16 September 2020 | 09:02 CET | News

Apple has released several new products at its 'Time Flies' online event. These include the Apple Watch 6 series, the lower cost Apple Watch SE, a new-generation Apple iPad Air and the Apple One subscription service to bundle its digital services. The company also confirmed the roll out of new versions of iOS and iPad OS. 

The Apple Watch 6 offers a similar form to its predecessor with the new colour options of red, blue and graphite. New features include a sensor to measure the blood oxygen level and improved always-on altimeter, along with a faster processor based on the A13 Bionic, Ultra Wideband antennas, a brighter Retina display and improved battery life with faster charging. 

Running WatchOS 7, the series 6 brings new features in sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, workout types, and the ability to curate and share watch faces. The new watch starts at USD 399 for the GPS version and USD 499 with cellular connectivity. It's available in the US and respectively 27 and 21 other countries from 18 September. Nike and Hermes editions are also available. 

For customers seeking a cheaper option, Apple introduced the Apple Watch SE. This starts at USD 279 for the standard version and USD 329 with cellular connectivity. The SE model offers a similar design and hardware to the standard Apple Watch, with a slightly slower processor and no always-on display. 

Both watches come with the new option Family Setup for children or older family members without iPhones to benefit from enhanced features, such as FaceTime calls, walkie-talkie with other Apple Watch wearers and Apple Cash Family to give kids money to spend with Apple Pay. The Apple Watch can be set up through the parent or guardian's iPhone, giving access to features like Emergency SOS, Maps, Siri, alarms, and the App Store.

Apple iPad Air upgraded

With the new-generation iPad Air, Apple brings the design of the compact, cheaper iPad closer to that of the iPad Pro. It comes with a smaller bezel to make a slightly larger screen of 10.9 inches. The resolution is also improved to 2,360 x 1,640 pixels, and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor integrated in the power button. The iPad Air does not come with the facial recognition on the iPad Pro. 

The iPad Air also gets a big upgrade in the processor, to the A14 Bionic from the previous A12, and the cameras, which include a main 12-megapixel camera on the back and 4K video on the front. The tablet is available with a choice of 64 GB or 256 GB storage and five colour options. Furthermore, the Lightning port is replaced with a standard UCB-C port, the same as the iPad Pro. 

The tablet starts at USD 599 or USD 729 with cellular connectivity and will be available in 30 countries at its launch in October. Available now is the eight-generation iPad, for USD 329 or USD 459 with mobile access. This features the older A12 chip, bringing Apple's Neural Engine to the basic iPad range for the first time. The new model comes with a 10.2-inch Retina display and more recycled materials, along with a choice of three colour finishes and 32 or 128 GB storage.

Apple One, Apple Fitness+ services

In the services range, Apple's main sales driver, the company introduced the new Fitness+ plan. Designed for Apple Watch users, this takes metrics from the watch to develop personal workouts and recommendations for the user to access across their Apple devices. The studio-style workouts are delivered by trainers with motivating music. 

The Fitness service will launch by year-end for USD 9.99 per month or USD 79.99 per year, in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US. New Apple Watch buyers will receive 3-6 months free depending on the type of purchase, including special offers with US retailers CVS Pharmacy and Best Buy. 

Apple also confirmed a new bundled offering of its other services Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple iCloud. A basic subscription for one user with 50 GB of cloud storage costs USD 14.95 per month, while a family plan with 200 GB is USD 19.95 per month. The Apple Premier plan also includes Fitness+ and Apple News+ along with 2 TB storage and costs USD 29.95 for use by up to six people. 

iOS updates

In contrast to previous years, Apple did not unveil any new iPhones. The company said earlier that these would be a few weeks later this year due to supply chain issues, with another press conference expected in October for the launch. Apple did confirm the launch of iOS 14 for existing iPhones and iPads. The main updates include the new homescreen where users can add widgets, the app library that categorises all the apps installed and a picture-in-picture mode for multitasking. 

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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: Apple
Countries: World
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