Apple leaves iPhone out; updates Watch, iPad - Mobile World Live

Apple leaves iPhone out; updates Watch, iPad

15 SEP 2020

Apple left those hoping for a new 5G iPhone disappointed, instead showcasing iPad performance upgrades, refreshed Watch models, fitness and subscription services in an annual event usually headlined by its smartphones.

A redesigned iPad Air features Apple’s A14 bionic chip, capable of processing up to 11 trillion operations per second and providing increases in CPU and GPU speeds of 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively compared with the previous iPad Air.

Tim Millet, Apple’s VP of platform architecture, hailed the A14 as “by far the most advanced chip we’ve ever made”, with the first use of machine learning accelerators in iPad delivering up to ten-times faster computation than the previous tablet.

The device features a 10.9-inch display; 7MP front and 12MP rear cameras; and a Touch ID sensor in the power button.

Apple also unveiled an eighth-generation iPad featuring a 10.2-inch display, and A12 bionic chip with a neural engine delivering a 40 per cent increase in CPU performance and the ability to process up to 5 trillion operations per second.

The updated iPad Air is due in October, priced $599 for a Wi-Fi-only model and $729 for Wi-Fi plus cellular, both in 32GB trim. It will be sold in 30 countries and regions.

The latest iPad goes on sale in more than 25 countries on 18 September priced $329 and $459 respectively (64GB).

Watch
The new Watch Series 6 features a sensor capable of measuring a user’s blood oxygen levels.

The tool will allow users to participate in three new health studies focused on managing asthma and heart failure, and evaluating how blood oxygen and heart rate metrics can be used as early warning indicators for respiratory illnesses.

A new system-in-package allows apps to launch 20 per cent faster, with the device offering 18-hours of battery life; and a screen two-and-a-half-times brighter than Watch Series 5.

Apple also introduced a Watch SE model with a lower price point and Family Set-up capabilities allowing users to tether more than one device to their iPhone.

In a tweet, CCS Insight wearables and XR analyst Leo Gebbie said “Apple now offers a clear good, better, best tiering structure” for its Watch, “delivering choice at a range of prices”.

Watch Series 6 starts at $399 for Wi-Fi only and $499 with added mobile connectivity, and Watch SE for $279 or $329 respectively.

Both go on sale on 18 September, with the Wi-Fi-only versions available in 29 markets and mobile in 23.

Services
Apple peddled a new Fitness+ service, offering access to a range of workout videos and enabling users to display their Apple Watch metrics onscreen.

Fitness+ will be available later this year, priced $9.99 per month or $79.99 for an annual subscription. It will initially be available in Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and US.

The fitness function can also be accessed on the Apple One Premier services bundle, which includes its music, TV, arcade, cloud and news services for $29.95 per month. It will first come to Australia, Canada, the UK and US.

A pared version excluding news is planned for more than 100 countries, priced $14.95 per month, with a family option $19.95.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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