Apple held a press event at their Cupertino headquarters earlier today where they covered everything from new product announcements to healthcare initiatives and beyond. Here's what you need to know about the new iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch accessories.
iPhone SE - $579 CAD
This phone has been widely rumoured for months and was expected to stuff the guts of an iPhone 6 into the diminutive 4" body of an iPhone 5S, at a price point accordingly somewhere in between. Proving that it still had some surprises up its sleeve, Apple announced that the iPhone SE would match (or exceed in some cases) the latest iPhone 6S almost feature-for-feature, and would come in at an even lower price point than the nearly three-year-old iphone 5S.
For reference, the 16GB iphone 5S had a list price of $599 CAD for the 16GB version and $679 CAD for the 32GB. By comparsion, the new iPhone SE starts at $579 CAD for 16GB - $20 cheaper than the 5S and a whopping $320 less than the iPhone 6S ($899 CAD), while maintaining the same 12 megapixel camera, A9 processor, and a host of other features that were previously reserved for Apple's highest-end flagship.
In fact, the iPhone SE boasts anywhere from 20% to 30% better battery life than the iPhone 6S on some tasks such as video playback and internet use.
The only feature missing from the iPhone SE is 3D Touch, which introduced pressure-sensitive interactions to the iPhone 6S. Some apps have been updated to take advantage of these interactions, but most haven't, so its omission isn't a big deal.
While it's hard to justify spending the extra money on the 6S unless you really need that larger screen, it's impossible to recommend the iPhone 6 now - at a starting price of $769 CAD, it's has a slower processor, worse camera, worse battery life, and is still $190 more expensive than the iPhone SE. The iPhone 6 is also the only phone in the lineup now that doesn't come in Rose Gold, the hottest colour of the season.
Here's a direct pricing comparison:
iPhone SE - starting at $579 CAD
iPhone 6 - starting at $769 CAD
iPhone 6S - starting at $899 CAD
The iPhone SE is available for preorder on March 24th and releases March 31st.
iPad Pro (9.7 inch) - $799 CAD
Continuing with the cheaper-but-better theme, Apple also announced a smaller iPad Pro that matches its larger 12.9 inch sibling in nearly every respect, while upgrading the camera to the same 12-megapixel shooter found in the iPhones 6S and SE. You'll find this upgraded camera along with the same Apple Pencil support and four-speaker audio system, all for $249 less than the larger model.
The 9.7 inch iPad Pro is available for preorder on March 24th and releases March 31st.
Apple Watch - $399 CAD
The biggest news about the Apple Watch is the price cut, about $50 across the lineup. The cheapest Apple watch now clocks in at $399, a much more attractive price psychologically than the $449 it was listed at yesterday.
There are also some new bands, including a black Milanese loop, woven nylon in seven colours, and an expanded colour selection for the sport bands.
The new bands are available today.