Apple Releases New iPhone SE, iPad Pro & Discounted Apple Watch

Today, Apple revealed some new toys for us – a new iPhone, iPad tablet for business use and a cheaper Apple Watch. These announcements were expected to be made in an effort to keep up with the company’s commercial momentum in the face of mounting sales challenges.

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That’s right, Apple needs a lift. Sales of its flagship iPhone are leveling off after the surge to record levels last year that made Apple the world’s biggest company by stock market value. We’re wondering if Cook can come up with another big hit.

“Tim Cook has said he thinks there’s a lot of life left in the iPhone product line, despite the media and investor community pressuring Apple over the potential decline in premium iPhone sales,” Brian Blau a tech analyst at Gartner said. “I think it’s exactly these types of things that he has in mind.”

The new phone, named the iPhone SE is an upgrade to the older, four-inch iPhone 5S that was released in 2013. This phone is for consumers who haven’t jumped for the big-screened iPhone 6 models. The new features include a faster processor and graphic performance, which were only available in versions of the iPhone 6.

While shoppers bought a record 74.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2015, Apple has signaled demand in the current three-month period will fall short of the 61 million iPhones sold in the January-March quarter last year. The iPhone SE will sell for $399 with no cellular contract, significantly lower than larger iPhone models, which list at $549 or more. The smaller phone may appeal to some shoppers, especially in overseas markets, who want a premium phone at lower cost.

The Apple Watch got quite the discount as well. Normally it costs around $350, but now it is only $299. There are also a new variety of accessories including a nylon strap.

Apple is calling the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro “the ultimate PC replacement.” Its screen is fitted with a “true tone display,” which means that the onscreen display changes its color depending on the ambient light. Other features include four speakers, a super advanced camera and a powerful A9X processor. Additionally, the screen encourages users to draw using the Apple Pencil. You can get the new iPad Pro is silver, gold, space gray and rose gold.

Did you tune into the announcement as well? Let us know if you’re planning on buying any of the new gadgets, I’d like to hear why and what you think of them.

iPad Pro v. PC

Many tech journalists have been wondering if the iPadPro is a PC or Surface Pro Killer, making side-by-side comparisons. Although this is an intriguing debate, it will not capture the curiosity of the mass market. It doesn’t matter because Apple decided to give them a nudge in the right directions.

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Whenever someone is trying to sell you something, truths become stretched and into outrageous lies. So, we should not be too surprised that Tim Cook declared that the PC is dead when he launched the new iPad Pro with a 12.9 inch screen.

I am typing this on a PC with dual monitors. I can’t even imagine how a keyboard and a pencil can compete with the amount of space that I have for multiple tabs, windows, post it notes.

Apple’s Senior VP Eddy Cue told CNN Money that the iPad Pro is aimed at those who “consume” more than they create.

The honest truth is that if the Macbook Air has not replaced the PC yet, then the super-sized iPad Pro tablet is not going to replace PCs anytime soon either. With the lack of traditional desktop software, this extravagant purchase is left for only those that are buying into the death of the PC hype.

There will not be offices full of iPads because consumer computing is where these devices succeed. True, over the past decade our homes have gone from PC towers to laptops and now onto tablets. However, our leisure time makes new demands and changes how we use technology. There has been a rise of the second screen so that we can interact while watching something else on the other. Most people will bring home their work laptops, but they only make it so far as their bag – left behind as we sit on the couch watching TV with our tablets in our hands.

Maybe it is just the name, “Pro.” It is aiming at the creative or prosumer types – the Apple fanboys that want to soak up anything and everything that Apple can offer. A market large enough to replace the PC? No. So why make the case that the iPad Pro will kill the PC? I think that the PC will disappear at some time in the distant future, but the iPad Pro is probably not going to be the gadget that kills it.

What do you think about the iPad Pro hype?