September’s here, yet no iPhone

ByNabeel Ahmed

Sep 19, 2020

The month is Techtember, time for Apple to make its fanbase swoon over their new offerings

The much-awaited event titled “Time Flies”, as predicted by the geek brigade was all about the Apple watch and software announcements. Despite the absence of the usual fanfare of the event (like most tech events this year), the announcements and the new hardware launches have made it worth the wait.

So, let’s look at the latest hardware the tech giant has to offer:

Apple Watch – Series 6

Brightening their portfolio of wearables (literally). Apple launched its latest watch series with noted advancements, some big and some small.

The series 6 watch comes with a brighter display with the key highlight being that it can now measure your blood oxygen levels, which in the current pandemic is a big selling point. However, it should not only be seen as an easier method of tracking oxygen levels.

Other key improvements include a better processor based on the A13 Bionic chip, new watch faces, a new solo band and two new colour variants – blue and red.

The new series 6 watches will be priced at Rs 40,900 for the GPS model and Rs 49,900 for the GPS+cellular model.

For price-conscious Indian users, there is something more to look forward to – the new SE.

The SE series of Apple watches will start at Rs 29,900 and are a sweet deal for people looking to add the Apple watch to their list of wearables. However, the lower prices of the SE series comes at a cost. The SE series will have the same processor and other design features as the Series 6 but skips the infrared sensors used for measuring blood oxygen levels. This should not be a deal-breaker as the sensors cannot be taken as a substitute for clinical tests.

Another important announcement at the event included the family features for the Apple watch that allows tracking of location and use of a selected number of contacts for families that want greater control over wearables used by younger members.

The news iPad 8 generation

Going ahead with hardware announcements, Apple released its new generation of the iPad.

WI-fi models of the iPad Air start at Rs 54,900, while the Cellular models will start at Rs 66,900. Compatible Apple pencil (2 generation) is set to cost Rs 10,900 while the Magic Keyboard, sold separately, will cost Rs 27,900. The Smart Keyboard Folio will be priced at Rs 15,900 and will be available in October at Apple Authorised Resellers.

 Software

Much loved for their software and services, Apple announced at the event the Apple One, a one-stop service that bundles access to Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Arcade and iCloud. This bundled service is set to cost around Rs 195 for a month for individual usage and Rs 365 for the family plan. Along with the bundled service plan, Apple also announced improvements in their health services which will now include planned workout sessions, including popular fitness activities like cycling, rowing, yoga and others.

Along with these, the company also announced the release date for their iOS 14 for the iPhone. The date which was fixed for 16 September, however, seemed to have been miscalculated as the update was finally released OTA on 17 September amid a lot of social media buzz regarding the short one-day notice given to app developers. Even then, users will have to wait for the new iOS’s much-waited and hyped PIP and widget functionalities to make it to their beloved apps like YouTube Twitter and Instagram.

The elephant in the room

Apple is much-touted for the clockwork-like precision of the launch of its new iPhones. This year though, the double whammy of the breaking of supply chains and the raging Coronavirus pandemic has caused delays. In the almost one-hour online event, there was hardly any mention of the iPhone; however, talk of the A14 Bionic chip (which will power the new iPhone) touted to be 40% faster than the A13 chip currently being used in the iPhone 11 series has enthusiasts excited.