UPDATE with more details: Apple just unveiled smaller versions of its most powerful iPhones and iPads, looking to expand the markets for its most popular products. The news came at a company Town Hall that CEO Tim Cook kicked off today defending Apple’s position in opposing a government request to help it crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
As for the devices, the widely watched disclosures failed to impress investors, hoping that Apple would give them more hope it could accelerate the company’s slowing sales growth. The stock price, which reached $107.65 before the event, fell to $105.14 after it began and is down 0.4% vs yesterday’s close.
The newly announced iPhone SE has power comparable to the 6S, but with a 4-inch screen. It works with the company’s Siri voice commands, handles WiFi calling, and has a 12-megapixel camera that allows users to make panorama shots, exec Greg Joswiak says.
The new phone will cost $399 for the model with 16 Gb of memory and $499 for one with 64 Gb. It will be available here on March 31, and should be in 110 countries by the end of May.
Apple also will offer a smaller iPad Pro, with a 9.7 inch Retina screen — vs 12.9 inches for the current iPad Pro — and weighing less than a pound. The company’s Phil Schiller says that the device should appeal to Windows PC users, who already account for a majority of iPad Pro customers and want to replace their laptops.
The model with 32 Gb of memory will go for $599, while ones with 128 Gb will cost $749, and one with 256 G will cost $899. It also will start shipping on March 31.
Before announcing the new devices, CEO Tim Cook announced a free update to the Apple TV platform allowing for folders, dictation (helpful for inputting user names and passwords) and access to the iCloud Photo Library.
He also disclosed that the entry-level Apple Watch will have a $50 price cut to $299. The company will offer lots of colorful new watch bands, including ones in woven nylon.
Cook started the event by saying the company “did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our government.” But “we owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country” to protect the privacy of iPhone communications.
“We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy,” Cook said. He added: “This is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from that responsibility.”