Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, Apple One services bundles, Apple Fitness Plus to potentially compete with Peloton, and iPad and iPad Air updates.
Also: Apple’s event: Watch the Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad Air get unveiled here
Even though the Apple Watch and iPad event is a warm-up act for the iPhone 5G launch, the company did enough to juice unit sales for hardware and to continue to grab wallet share for services.
The event was typical Apple. Product upgrades that spur purchases, services to threaten multiple rivals, and good price points across the portfolio.
Here’s the overview.
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple CEO Tim Cook made the pitch for the Apple Watch as an essential productivity, health, music, and smart home device.
But Apple Watch Series 6 was also touted for more colors including a (Product) red version starting at $399.
- Series 6 is up to 20% faster.
- Utilizes a chip that’s based on the Bionic processor used in the iPhone.
- Always-on display that’s 2.5x brighter outdoors.
- Altimeter measurements.
- Animoji watch faces and more options from developers.
- More band options and the ‘solo loop’ with no buckles and stretchable. There’s also a braided version in various colors.
- Family Setup app for Apple Watch management for parents who have kids without iPhones. Features contact control and location notifications.
Also: Apple debuts new Apple Watch Series 6, SE | Everything Apple announced today that business pros need to know TechRepublic | iPhone 12: The 3 new things business pros need
The big health pitch
The big takeaway is that Apple Watch is more about health than anything else and cited people who have been warned about conditions.
Jeff Williams, chief operating officer, outlined health features for VO2Max levels and cardio fitness: “Each year Apple Watch raises the bar,” said Williams.
Key items include:
- Blood oxygen measurements.
- Background health metrics while you sleep.
- Partnerships with academic institutions on studies.
Also: Apple Watch takes a health-first focus with blood oxygen sensor | Apple announces new Apple Watch Series 6, adding new colors, health sensor, and family CNET
A version of Series 6 with Apple Watch SE
This version of Apple Watch has the basics needed at a lower price. It uses the S5 chip with cellular models.
Family Setup is also included, as is fall detection, for a starting price of $279.
The launch of Apple Watch SE takes a page from the iPhone pricing model and could expand the market.
Also: Apple Watch SE: Apple’s more affordable wearable features WatchOS 7 and ships Sept. CNET | Apple Watch Family Setup works even with no iPhone. What we know so far
Apple is offering a fitness service that could threaten Peloton’s app
Apple Watch is getting a workout service attached to it with trainers and music.
Apple Fitness+ is a new service for Apple Watch and another core theme for the company overall — the growth is in services.
Fitness+ will run on iPhone and iPad and use Apple Watch to track metrics. Data will be on the screen.
Workout types include yoga, cycling, dance, treadmill, strength, core, rowing, and mindful cooldown. The price is $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year.
Apple One launched
Apple One is a long-rumored bundle of services ranging from Arcade, Fitness, News, and Music. Apple One will come in individual plans for $14.95 a month. Family plans are $19.95 a month, and a Premier plan is $29.95 a month.
Add it up, and Apple One just launched a cable-ish bundle of plans.
New iPad lineup
The most popular iPad from Apple — the base model — received an update with an 8th generation that has the A12 Bionic chip.
Apple’s new iPad is touting speed over rival laptops and tablets. Apple is also adding its Neural engine, iPad OS 14, and Apple Pencil improvements.
The iPad 8th generation is available for $329 and $299 for education.
Also: Apple just announced the eighth generation iPad and a completely redesigned iPad Air | iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 arrives Sept. 16. How to prepare your iPhone and iPad to install it CNET | Apple unveils colorful iPad Airs, 8th gen iPad
iPad Air gets A14 Bionic, USB-C
Apple also updated iPad Air and redesigned it with Touch ID at the top of the device. The mid-range iPad Air adds enough colors, processor updates, and performance to garner upgrades.
The company added A14 Bionic to the iPad Air and USB-C. Apple also improved the cameras.
Apple’s A14 Bionic is built on 5nm technology with 11.8 billion transistors.
Overall, iPad Air is packing strong performance at a decent price starting at $599. Availability starts next month.