One of the certainties in the course of the year, which is no longer true in times of Corona, is this: the electronics company Apple usually presented its new iPhones in September – just in time for Black Friday and the start of the Christmas business. This year, however, is also different, the fan boys and girls will have to wait a bit for the new smartphones.
This time the program is different. The invitation to the presentation already referred to new smart watches in a rather unsubtle manner: “Time flies”, it said, for example: how time flies. As expected, Apple also showed new models of its iPad tablet series. Most surprising was the presentation of two new subscription services: A fitness program and a comprehensive subscription to all Apple services, from music to the cloud.
Smartwatches have long been considered not overly useful, but after a few generations of the Apple Watch, the picture has changed. Apple is now one of the largest watch manufacturers, and the computer watch made by the Californians is by far the best-selling smartwatch. Initially things didn’t go particularly well for the Californians, especially the super-expensive luxury models for up to 18,000 euros found only a few buyers.
But then the tide turned. To date, Apple has sold just over 103 million watches, and the group clearly dominates the computer watch market with a market share of 55.5 percent. However, these figures do not come from Apple itself, but are estimates by analysts and market research companies. The group lists the watch in a category with several other products and does not publish individual numbers.
The functions for recording fitness and health data are likely to be particularly decisive for the success of the Apple Watch. In 2018, Apple launched a watch that can also derive a simple ECG, which can be used to detect the dreaded atrial fibrillation. Apple has now expanded this area further. The Apple Watch Series 6 can now also measure the oxygen content of the blood and warn if it falls below or exceeds certain limits. In addition, as with the iPhone, there is now a slimmed-down SE model, but it can do more than older versions.
But Apple is no longer just a manufacturer of devices and accessories. The group also connects the devices with each other with more and more offers. If, for example, the – non-expandable – memory on the iPhone is too small, Apple offers a subscription to the in-house cloud quite obtrusively. And for the Airpods earphones, the in-house streaming service Apple Music is also recommended.
You can also put it this way: Apple has always tried to keep its customers as close to home as possible – the Apple Watch, for example, can only be operated with an iPhone. The various services are another means of increasing customer loyalty. Why go anywhere else when you can get everything from a single source? Apple is now continuing this. On the one hand with a fitness subscription for ten dollars a month, in which trainers demonstrate renewed exercises or workouts on a weekly basis.
What’s exciting is that the data the Apple Watch collects can be viewed on a TV or an iPad. If you start the exercise there, the corresponding program is started immediately on the clock. The offer is initially only available in some English-speaking countries.
But Apple goes even further: With Apple One, users can book all Apple services at once, including the music streaming service, cloud storage, Apple’s video offering and the fitness program. It costs up to $30 a month, but can then be used by the whole family.
There was also something new with the iPad. In this category, Apple meanwhile offers fairly inexpensive entry-level models, but also devices for business customers that have the suffix “pro”. They can be upgraded with keyboards to become almost full-fledged laptops, but then they cost as much and can’t do everything that a laptop can do. Even the entry-level models can now be operated with a stylus, of which Apple has two versions in its range: one for the Pro models and a less powerful one for the others.
A new entry-level model, the eighth-generation iPad, was presented, as well as a new iPad Air, whose design now closely resembles that of the Pro models. Needless to say, the new iPads also have a faster inner workings. With the new Air, Apple moved the fingerprint sensor to the on/off button for the first time. Instead, the new Mac Mini was not yet on display, probably due to the uncertainties of the Corona period.