Apple on Monday introduced smaller versions of some of its flagship products including a 4-inch iPhone SE that is as powerful as an iPhone 6S and a 10-inch (technically 9.7-inch) version of the iPad Pro.
The company began its "Apple Event" presentation by highlighting its 40 years of products and innovations and then by addressing the company's current battle with the FBI over encryption. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company believes "strongly we have a duty to protect your data and your privacy."
"This is an issue that impacts all of us. We will not shrink from this responsibility," Cook said.
The company also touted its sustainability efforts. Apple's U.S. energy use is 100 percent renewable as is its power usage in 23 countries. And in a lengthy segment, Apple's ResearchKit software was shown to change people's lives in health areas. Apple also introduced new nylon woven bands for Apple Watch and a starting price of $299.
But the real meat of the presentation was a new, smaller iPhone, the iPhone SE, which goes against the trend of larger smartphones. Apple said first-time iPhone buyers, users switching from Android and users in markets such as China often prefer a smaller display, but desire the power of Apple's higher-end phones. To that end, the iPhone SE is as powerful in processing and graphics as an iPhone 6S and has an advanced 12-megapixel camera. It does lack the 6S feature of 3D Touch.
The new phone will be available for order on Thursday and will ship on March 31 starting at $399 off contract for a 16 GB model.
Apple's new 10-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 and also ships on March 31 with orders starting Thursday. For the first time, the company is adding a 256 GB version for $899 (all Wi-Fi only models at those prices). The killer feature of the new iPad, it seems, is a true-tone display that adjusts to the ambient light in a room.
The company will keep its iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 models in stock.
Another addition on Monday is a new version of Apple's mobile software, iOS 9.3, which will add "NightShift," a feature that eliminates blue light and, presumably can hep with sleep issues.
And now some Tweets from watching the event:
Odds on Tim Cook throwing some shade at the FBI about encryption in today's presentation? #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
First and only time I've thought, "I wish I had Microsoft Edge" pic.twitter.com/YdFEdSyZse— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
Oh, here we go, Tim Cook about to go HAM about encryption #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
"We will not shrink from this responsibility" of protecting data and privacy, Tim Cook says, to applause. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
The last thing I'm thinking about when I sent an iMessage is my carbon footprint. I'm thiking about most effective emojis. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
Tim Cook asks Apple TV Siri "Show me movies with kevin Hart" and it overheats and blows up from too many hits #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
The iPhone SE is real. 4 inches of iPhone in rose gold, you're welcome new iPhone users with tinyT-Rex hands. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
iPhone 6 SE has same processing/graphics as 6S, updated camera, Apple Pay. It's a good day to be small. Did I miss 3D Touch tho? #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
iOS 9.3 dropping today with new features including NightShift (for getting rid of sleep-stealing blue light) and more. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 21, 2016
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