For some September means the end of the summer and back to school, but for millions of Apple fans it means time to put an end to months of speculation, and finally reveal their much awaited product releases. With the amount of people Apple employs, it is quite impressive how they still keep their announcements under-wraps, right until the last second (Minus their last minute miscues with Twitter and Amazon). Sure people can speculate, but even those most in the know weren’t sure what Apple would pull out of it’s bag of tricks at today’s event. Remember last year’s Apple Pencil? Not that it was a groundbreaking announcement, but no one really saw it coming.
The big question up until yesterday for Apple was what would the iPhone 7 bring, but now that all of it features have been revealed, the conversation moves to if Apple has done enough to convince people to purchase it amidst rumors of the iPhone 8. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, causing many to expect the iPhone 8 to offer significant innovations. It will be interesting to see the effect this has on iPhone users, which already makes up 43.5% of all smartphone users in the US (Android makes up 53%).
With that being said, we followed yesterday’s announcements in San Francisco and have rounded up all the information that you need to know. Here are the top announcements from the event to keep you in the know.
1) Death of the Headphone Jack with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (Released Sept 16th)
As has been reported for months, the iPhone 7 family of phones has removed the standard audio headphone jack in favour of a lightning port that accepts headphones as well. The removal should not come as a shock since Apple has a track record of cutting out features it deems obsolete– as it did with the CD-drive. Apple pointed to the superiority of the lightning port for audio, and the ability to remove a single-function input that was taking up valuable space, as reasons to say sayonara to the beloved headphone jack. To make the transition easier, Apple has included lightning headphones, as well as a lightning to headphone jack adapter in the box at launch.
2) Air Pods: Apple’s First Foray Into Wireless Headphones
By eliminating the headphone jack, it was inevitable that Apple would be hoping that people would start to become more comfortable with wireless headphones. Not wanting to be outdone by their partners at Beats (who also have their own line of new wireless headphones), Apple has released the Air Pod wireless headphones. Looking identical to their current earbuds– minus the wire– the Air Pod’s promise 5 hours of battery life, and a charging case that can hold up to 24 hours of its own.
3) The iPhone 7 is all About the Camera
Remember when we used to refer to our cell phones as “Camera Phones?” Well it seems Apple did with its newest iteration, as it spent most of its time discussing the improvements in its camera’s capabilities. More specifically, its improvements for the 7 Plus, which for the first time features two lenses on the rear of the camera. The dual lense gives the camera better optical zoom (56mm vs. 28mm), better depth management, improved color gamut and better stabilization.
4) Apple Watch Series 2 Unleashes your Inner Athlete (Released late October)
The trend of the Apple Watch launch was athletes. From athletes in all their promo videos, to partnerships with Nike and ViewRanger (an app for hikers), Apple looked to be now positioning the Apple watch as the premier fitness watch in the market. In the 16 months since the launch of the original Apple Watch, Apple has already become the second best selling watch manufacturer behind Rolex. The new watches, dubbed Apple Watch Series 2, showed off their improved GPS, swim- and dust-proof cases, brighter screens, and faster dual core processors at the event. New strap and casing options were also displayed, with a new ceramic body edition coming in at a whopping $1,700USD.
5) Apple Leans on Nintendo
Pokemon Go has been everywhere in the news, but the last place we expected it to pop up was at the latest Apple event. But there it was taking center stage, with the CEO of Niantic telling everyone how useful the Apple Watch could be on your next pokehunt. This all took place after legendary game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, came on stage to introduce a new Mario based iPhone game Super Mario Run. This new Super Mario game is reminiscent of the old Super Mario Bros. games, and hopes to cash in on generations of Nintendo fans, who have traded in their consoles for iPhones. With the pair of announcements surrounding Nintendo properties, their stock price was the real winner, seeing a 24% increase following the event.