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Sunday 23 October 2016

Adrian Weckler: So was Apple's mega-launch really worth the fanfare?

Three things we learned from the big event

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

A man uses the new Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. Photo: Getty
A man uses the new Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. Photo: Getty

So was Apple's mega-launch really worth the fanfare?

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Here are three things we learned from the big event:

1. The iPhone is crushing all before it: A new 12-megapixel camera and '3D Touch' functionality are decent upgrades to the world's bestselling phone.

But do they constitute a wow factor in themselves?

It doesn't really matter: Apple's core product has a spell on people that simply won't be broken. The two new iPhones will immediately make people start considering an upgrade over the next three months.

Apple seems to be increasingly out on its own in the high-end phone market, with the threat of Samsung falling away noticeably in the past 18 months. (Apple chief executive Tim Cook didn't mention the company once and barely mentioned Android as a competitor during the event).

Despite more Android phones out there, Apple is now dominating the world's phone business in almost every meaningful way.

2. The company isn't giving up on iPads anytime soon: All the sales figures show us that we don't buy tablets in the same numbers we used to.

This is mostly because our five-inch phones now do what we used to ask of our tablets. But Apple, the biggest tablet maker by far, isn't taking it lying down. Its new giant 13-inch iPad Pro is being pitched at people who like touchscreens but want more powerful machines. But at €800, it's a big ask for people thinking of a tablet.

3. Apple really wants to get into television: Apple's updated TV set-top box is about a lot more than the new apps and gaming-friendly remote control that were announced with it.

"We believe that the future of television is in apps," said Tim Cook on stage. What he might really mean is that the age of RTÉ, BBC and Sky is starting to look out of step with the technology of the times.

It's well known that Apple has been trying to wedge itself into the TV streaming business for several years.

But film and TV companies know that Apple is big and powerful enough to turn its industry inside out if given half the chance.

So it's not playing ball for the moment. In the interim, the updated Apple TV device will have to do with a clever interface upgrade that makes it much easier to connect smart home features, as well as controlling the navigation of recorded television and films.

Irish Independent

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