Sunday 17 December 2017

Apple aims for big sales hit with smaller €500 iPhone

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Apple has set its sights on the sub-premium market with its new four-inch handset, the iPhone SE.

The SE was launched at Apple's 'Loop You In' event in California yesterday and is the world's fastest four-inch phone boasting an A9 processor chip.

The 16GB version of the phone has a €500 price tag while the 64GB edition has been priced at €600. It is expected to go on sale in Ireland in early April.

The smaller device bucks the trend of screen sizes increasing. However, Apple's Greg Joswiak reminded the international press that the firm sold 30 million four-inch units last year.

The iPhone SE will be as fast as an iPhone 6S and double the speed of the handset it's replacing, the 5S.

Apple says the phone comes with improved battery life and will be available on restricted release from next week in certain countries before it becomes widely available by May.

Chief executive Tim Cook ended the event talking about the firm's new ring-shaped campus that it is set to move into in 2017.

However, the Apple boss was sentimental about the firm's current headquarters.


"It's a very special place, with lots of memories - the iPod was announced in this room, and so was the App Store,"he said.

The tablet market has been suffering of late, but that hasn't stopped Apple from also releasing a new iPad Pro.

The latest edition comes with a smaller 9.7 inch screen compared to its 12.9-inch bigger brother.

Like the first iPad Pro, the smaller version comes with Apple's fastest mobile processor, the A9X. During the keynote address Apple pitched heavily to PC users, saying that the iPad Pro is the "ultimate PC replacement".

The smaller iPad Pro starts at €700 for a 32GB version and €880 for the 128GB version.

The new device will also allow improve the quality of document scanning using its camera.

Apple's iPad sales have been in freefall over the last two years with the firm hoping its iPad Pro launch in November would act as a stimulant.

However, in the final quarter of 2015 sales of the tablet fell by 25pc, down to 16.1 million.

Apple also launched a new healthcare framework called CareKit, which has been designed to help improve the collection of data in medicine.

The first app on the framework will be used to study Parkinson's disease.

Cook also used the event to defend the issue of privacy and the now notorious San Bernardino iPhone case.

Apple has consistently refused to unlock an iPhone 5c owned by one of the shooters in the terrorist attack last year.

"We built the iPhone for you, our customers.

"And we know it is a deeply personal device," Cook said.

Irish Independent

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