Every year I and the tech industry watch the iPhone announcement with bated breath hoping for something new. Like, love or loathe Apple but you can’t deny they’re a force to be reckoned with both in terms of mind share and money. Tim Cook took over as Apple CEO five years ago and while he’s taken the company to financial heights there has been growing criticism that they’ve not done anything new in a long while. Added to the potential multi-billion Euro tax bill that has landed in the last week and Cook and Apple had to shine tonight.
There were a number of leaks right before the actual event – most notably an entire Amazon page of accessories – so what we finally got wasn’t a huge shock.
Lets get the obvious bit of the way first – we’re getting a new iPhone called the iPhone 7. It’s done away with the headphone jack, is water and dust resistant at IP67 and has generally updated specs. Apple were very proud to show off their new skin – jet black, matt black, gold, silver and pink. The Home Button is now force sensitive – a different strength click will get different results. The camera is improved again with a range of improvements that if historical trends are anything to go by will be significant.
The loss of the 3.5mm headjack is going to make a lot of the headphone’s you’ve got around the house unusable with a new iPhone. In the longer term Apple hopes we’ll transition to Bluetooth or Lightning connectors but until then third parties are offering Bluetooth adaptors that you plug your 3.5mm headphones into. Griffin’s iTrip Clip is the nicest one I’ve seen so far for around £20.
Something that many will find more interesting is that Nintendo will be bringing a Mario game to iOS – Super Mario Run. This will be available before Christmas for a fixed specific price.
The Apple Watch got a surprise – Niantic Lab’s Pokemon Go is going to be integrated with the iWatch. The idea is that as you walk around it pop’s up local Pokemon and Pokestops without the need to have to pull out your phone. The OS is being updated to WatchOS 3 and the hardware is being updated. It’s now called Apple Watch Series 2. Aside from the faster processor and more storage the headline features are that it’s waterproof to 50m and had built in GPS. This means a better experience for runners are they won’t have to carry the iPhone and it’s going to be useable by swimmers. It’s also going to be available in a hardened white ceramic version that looks interesting and different.
The new iPhone will be available for pre-order very soon and will ship on the 18th of September. The Apple Watch Series 2 will be available for $20 more at $369 and the original watch will drop in price to $269. The Series 2 watch will be available for pre-order on the 9th September with availability by the 16th. UK pricing and availability will hopefully be announced soon.