Ten days after Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the new retro-sized iPhone SE and a smaller version of their iPad Pro, both are now available for purchase.
Both products arrive in what is typically the middle of the upgrade cycle, The SE appears designed to get customers still holding on to an old iPhone 5 device (or buying a new 5s) to jump on the upgrade bandwagon.
So what do we know about these new devices?
Still selling millions of iPhone 5s phones, Apple realized that returning to the 4-inch screen made good business sense after upsizing to 4.7 inches for the iPhone 6s and 5.5 inches for the iPhone 6s Plus. Smaller devices are big sellers in Asia. Apple hasn’t skimped on power – the SE is a glimpse into what the future holds for the iPhone 7.
Take an iPhone 6s and cram it into the size of an iPhone 5 and you get the iPhone SE. Using the same A9 chip that powers the 6s, the SE delivers great speed and responsiveness, minus a few big features found in its predecessors (like a less powerful front-facing camera and no 3-D Touch). The SE has a 12‑megapixel iSight main camera, shoots 4K video and captures more than a moment with Apple’s Live Photos.
Where the iPhone 5 offered just two color options (“space grey” and silver), the iPhone SE continues Apple’s foray into more “rich” color with the addition of gold and rose gold.
Apple has managed to squeeze all this technology into what is the second-cheapest new iPhone they’ve ever offered. The 16GB iPhone SE retails for $399, far below the 6s, which retails for $649. The 5c debuted in 2013 as low as $99, but with far more limitations than the SE. Prices come down with cell provider incentives.
It took just six months for Apple to shrink their 12.9-inch iPad Pro down to the more familiar (and original) 9.7-inch iPad screen size. That’s where the similarities end though. As with the iPhone SE, the smaller iPad Pro is more powerful, feature packed, and like its big brother, supports the Apple Pencil.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro features a 12‑megapixel iSight camera (the larger Pro features an 8 megapixel iSight camera), captures 4K video and 240‑fps slo-mo videos, and has Live Photos.
The reduction in size and the addition of more robust features has made this “the best iPad Apple has ever made,” proclaimed Mashable.
This is what happens when you release a device marketed to a small(er) segment of the Apple customer universe – the crushing demand is just not there. No throngs of devotees lined up around the block to get their hands on the new devices in Tokyo this morning. Some people claimed Apple employees were “padding” the lines.
In Apple’s stores, the excitement is palpable. No frowns on these Geniuses, who are ready to sell you on the new devices.