Some things were expected, some were not. Apple still managed to highlight it’s products and attention to detail in a way that left many smiling. Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the keynote by referencing it’s legal challenge with the US Government, by emphasizing Apple’s commitment to it’s user’s security and added that on this conflict they “will not shrink”. After some applause and a thumbs up from nearly everyone in the tech industry, Apple moved on to topics that while not flashy, proved that Apple is more than just the company that sells iPhones.
Lisa Jackson VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, emphasized Apple’s commitment to the environment with some amazing statistics. The company’s goal is to operate 100% on renewable fuels worldwide and their currently at 93%, but in 23 countries including the US and China, Apple is already at 100%. Apple also revealed that 99% of it’s paper products are made from recycled paper. They also showed a video introducing their iPhone deconstruction Robot, Liam.
— Damon Beres (@dlberes) March 21, 2016
For those who deeply care about the environment, climate change, and the impacts the tech industry and others have on our planet, you couldn’t be more impressed with these numbers.
Apple continued it’s keynote with some great Research Kit numbers announcing that thanks to the initiative, more medical studies in areas such as Parkinson’s or Autism have been conducted in history! They also introduced CareKit which will allow people to develop their own health apps.
When it comes to products, there wasn’t a great deal of surprises and the leaks and rumors were mostly accurate. The Apple Watch got some new bands and a lower starting price of $299, Apple TV gained some new features thanks to the latest TVOS update, and the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 were confirmed as real products. This may seem like a minimization of what was presented, but Apple strategically reinforced it’s core product line and filled in some gaps. To strengthen it’s Apple Watch brand it reduced the price ensuring that those on the fence will now buy and instilling confidence in existing owners afraid of a refresh. The iPhone SE convinces the 30 million people who bought a 4 inch iPhone last year as well as the millions who still have theirs to upgrade thanks to it’s familiar form factor with identical iPhone 6S performance. The smaller iPad Pro makes the many iPad owners and iPad Pro holdouts really think long and hard about an upgrade thanks to it’s smaller size and lower price. iOS 9.3 doesn’t blow the hinges off the door when it comes to features, but it’s a welcome update as well. The software updates are available Today and the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 are available for pre-order 3/24 and in stores 3/31.
All in all, Apple filled in some important holes in the product line, reassured customers that they do listen, aren’t resting on their laurels, and showed real promise in their overall strategy.
Now what about the Mac? Guess we’ll find out in June.