This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
On September 15, Apple held a new product launch event. You may already know what the announcement was, but many people were disappointed that the new iPhone was not announced as whispered in advance.
However, that's not to say that the rest of the new products are not appealing. The new devices announced by Apple this time are Apple Watches and iPads, both of which are noteworthy for the fact that they are coming out with new elements that have never been seen before.
First of all, as far as the Apple Watch is concerned, there is not only the Apple Watch Series 6, which is a legitimate evolution of the device, including support for measuring blood oxygen levels, but also a new lineup called the Apple Watch Series SE. Like the iPhone SE, this one will be positioned as a lower-priced model of the Apple Watch, and even though it has a few omitted elements, such as not being able to measure blood oxygen levels, it will be priced at more than 10,000 yen less than the Apple Watch Series 6, starting at 29,800 yen. It's fairly inexpensive.
The features and services announced at the same time are likely to have a big impact on why Apple offered a lower-priced model. The first is the Family Setup that allows you to manage your family's Apple Watch and allow children who don't have an iPhone to use it on their own.
And the other is Apple Fitness +. This is a monthly fitness service that allows you to watch a variety of workouts on your iPhone or Apple TV while you train, and it works with the Apple Watch to display information about your workout ring and heart rate on the screen while you're working out.
The former is a feature that is expected to increase sales, such as the need for children's Apple Watches, and the latter is a subscription-based service that can tie the Apple Watch to additional revenue streams. Apple probably dared to introduce the low-cost Apple Watch Series SE because the business was designed with these services as a prerequisite.
On the other hand, when it comes to the iPad, new generations of the low-cost iPad and iPad Air models have been announced. The 8th generation iPad was a logical progression with the A12 Bionic chipset, so it is the 4th generation iPad Air that has been the focus of much attention.
The evolution of the new iPad Air can be summed up in one word: iPad Pro-ization. With its design, size, USB Type-C, Smart Connector, and other features, the new iPad Air looks and feels almost like an 11-inch iPad Pro.
Another advancement is the chipset: the iPad Air has a new A14 Bionic chipset, and even though it's significantly faster than the 11-inch iPad Pro, it's still priced starting at 62,800 yen, which is more than 20,000 yen less than the 11-inch iPad Pro, so it's a pretty good deal.
Up until now, the iPad Air has not shown much evolution, continuing to use the same old body design and interface as the iPad, and has been positioned somewhat halfway through its development. That's why Apple has repositioned the iPad Air as a model that clearly differentiates it from the iPad as it targets consumers who demand a certain level of performance from their tablets.
But even more than these pieces of hardware, what caught my attention was the Apple One, which will be a bundle of Apple's subscription-based services, including iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple TV+, all of which will be available at a discounted price.
When I check how much it is a bargain with the cheapest ‘Individual plan’, because 50GB of iCloud (130 yen per month) and Apple Music (980 yen per month), Apple TV+ (600 yen per month), Apple Arcade (600 yen per month) can be used for a combined total of 1,100 yen, in monetary terms is less than half the price. From a consumer's point of view, it's a pretty good deal.
However, from Apple's point of view, offering a set plan could lead to a decrease in revenue from the individual services. The reason why Apple introduced the Apple One is that it wants to expand its services business.
For Apple, the services business is becoming a major pillar of Apple's growth, along with the iPhone. However, most of the services are highly preference-based, such as music and video streaming, and there is a limit to the number of subscriptions that can be increased by each individual service. So by offering multiple services together and still increasing the value for money, the company is aiming to further expand subscriptions by offering Apple One to all Apple device users.
Together with the aforementioned Apple Fitness +, we got the impression from this announcement that Apple is even more focused on its services. The introduction of the lower-priced Apple Watch and a stronger consumer iPad lineup can also be seen as part of the company's efforts to increase service usage, and it seems clear that Apple is taking a trick to expand its services business.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.