Last night's Apple event promised much in the beginning, with Apple’s share price up fairly strongly in early trade, as investors perhaps held out hope that the iPhone maker would decide at the last minute to unveil a roadmap for the launch of the new 5G iPhone 12.
Apple event unveils new upgrades
We did get to see a raft of new upgrades, with a new iPad, an Apple One subscription bundle in what looks like an attempt to take on Amazon Prime, and a new Apple Watch 6 with a fitness bundle.
The new iPad Air 4 comes in five colour options, has a 40% faster CPU, as well as 30% faster graphics, the new A14 bionic chip, plus front and rear-facing cameras.
The Apple One subscription is a bundle where you can pull multiple services together into a single package, which includes music, video, games, films, news and magazines. In an attempt to crack the fitness market there is also a Fitness Plus option which connects to the Apple Watch and tailors workouts where you can do virtual workouts online.
Apple looks to fitness space
This could be the beginning of an attempt by Apple to muscle in on the segment of the market that has seen Peloton do so well, without the expensive bike. With coronavirus prompting a boom in online workouts and exercising, caused by a reduction in gym space, this could be an area that Apple might be hoping to make inroads in, as it looks to cement a place in the healthcare space.
On the other hand, I could simply get my Wii Fit out of the cupboard and dust off my balance board, without the additional cost. The question Apple needs to answer is how this is different to what Nintendo tried to do with the Wii a few years ago.
The Apple One bundles start at £15 a month, with the most expensive coming in at £30 a month.
Apple Watch 6 with health focus unveiled
Apple also unveiled a new Apple Watch 6 with a strong focus on healthcare, with a blood oxygen monitor that warns you if your levels drop too low. It also has a tracker for hand washing. There was also a budget Watch SE without the blood oxygen monitor which retails at a cheaper price.
Having sat all the way through last night’s Apple event and with no mention of a new iPhone, the Apple share price gave up the ghost, sinking briefly into negative territory when it became apparent that we’d have to wait a little longer for our iPhone 12 fix.
As we look ahead to today’s market, open the wider question is will Apple be able to deliver on its attempts to augment its services model, while at the same time prompting people to upgrade to the next 5G iPhone.