Breaking News: Apple’s Big Announcements Today
Today, Apple “looped” in the rest of the world to announce a new 4-inch “iPhone SE,” a 9.7-inch “iPad Pro,” new wristbands for the Apple Watch, iOS 9.3, new initiatives for renewables (called Liam), and health-related apps and lots more.
Tim Cook reminded the audience that Apple’s 40th anniversary is April 1, 2016. As of today, Apple has 1 billion devices in the worldwide market. Second, and before any other announcements, Cook acknowledged their current legal battle with the FBI, saying. “We will not shrink from this responsibility.” Watch Fortune’s video coverage here.
iPhone SE — Smaller, Cheaper
Among U.S. adults, Apple still leads in device ownership for both smartphones and tablets. But for the last year, Apple’s monthly user base for smartphones and tablets seemed to be flattening out.
It’s been reported that Apple’s market share for smartphones and tablets is reaching a saturation point in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe (as noted in our graph above). Many device manufacturers are looking for ways to create products that are suitably priced for first-time smartphone buyers — mainly those buyers outside the U.S. Today, Apple confirmed it had the same strategy. But, customer feedback was also a key driver for re-introducing a smaller iPhone. Our February 2016 Verto Device Index continues to show significant ownership of Apple’s smaller, older devices. Why? Could be price or could be size.
iPad Pro — Return to the 9.7-inch Device
When you look at Apple device ownership from a gender perspective, women have a larger share of the user base for both devices. Perhaps a desire to have smaller, more portable device (e.g. fits in a purse) was taken into consideration. After all, Apple said they had sold 200 million 9.7-inch iPads worldwide over the years– size matters.
The new iPad Pro, while smaller and more portable, has Apple’s latest features including a powerful chip and processor for games, modeling, rendering and drawing with the Apple Pencil. Also, the camera allows you to shoot and edit 4k video.
When you consider the price of a tablet or a smartphone, age (and potentially more disposable income) is not as much of a factor as you might expect. In fact, the number of users between 18-29 is nearly equal to the number of users between 30-45 years of age. These numbers would indicate that features may be more important than pricing, at least in the U.S. And Apple devices have a lot of new, cool features.
Adding Color (and Wider Appeal?) to Apple Watch
When it comes to smart watches, Apple Watch is the leader. According to IDC, Apple has “49.4% of the smartwatch market.” Our data shows that the U.S. install base for Apple Watch has grown rather significantly over the past few months from two million in April 2015 to nearly seven million in February 2016.
And who is that Apple Watch owner? It’s most likely to be a male in his early thirties.
Now Apple has now introduced a wide array of colors and materials along with a starting price of $299. We suspect that Apple is testing the market to see whether aesthetics can change the demographic make-up of their buyers.