At a press event – the last to be held in its Cupertino headquarters – Apple has unveiled the iPhone SE, a new iPad Pro and CareKit, and launched iOS 9.3.
Running against the trend of larger screen sizes, the iPhone SE has a 4″ display. It’s powered by a 64-bit A9 chip, with a 12-megapixel camera and Touch ID fingerprint recognition.
The SE will launch in 13 markets, including the UK, US and China, on 31 March, starting at $399/£359 for the basic 16GB model.
“iPhone SE is an exciting new idea — we started with a beloved, iconic design and reinvented it from the inside out,” said Apple marketing SVP Philip Schiller. “The result is the most beautiful and powerful phone with a 4″ display in the world. Everyone who wants a smaller phone is going to love iPhone SE.”
Continuing in the same trend, the second iPad Pro model is also smaller than its predecessor, with a 9.7″ display.
Powered by Apple’s 64-bit A9X chip, the Pro has a four-speaker audio system and 12-megapixel camera, as well as support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard cover – the latter in a new design to fit the smaller screen.
The Pro will also launch on 31 March, with the 32GB version costing $599 for the wi-fi model and $729 with mobile connectivity.
CareKit is an open-source mHealth software framework, intended to let people ‘actively manage their own medical conditions’.
Apple is creating four of its own modules for CareKit: Care Card, for tracking activities like taking medicine or completing physical therapy; Symptom and Measurement Tracker, for recording how the user is feeling; Insight Dashboard, which combines the previous two to show how treatments are working; and Connect, for sharing this information, whether with doctors or family members. It’ll be up to third-party developers to build on these and create apps for different conditions and treatments.
Apple also released iOS 9.3, with updates to the CarPlay system, the ability to use Touch ID to secure individual apps, more personalisation options for News apps, and Night Shift. Being sold as the biggest new feature in this update, Night Shift changes the display’s colour balance to match the time of day – too much blue light can make it hard to sleep, so screens will automatically switch to a warmer tone at sunset.
At the event, Apple also announced a $50 price cut for the Apple Watch, bringing the starting cost down to $299, a new range of woven nylon watch bands, and updates to ResearchKit.