For an hour, Apple is still broadcasting live online. In the first autumn conference this year, only the two product lines, Apple Watch and iPad, were updated.This is actually expected, except that when Apple announced its financial report before, it had already mentioned that this year’s new iPhone would be delayed due to the epidemic, and various revelations before the press conference have shown that the iPhone 12 is not It will be unveiled in September.
In other words, the suspense still continues, even because of this press conference, there is even more suspense about how many new products Apple will release this year.
Apple Watch is more focused on health, and the threshold is lower
In fact, in the Apple Watch product line, Apple has gone through a detour. In the Apple Watch generation, Apple set its competitors on Swiss Watch and launched a pure gold version. However, it is clear that digital products like Apple Watch are difficult to support luxury positioning. So starting from the second generation, Apple’s positioning of Apple Watch has gradually become clear:
A screen with a larger screen-to-body ratio brings a better look and feel.
2. Stronger battery life reduces the number of charging times to improve the experience.
3. More health and exercise monitoring functions make Apple Watch more versatile.
The goal of a larger screen-to-body ratio was achieved on Apple Watch S4. Stronger battery life is achieved on Apple Watch S5 with a variable screen refresh rate. The Apple Watch S6, which is updated this year, further adds health and exercise monitoring functions based on previous optimizations.
The most important feature added by Apple Watch S6 is the function of blood oxygen monitoring. Simply put, this indicator helps to understand the human body’s ability to absorb oxygen and the amount of oxygen delivered to the body. If a person’s cardiopulmonary function has problems, blood oxygen indicators will quickly change.
The Apple Watch S6 uses a new back sensor to monitor blood oxygen indicators.
In fact, some dismantling reports have mentioned that in the first generation of Apple Watch, the photoelectric sensor equipped on it can provide the function of blood oxygen monitoring, but in the sixth generation product released last night, the brand new blood oxygen The sensor consists of four groups of LED light clusters and four photodiodes. It is integrated in the newly designed crystal glass case back and cooperates with the blood oxygen App to determine the user’s blood oxygen level.
What’s more important for Chinese users is that the blood oxygen monitoring function this time must be usable. It will not be activated in mainland China due to medical permits as the previous ECG function.
In addition to hardware updates for blood oxygen monitoring, Apple Watch S6 also uses a brighter screen.
In addition to a series of hardware update points such as blood oxygen monitoring and brighter screens, the software update of watchOS 7 also allows old users to use some new features, such as sleep monitoring and family sharing mode for children. Parents can Knowing the child’s location, you can also set the available contacts of the Apple Watch used by the child.
In order to strengthen the function of exercise monitoring, Apple even made a separate exercise App to guide users to exercise. (I feel that some exercise guidance apps have been robbed of jobs).
Obviously, whether it is the new and wider health monitoring, more detailed exercise guidance, and the newly added child sharing mode. Both symbolize that Apple wants Apple Watch to be a smart watch suitable for all ages and everyone. So it is logical to launch a cheaper Apple Watch SE.
Compared with the Apple Watch S5 released last year, Apple Watch SE only cuts off the hardware function of the variable screen refresh rate, the screen is always on. The chip uses the same S5 chip, and the starting price is suddenly reduced to 2199 yuan. Obviously, this price-performance adjustment will make many users who wanted to start with Apple Watch before but felt that the price is too high, reconsider this product.
Of course, with the release of Apple Watch S6 and Apple Watch SE, there are a large number of new straps and new dials.
The most valuable iPad Air in history, so that iPad Pro users are envious
The biggest highlight of the entire conference is the greatly updated iPad Air 4. Apple finally used the iPad Pro design on the iPad Air product line.
Of course, because of the different positioning, although the design of the iPad Air is similar to that of the iPad Pro, there are still many gaps.
First of all, the screen of the new iPad Air is 10.9 inches, which means that the screen-to-body ratio of the iPad Air is lower than that of the iPad Pro. And the screen on the iPad Air does not have the high refresh rate as on the iPad Pro, and the maximum brightness is also lower.
In addition, the new iPad Air is not equipped with FaceID face unlock, but integrates Touch ID fingerprint unlock on the power button on the side of the fuselage. In fact, this does not particularly affect the user experience, and the entire unlocking process may even be smoother, because even though FaceID on the iPad Pro supports multi-angle unlocking, the unlocking process and recognition rate are actually not as reliable as simple fingerprint unlocking.
There is only a single camera behind the new iPad Air, instead of the lidar and dual cameras that can enhance the AR experience like the iPad Pro released in the first half of 2020. I believe this is not a big problem for most iPad users.
The last thing is to make many people cry out after watching the new iPad Air:
More body colors.
2. It supports the second generation of Apple Pencil, and the storage and charging method is the same as that of iPad Pro.
3. The second keyboard is also supported, but Apple has not made a second keyboard for the new iPad Air separately, just buy the same one as the iPad Pro 11.
4. The new iPad Air uses a more advanced 5nm process A14 chip.
The hardware parameters look like this, but after all, it is the iPad Air with a lower positioning, so Apple still opened some obvious gaps between the two products.
The iPad Air will be slightly thicker than the iPad Pro, but it is not obvious.
2. The iPad Air uses a dual-speaker structure, not the 4-speaker like iPad Pro. The external sound quality will be worse.
3. Although the manufacturing process of the A14 chip is more advanced, the graphics performance of the A14 chip is not as strong as that of the A12Z from the performance point of view.
Of course, for ordinary users, the problem of chip performance can almost be ignored, because most iPad users do not need the strong performance of iPad Pro.
The only problem may be the price and configuration. The starting price of the new iPad Air is set at 4799 yuan, which is the 64G version, which is not enough. The 256G version of the iPad Air starts at 5,999 yuan, which is actually only 300 yuan cheaper than the 128G 11-inch iPad Pro. It may take some time to entangle it when buying.
Along with the new iPad Air update, there is also an iPad for regular performance updates. The starting price is 2499 yuan.
When the press conference ended last night, everyone already knew that this year’s epidemic completely disrupted the pace of Apple’s release of new products, and it also left a few suspense.
The first is related to the press conference, about the left-to-right interaction between iPad Air and iPad Pro. For a large number of ordinary consumers, they like the design of the iPad Pro, but the price of the iPad Pro is indeed too high, and the release of the new iPad Air gives these consumers a new choice.
But the most interesting part is actually on the A14 chip.
Generally speaking, Apple will first launch the new iteration of the A series on the iPhone, and then use it on the iPad product line. But this time, the iPad Air first released the A14 chip and revealed more information about the A14 chip in advance.
The A14 chip is the world’s first 5nm process chip, encapsulating 11.8 billion transistors; 6-core CPU, 40% higher than the previous generation performance; 4-core GPU, 30% higher; 16-core neural network engine, capable of 110,000 per second Billion operations.
Of course, in the page of Apple’s official website, these performance improvements are compared to the previous generation chip used on the iPad, which is the A12 chip.
Looking at Apple’s official website, the A13 chip is also compared with the A12 chip. The CPU speed of the A13 chip has increased by 20%, the GPU has increased by 20%, and the neural network engine has 8 engines.
From such a comparison, you can find that if you look at the CPU and GPU speeds, the A14 is not much better than the A13, but the 5nm process and more neural network engines will actually have two most obvious experience improvements: more reasonable Energy consumption control and stronger AI computing capabilities.
This actually confirms what was mentioned in the previous exposure that this year’s iPhone will reduce the battery capacity, on the one hand because of the need to reduce the thickness of the body, on the other hand, the energy consumption control has indeed come up to ensure the current battery life. Big battery too.
And these seem to imply several points worth looking forward to for the new iPhone: Will the new iPhone be thinner and lighter? And after using a stronger neural network engine, will the ability to take pictures be further improved?
The speculation about the iPhone triggered by the release of the A14 chip is on the one hand, and the suspense on the other, comes from the iPad Pro product.
Even after the release of the new iPad Air last night, the iPad Pro is still the strongest iPad. But it is undeniable that for most iPad users now, the enhancement of the new iPad Air has been able to meet most of the needs, and the redundant performance of the iPad Pro will make the positioning of this product a bit awkward.
But if Apple dared to put the design and functions of iPad Pro on the iPad Air, it must have figured out a way out for the next generation of iPad Pro.
Odin, the author of Tiger Sniff, once proposed such a conjecture:
Although the hardware capabilities of the iPad Pro are strong enough, iPadOS is still not enough to support the name of productivity. But the Mac gradually turned to the ARM architecture, which actually provided a new idea for the iPad Pro using A series chips.
Apple may combine the high-end iPad Pro with the low-end MacBook Air into a new product.
The low-end iPad is responsible for the general entertainment market, and the high-end iPad Pro is sold with a magic keyboard to replace the low-end notebook MacBook, and transfer the iOS application ecosystem to the macOS ecosystem. Apple can lock the macOS system in the iPad Pro and can only install applications from the Mac Appstore and approved developers, which can guarantee the stability of the system to a certain extent, but it can also bring greater productivity than the current iPad.
Of course, such a conjecture does seem a bit too radical, but it is not impossible. However, from a rational point of view, the next generation of iPad Pro is most likely to further enhance its hardware capabilities. For example, it will still be a more powerful chip, and use a more professional display quality and a miniLED screen with higher absolute brightness. .
But if you just bought the iPad Pro this year, don’t regret it. In fact, compared to the new iPad Air, the 2020 iPad Pro is not low cost performance.
The last suspense should be how Apple will release new products next.
In the past Apple autumn conference, Apple will release the new iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad at the same time in September, and leave it to the new Mac in October. And this year, the first event in September has already released the Apple Watch and iPad lines. There is a high probability that it is not just the iPhone product line that is left for the next conference, but it is also very likely that there will be more new products.
There has been a lot of exposure before that Apple will also release AirTag anti-lost films and AirPods Studio head-mounted anti-noise headphones. Both new products have a high probability of being released together with the iPhone 12 series. The release time of the iPhone 12 series is likely to be no later than the end of October at the latest, because if it is too late, it will directly affect Apple’s Q4 revenue, because, as usual, Apple’s new opportunities are opened in the last week of the third quarter. Sales, the longer the iPhone is delayed, the more difficult it will be for Apple, which relies heavily on the iPhone to support its revenue.
According to what Apple disclosed during the previous WWDC, the first ARM-based Mac will also be available at the end of the year.
In other words, although the epidemic has affected the release rhythm of Apple’s new products, the end of 2020 may become the most intensive year of Apple’s new product releases we have seen in recent years.
Even from a single conference last night, Apple has shown a situation where it wants a winner-takes-all. Whether it is Apple Watch or the new iPad, what it wants to achieve is through more reasonable pricing and more. The function of the iPhone 12 series covers a wider user group. In the previous exposure, the iPhone 12 series will have 4 units, which will cover a wider price range. It is also more aggressive than the previous 3 model strategy, which has been The announced ARM-based Mac plan, what Apple wants is not only to take back the initiative of its own computer product line from Intel, but to control the development trend of the entire computer industry, and even the future development trend of the entire world’s computing equipment.
In the past, when we talked about Apple’s advantages, we often mentioned its ecosystem, but it’s easy to overlook. The carrier of the ecosystem is a hardware product. Only if Apple continues to expand its user base, the ecological advantage will be higher and stronger. .
Last year’s iPhone 11 was priced at 5499, and the boost from domestic e-commerce platforms fell to the range of four thousand yuan. This year, the threshold for Apple Watch and iPad has also been lowered.
For competing brands, this is actually far more terrifying than the one or two flagship phones released by Apple every year.
For consumers, this is definitely a good thing. The threshold for starting Apple devices is lower, and domestic competitors will especially strengthen the competitiveness and cost-effectiveness of their products.