Company dumps flagship lightning port while unveiling its latest iPhone 15.
In its yearly event showcasing its lineup, Apple announced the long-awaited switch to USB-C along with additional features to its iPhone 15, Airpods Pro 2 earphones, and Apple Watches.
The new line was unveiled by CEO Tim Cook as the company hopes to alleviate concerns caused by Apple’s share price. Earlier, reports of the Chinese government clamping down on the use of American devices by state employees had taken a toll on the American firm.
And now, Apple continues to have a difficult year as it gets forced to comply with a landmark EU common charger regulation.
While Apple had introduced USB-C (the ever-present charging mechanism) to their laptops nearly a decade ago, the iPhone was one of the last holdouts that was incompatible.
The iPhone used a lightning port that was smaller, reversible, and importantly older. Due to the sheer size of the company, Apple has been collecting licensing fees from third parties that make accessories utilising the lightning port through the company’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program.
But doing away with yet another charger is supposed to help consumers from overspending with their one charger able to accommodate any device. Importantly, USB-C is also known for its fast charging capabilities.
“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment,” said Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT) after the adoption of the rule.
It will be a small change with big ramifications, simultaneously relegating piles of accessories for the old lightning port to the scrap heap while further opening up Apple’s closed smartphone ecosystem.
“Apple is a victim of its own success, and everyone is going after the big targets in tech,” told Mike Frazier, president of Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling to the NYtimes.
Sales fell slightly below expectations in the last quarter, so the company needs the iPhone 15 to sell well, not only for direct revenue but as a driver for its increasingly important and profitable services division, which includes the App Store, Apple TV+, and Apple Pay, and accounted for a quarter of revenue in the last quarter. It would also be important to jumpstart its recent entry into the VR market.
What are the specs in the new Apple ecosystem?
There are a lot of similarities between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14, including the edges, glass backs, and size. But, the camera system has improved massively with a better sensor, 48 megapixels, and a 2x optical zoom.
The screens are twice as bright. Both the iPhone 15 and its Pro counterpart also allow for faster performance with their new A16 sensors.
The displays are tougher and coated with ceramic shields.
The new models will also have the smaller “dynamic island” cut out at the top of the screen that replaced the older-style notch in the 14 Pro last year. It houses the selfie camera and Face ID system in a more aesthetically pleasing and useful segment capable of showing alerts.
Meanwhile, Apple’s main smartwatch is seeing one of its biggest upgrades in years, although only on the inside. The watch will be brighter and faster capable of processing common Siri requests locally.
The Series 9 will still look very similar to the Series 6, 7, and 8 before it, but with new colour options. There are climate conservation and sustainability elements to it as well.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will likely cost QAR 999.
The iPhone 15 would cost an estimated QAR 2899, and the 15 Plus QAR 3299 will likely be available in stores on 22 September.
The devices are available for pre-order on September 15.