Apple held an event in September, but it didn’t announce iPhones then like it usually does. Instead, it used the event to refresh its Apple Watch and iPad lines, as well as introducing a new fitness subscription service and a discounted bundle of services.
The new Apple Watch Series 6 builds on years of health-focused updates by adding blood oxygen monitoring to the mix. Blood oxygen levels are a good indicator of cardiovascular health and fitness.
For the first time Apple also introduced a lower cost model, the $279 Apple Watch SE, which features fewer features than the latest model. But Apple said it’s still twice as fast as the Apple Watch Series 3, which is slightly cheaper at $199.
Apple introduced a refreshed iPad Air, with a sleek new industrial design and a USB-C port, just like the iPad Pro models the company announced earlier this year. The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch screen, a smaller Touch ID sensor for fingerprint unlock, and a new A14 silicon chip that Apple says is its most advanced yet and will significantly improve performance.
The low-cost iPad got some love as well. The 8th generation of the iPad features what Apple says is an all-day battery, faster graphics and processing, a better camera and the A12 bionic chip, which Apple says is “more powerful than ever.”
The device has a 10.2-inch display and comes with new iPadOS 14 features that better integrate its Apple Pencil stylus. It starts at $329.
Services have become a big business for Apple, accounting for more than 20% of its revenue in the most recently completed quarter. Now it’s giving customers a way to buy all of them in a bundle called Apple One.
The subscription service comes in three tiers. The cost for an individual subscription is $14.95, which gets you Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and iCloud. A family subscription goes for $19.95, which allows those services to be shared with up to six family members. Finally, a premier subscription for $29.95 a month includes all those services plus News and Fitness+ subscriptions.
Apple announced a new subscription service called Fitness+ that’s compatible with the metrics tracked by the Apple Watch.
The fitness program features a variety of workout videos — from yoga and dance to strength training — that can be accessed from an iPad, iPhone or Apple TV. Many of the classes, which feature Apple Music, won’t require any equipment, and new videos will be added each week. The company emphasized that its workout offerings will include options for people of all abilities, including those just starting out.
The service will be available before the end of the year and cost $9.99 per month or $79.99 for a full year. One subscription can be shared with family members. With a new Apple Watch purchase, the company is offering three months of Fitness+ for free.