New Apple iPhone 6s, iPad Pro yield mixed results from analysts
(Reuters) — Apple Inc unveiled fresh iPhones that sense the pressure of a finger and a new tap TV set top box that responds to voice commands — changes which underwhelmed many social media commenters, investors, and analysts.
Speaking before thousands of analysts, journalists and frequently cheering Apple employees, Chief Executive Tim Cook rolled out the “iPad Pro” with a 12.9 inch screen and said it had performance similar to a desktop computer. Apple showed off a “smart” keyboard as well as the “Pencil”.
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“Well first thing is the iPad Pro is bigger. It has a 12.9 inch display, up from about 10 inches but it’s nearly as thin as the iPad so you literally have 70% more visual real estate and four speakers and there’s a lot you can do with that,” said tech industry analyst, Patrick Moorhead, founder and president of Moor Insights & Strategy.
Apple shares fell 1.9 percent to $110.15 by the close, replicating the recent history of such rollouts but also reflecting the lack of any transformative products that could jumpstart the company’s sales ahead of the crucial holiday season.
The new 6S and 6S Plus versions of the iPhone, Apple’s biggest money maker, are the same size as the previous versions but come with a better camera, faster chips, new colors and the force-sensitive “3D Touch”.
“3-D Touch could have been the biggest announcement if you look at the span of the next three to five years. It fundamentally changes the way that people will interact with their phone. It’s a really, really big deal. I think it’s going to be harder for the competitors to match,” said Moorhead.
The new phones come a year after Apple rolled out iPhones with larger screens, touching off a frenzy of sales that saw revenue in the most recent quarter increase 32.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
Twitter users seemed most impressed by the revamped Apple TV. The product, which the company long called a ‘hobby’ gets its own app store and will work with Siri, Apple’s digital assistant.
“I was glad to see the that Apple upgraded the Apple TV but I think they could have done more. I think they could have added 4K video, as an example. I think they could have added a more powerful chip so it could compete a little bit closer with some of the bigger consoles from Microsoft, Sony and even from InVideo,” said analyst Moorhead.
Fewer celebrated the iPad, which some saw as too big and similar to Microsoft’s Surface tablet, and new iPhones, which are outwardly identical to the enlarged smartphones which made their debut about a year ago.
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Apple TV demonstrations showed tricks to make viewing easier: digital assistant Siri, which is behind the voice control, can rewind a video for 15 seconds and turn on subtitles, when a viewer asks something like “What did she say”?
The new set-top box will include an app store and let developers create new software for Apple TV, including video games.
Many of Apple’s new features are based on technology that has been around for some time, but never caught on. Apple has a long history of creating successes where others could not.
Years ago a Blackberry featured force-sensing touch. The new iPad has an optional $99 stylus, called the “Pencil”, which amused many on social media: in 2007 Apple then-CEO Steve Jobs told a tech conference, “Yech, nobody wants a stylus.”