Apple upgrades low-end iPhone SE with 5G and high-end Mac Studio computer with faster chip
NEW YORK, March 8 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Tuesday added 5G connectivity to its low-cost iPhone SE and iPad Air and introduced a faster chip for a new desktop computer, a highlight in Apple’s decision to power its devices with in-house designed microprocessors.
The new Studio desktop starts at $3,999 with the new M1 Ultra chip. The iPad Air also got Apple’s M1 chip which was developed for laptops.
“Apple Silicon’s strategy is the highlight,” said analyst Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research. “Apple is evolving the portfolio of its internal semiconductor capabilities to power a wider set of richer devices, from the affordable iPhone SE to the most powerful Mac Studio product.”
Apple’s Mac Pro still runs on Intel Corp microprocessors.
Apple has raised the price of the iPhone SE slightly to $429 from $399 for the previous model. The new phone starts shipping on March 18. Learn more
The iPhone SE comes with an A15 Bionic chip, which Apple says is the fastest of the competition, a 4.7-inch Retina display, and a home button with Touch ID.
“It’s important for our existing users who want a smaller iPhone at a great price,” CEO Tim Cook said.
Nabila Popal, an analyst at IDC, said the new iPhone SE would be aimed at consumers looking for a budget 5G device, and could be particularly popular given the economic uncertainty caused by the Russian- Ukrainian.
“A cheaper iPhone with 5G is good news for Apple, especially in these uncertain times,” Popal said.
But demand for larger screens could negatively impact iPhone SE sales, Popal added. Some consumers might opt for older iPhone models with larger screens in the same price range instead.
The M1 Ultra is made by connecting two M1 Max chips and is eight times faster than M1 chips. Its first use will be in the professional-focused creative Mac Studio computer.
Apple will offer two versions of the Mac Studio, one with the M1 Max chip and the other using the M1 Ultra chip.
Mac Studio pricing starts at $1,999 for the version with the M1 Max chip and $3,999 for the loaded M1 Ultra.
Apple has also launched a new monitor called Studio Display which can be paired with any Mac including Macbook Air and Macbook Pro models and is priced at $1,599.
Apple shares were about flat for the day by mid-afternoon.
The company, which has expanded its services and other products, also said its Apple TV+ product will begin showing Major League Baseball games on Friday nights. The weekly double header will be available in eight countries.
The new iPad Air gets its first refresh in two years with a new design, 5G connectivity and the popular M1 in MacBooks. The starting price remained $599 and it will be available from March 18.
The new iPad Air also has a 12-megapixel front camera.
Apple also announced new iPhone 13 models in two new finishes, including Alpine Green.
During the presentation, Cook made no mention of the conflict in Ukraine. Apple said on March 1 that it had suspended all product sales in Russia in response to the Russian invasion. Russian state media, RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the Apple Store outside of Russia. Read more
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.
Reporting by Danielle Kaye in New York and Nivedita Balu and Kanika Sikka in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ashwini Raj, Ahmed Farhatha, Shivansh Tiwary and Nilanjana Basu in Bengaluru; Editing by Karishma Singh, Peter Henderson and Lisa Shumaker
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