Apple Introduces a Smaller iPhone and iPad


On Monday, March 21, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at Apple’s very own conference center with a few updates to some of the company’s most loved products.

The first big announcement of the event was the new iPhone SE. On the outside, the SE is nearly identical to Apple’s 2013 flagship phone, the iPhone 5s, except for the addition of a new rose gold finish that matches that of the newer iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. On the inside, the SE packs Apple’s A9 processor and a 12-megapixel camera, both of which originate from the 6s. In general, the SE is intended to match the iPhone 6s’s speed and capabilities in a smaller form factor. Its 4-inch screen is exactly the same as that of the three-year-old 5s, which Apple hopes will draw users who prefer smaller phones. These people aren’t Apple’s only target market; the SE is also priced quite competitively at $400 unlocked or free with a two-year contract. With this low price, Apple hopes to introduce the iPhone experience to those who cannot afford $600 or $700 flagship Androids or iPhones. The iPhone SE isn’t groundbreaking or revolutionary; it’s merely a smaller, cheaper phone made for today’s world of fast, flashy flagship phones.

Another announcement Apple made was the introduction of a new, smaller iPad Pro. Late last year, Apple introduced the massive 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which had an incredibly powerful A9X chip and supported a few new accessories, such as the Smart Keyboard Cover and the Apple Pencil stylus. Many users found that the iPad Pro’s size made it hard to use on the go, so Apple created a smaller iPad Pro. 

At 9.7 inches, this iPad is the same size as 2014’s iPad Air 2, which is the most popular iPad available to date. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro brings the 12.9-inch iPad’s processing power, features, and accessories to a smaller form factor, and even outdoes its bigger brother in some respects. The 12-megapixel camera on the smaller iPad Pro is identical to that of the iPhone 6s, allowing for greater clarity while using FaceTime, scanning documents, or simply taking photos. 

The new iPad also has what Apple is calling a “True Tone display,” which allows the iPad to dynamically adjust the screen temperature depending on the lighting conditions of the environment. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the same A9X processor, the same 4-channel speaker system, and supports the same accessories as the existing iPad Pro. The smaller iPad is also priced lower, starting at $600 for a 32-gigabyte model, compared to $800 for a similarly configured 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple hopes that a smaller size, lower price point, and new features will lure more customers to the iPad Pro.

Overall, Apple’s announcements weren’t unprecedented, but they were definitely a step in the right direction and will likely widen their consumer base (and their pockets).