REUTERS: Apple went small on Monday, cutting prices as well as screen size as it unveiled a new iPhone and iPad aimed at first-time buyers and customers in emerging markets. The new launches came as the FBI moved to postpone a high-profile court battle with the US government on encryption and data protection, saying it may have a way to break into an iPhone at the heart of that case. On Sunday, “an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking (Syed) Farook’s iPhone,” prosecutors said in a filing asking a federal judge in Southern California to delay a hearing set for Tuesday.
“If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.” Apple chief executive Tim Cook stressed that protecting privacy is an obligation the tech giant “will not shrink from.” India focus A new iPhone SE will debut at US $399 for US customers without a contract subsidy, a significant cut from the price of Apple’s larger iPhones. Apple sold 30 million of its other small-screen iPhones in 2015, company vice president Greg Joswiak said, showing that many customers like the compact size despite the trend toward bigger displays.
“Some people really love smaller phones,” Joswiak told the low-key event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, unveiling the aluminum handset with upgraded specifications and other features including Apple Pay. “In some countries like China, for a majority of these customers, it is their first iPhone.” The new iPhone model has strong potential in international markets beyond China, particularly in India, according to Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin. Even though the price tag is higher than low-cost Android handsets that dominate the market, it puts the cherished Apple brand within better reach to people in developing economies. “It will be a good winner for them,” Bajarin said of the iPhone SE.
“While China is still growing, I think their next big market is India and this is a good first step toward an India focus.” The iPhone SE will be aimed at firsttime Apple buyers and those who want to upgrade from the iPhone 5S and 5C, which have not been updated in over two years. The iPhone 6S, the lowestcost handset in the large-screen family, starts at $649. New iPad Also unveiled at the event was a new iPad Pro that moves smaller, - a 9.7-inch (24.6-centimeter) display compared with the 12.9-inch (32.8-centimeter) model on the original business-geared tablet. “It is a large enough display to get all your work done, but easy to carry around,” said Apple vice president Phil Schiller. The smaller, new iPad starts at $599 for US customers, down from around $800 for the original. Apple took direct aim at Windowspowered personal computers, noting the large number of machines that are five or more years old but still in use.