Time Flies: Apple's Hardware Event Unpacked

On September 15th Apple hosted their annual hardware release event, touting exciting updates to its iPad and Apple Watch product lines, but have they done enough to cure a reputation of lackluster innovation?

Published by Hamish Kerry

Yesterday Apple held their annual hardware launch event, much in the same fashion as June’s WWDC 2020. A prerecorded delight for the Apple fanperson’s senses, taking us through some pretty exciting details of their upcoming product launches.

So, what can we expect to launch from the north star of tech in the coming weeks?


Apple Watch Series 6

Apple opened the event with what could be the most exciting development in its wearables lineup since the appearance of the Apple Watch in September 2016. The brand appears to be trying to integrate some of that playfulness that was commonplace amongst its pre-2010 product lineup, starting their announcement with an all-new colour lineup for series 6. The new apple watch will be available in 10 colour and material variants including a rather jazzed up “Blue” that’s ever so reminiscent of R2-D2’s shell.

Health was big on Apple’s radar this year, with the Series 6 set to feature a blood oxygen monitor, utilising infrared light and what they’re calling ‘advanced algorithms’ to determine the colour of your blood, which in turn will indicate oxygenation. From start to stop, it’ll take you just 15 seconds to receive a reading.

Powering this pocked (or wrist) rocket is a dual-core processor, based on the one currently used in iPhone 11, by the way, the lithium-ion battery that’s powering this puppy will get you up to 18 hours battery life on a single charge, which it needs to cope with a new always-on retina display that’s up to 30% brighter than that seen on the series 5.

Apple Watch Series 6 image

Family Setup

This is apple’s solution to being able to utilise their products without one of their core offerings such as an iPhone. It’s aimed at younger and older members of the household that may not have access to an iPhone, but would benefit from the features available on watch iOS, i.e. fall detection Grandpa Joe, and find my friends for Little Red Riding Hood. Apple has also introduced ‘School Time Mode’ the kind of thing I would have dreaded growing up, but as a university student can definitely see the benefits of. It’s essentially an activity limiter, allowing kids and big kids alike to set times for focus.

Apple Watch SE

This new piece of kit is construed as Apple’s acceptance that they’ve gone way too far in pricepoint for what are devices with functionality commonly seen on products with a much lower price tag. It’s a retake on March 2016’s iPhone SE, a widely successful product that introduced a swathe of customers into the Apple ecosystem at a more affordable price. It’s essentially the series 6, minus the blood oxygen sensor and with poorer performance and battery life.

Apple Watch SE 2020

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ takes all the excitement of the Joe Wicks videos you’ve been watching throughout lockdown and transforms them into a paid-for service, direct to your iPhone and Apple watch. That in itself doesn’t spark much excitement around the service, however, the real moneymaker for Apple is data connectivity. When you launch a workout apple watch and iPhone begin tracking the correct metrics for the workout and display them on your screen. As always apple brings new meaning to ease of access, to access apple Fitness+, you won't need to download a new application. It’s all centrally housed in the existing fitness application. At £9.99 per month, it’s cheaper than most gym memberships. Whether this carries a similar success level to Apple TV (Apple’s take on a streaming service) is yet to be seen.