At Tuesday's Apple event, the company introduced new iPhones, iPads and more. But could the global chip shortage impact new product deliveries in the months ahead?
On Tuesday, Apple kicked off its much-anticipated "California streaming" event. Historically, these regular Apple events feature a slew of product rollouts and today's happenings were no different. Prior to the event, TechRepublic published a roundup highlighting the speculated product reveals and now we can separate fact from fiction. Here are the latest product reveals, software updates and more business pros need to know about.
SEE: Apple's Sept. 2021 event: What business pros need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Apple reveals: New iPhone, iPad, watches and more
iPhone 13 and A15 Bionic chip
New iPhones were all but certain to be announced today and Apple unveiled a total of four new phones this afternoon. This includes the iPhone 13, Mini, Pro and Pro Max models. The next-generation iPhone 13 features a durable ceramic front shield and IP68 water resistance and Apple said it is working with more carriers so people can gain 5G access in more areas. Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini tout brighter displays and are powered by the A15 Bionic chip.
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max feature a smaller front camera system, Super Retina XDR display and are powered by the A15 Bionic chip. The Pro Max has a larger battery to support the longest iPhone battery life to date, according to the company, and both Pro models come with a 1TB storage option and are available in four finishes with support for MagSafe and the lineup of MagSafe accessories.
The A15 Bionic chip touts a 6-core CPU, enhanced machine learning capabilities, a 5-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine that is capable of up to 15.8 trillion operations per second according to Apple.
SEE: iPhone 13's best features for business pros (TechRepublic)
Apple Watch Series 7
Last September, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 6 and WatchOS updates enabling wearers' to measure blood-oxygen levels via a new oximeter, ECG capabilities and more.
Today, Apple revealed the next-generation Apple Watch Series 7 with a rugged IP6X certification, more rounded corners, thinner borders and a larger screen area. As Apple explained, this larger screen area means wearers can fit more text on the screen to peruse messages and emails with less scrolling. New digital watch face options and watchbands were also showcased.
iPad and iPad Mini
Apple unveiled new iPads including a new iPad Mini. The new iPad is powered by the A15 Bionic chip for faster performance and more powerful neural engine, according to Apple and features a 12 MP ultra-wide camera and uses the Center Stage Pro for enhanced video calling. The new iPad Mini features an 8.3-inch screen liquid retina display, 5G capabilities and a new USB-C port for greater accessory connectivity. The device will be available with new accessories including new Slim Smart Folio cases and support the second-generation Pencil that magnetically connects to the side of the device, per Apple.
The latest iOS and iPadOS updates include a number of features for business pros including capabilities to accommodate multitasking, quick note taking, an app to translate conversations in real time, a Smart Data Mode and more, according to Apple. There are also new FaceTime features such as spatial audio capabilities and Portrait mode and the company said Wallet "adds support for home keys."
SEE: Hiring kit: iOS developer (TechRepublic Premium)
Global chip shortage: Will Apple experience delays?
In recent months, a global chip shortage has impacted production and rollouts across sectors ranging from automobiles and gaming consoles to laptops. Glenn O'Donnell, vice president, research director at Forrester, said he doubts the shortage had "a lot of impact" on Apple product development as the company's "engineers can design whatever they want for their phones and other products," while noting that "off-the-shelf components are often a challenge, forcing engineers to redesign their products to use alternative chips."
SEE: How to migrate to a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)
Since phones use limited use off-the-shelf components, O'Donnell said this is "not as big of an issue for a new iPhone introduction," although he warned that "availability could be constrained" and believes it will be.
"If its suppliers like TSMC cannot provide enough parts, Apple will have to delay iPhone deliveries," he said. "It will need an ample supply of completed phones before it [announces] its availability, but the next wave could be the problem."
The latest iteration of the AirPods was expected, but Apple audio enthusiasts will need to wait for this reveal down the line as this did not happen at Tuesday's event.
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