Apple’s Latest Products for 2016
In usual September style Apple unveiled their latest iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus just a few weeks ago, Assurant’s Product Innovation Manager, Oliver Birch, has taken a look at what they have to offer.
Although at first glance the new iPhones look very similar to the previous two generations (iPhone 6 & 6S) a closer look reveals some subtle visual changes. The antenna lines are more discreet and the camera housing is now shaped from the body of the phone giving it a much cleaner look. They boast some new colours with both black and jet black in a matte finish available along with Gold, Silver and Rose Gold. There’s also a high gloss anodised finish creating the illusion of the screen glass and steel casing being one single material.
The new design was the first of 10 new features for buyers to get excited about:
Water & Dust Proof – New seals and adhesives have been added to offer protection against both water and dust and are also rated at IP67, meaning they will survive a short dip in water up to 1m in depth.
Camera – The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world and with the iPhone 7 and, particularly, the iPhone 7 Plus Apple is focusing on providing best in class photography capabilities. The iPhone 7 has a 12mp sensor with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a new True Tone flash to provide better low light results. The
iPhone 7 Plus brings with it a completely new Dual Camera solution that elevates its photographic capabilities to near single lens reflex (SLR) quality. Using 2 12mp lenses for varying focal lengths allows improved zoom along with the ability to create Bokeh effects (blurring the background of a photo while retaining sharp focus on the subject in the foreground) that are normally only seen in high end DSLR cameras. The front facing camera also received a boost with the sensor being upgraded from 5 to 7mp making your selfies look even better!
New Home Button – The home button is possibly the iPhone’s most iconic feature and with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus it receives a complete re-think. No longer a physical moving button the new iPhones use a touch sensitive button combined with a taptic engine to provide haptic feedback simulating a button press. The new button retains the Touch ID sensor used for security and Apple Pay.
Audio – For the first time Apple has equipped the new iPhones with stereo speakers providing double the sound volume of the previous models. As has long been expected Apple has not included a standard headphone port on the new iPhones. Instead, customers will receive re-designed Apple EarPods featuring a lightning connector and connect using the lightning port on the iPhone. Using a custom wireless chip the new AirPods can be paired with all your iOS devices and intelligently switch to the one playing music. Pairing is incredibly simple; just hold them near your iPhone and tap the on screen prompt. They use infra-red to detect when they are in your ear in order to turn on and off automatically and each AirPod includes a microphone so it can be used alone for calls or Siri commands.
Other New Features
o Faster – A10 Fusion processor includes 4 CPU cores 2 of which are dedicated to high performance. This delivers a 50% speed increase over the A9, alongside 2 cores dedicated to low power tasks which delivers significant battery savings resulting in up to 2 hours more battery life than the iPhone 6S. The new iPhones also include new faster 4G LTE chips capable of up to 450mbps data transfers.
o New Retina HD Displays – Following in the footsteps of the iPad Pros, the new iPhones include new cinema standard wide colour gamut displays that deliver ultra-realistic colours making photos and videos look better than ever before.
o Increased Storage – The storage options have been doubled from previous years with 32GB now being the base storage option. This should alleviate one of the biggest complaints about iPhones running out of space for pictures and videos, especially with the new high quality cameras.
o iPhone Upgrade Program – Launched in the U.S. last year, this scheme allows customers to sign up to a monthly payment plan that guarantees them a new iPhone every year. It will be available in the UK with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus exclusively through Apple Stores. Financing for the scheme is provided by Barclays and it includes Apple Care Plus. Financing is also available without Apple Care Plus but does not offer the yearly iPhone upgrades.
Although the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have plenty of great new features for customers to get excited about, and the water resistance and dust proofing should offer more durability; there is a lot of new technology that could make them more susceptible to damage or mechanical breakdown, especially the touch sensitive home button. This is compounded by Apple adding a disclaimer to the Jet Black colour option stating that the finish is susceptible to scratching.
We’ll be monitoring our claims rates and repair costs once the new iPhones are launched to get a view of the durability of the devices, and the costs to repair. Assurant’s supply chain is already working with Apple to ensure we have the stock availability required to fulfil any early claim demands. Pricing for the new iPhones is up slightly from last year’s models at £599 from £539 , many are pointing to the weak pound following the Brexit vote as the reason for this price jump.
Alongside the new iPhones, Apple have also launched their Apple Watch 2 which builds on the success of their previous model retaining the same case design with some great new features inside and out.
GPS – Apple Watch Series 2 adds GPS tracking making it possible to accurately track runs and rides without having to take an iPhone along too. Coupled with the new fitness features in WatchOS 3
Water Proofing – Apple Watch Series 2 is now water proof up 50m and includes new workout modes designed for swimmers. The watch speaker even vibrates to eject any drops of water in the watch.
New Partnership – With a focus on the fitness capabilities Apple have partnered with Nike to deliver Apple Watch Nike +. This model of the watch comes with some exclusive faces and straps. Apple also announced some new straps as part of their Hermes partnership.
Faster – A new S2 chipset improves the processing power of the Apple Watch delivering more responsiveness and better performance. Apple have also upgraded the existing Apple Watch, now called Series 1 to include this new chip.
Priced from £369, with the upgraded Series 1 now starting at £269, we expect to see this new entry price tempt people into purchasing and making their way into many people’s stockings this Christmas.