I wish that I could tell you that Monday's Apple intro event was radically (or even remotely) different from what I prognosticated last week. After all, who doesn't enjoy a surprise, right? Unfortunately, the Apple rumor mill is becoming increasingly accurate all the time, thanks to a combination of supply chain and developer leaks (along with the occasional internally-sourced data dribble). With that said, the event wasn't completely drama-free, and don't forget, my last-week coverage included a few then-unanswered questions, which are now known.
I guessed right on the name, the guts, and pretty much all of the details. This is basically an iPhone 6s in iPhone 5s clothing. No 3D Touch (but you already knew that). An 8-to-12 Mpixel uptick for the rear camera, although no resolution upgrade for “selfie” fans (but you do get Retina Flash support this time, which you didn't have on the iPhone 5s). A two-generation newer SoC, along with twice the DRAM. Integrated NFC for digital wallet support (to do Apple Pay on the iPhone 5s, you needed to use a NFC-equipped Apple Watch intermediary). And 802.11ac support this time around, plus faster (Category 4) LTE.
The biggest surprise here was the price. The 16GB variant of the (unsurprisingly now obsolete) iPhone 5s had cost $449 contract-free (i.e. unsubsidized). The 16GB iPhone 6s costs $649. The 16GB iPhone SE? $399 (and $499 for the 64GB version, the only other capacity alternative currently offered). My wife's iPhone 5 is getting long in the tooth, with a no-longer-functional hardware volume button and a battery in need of replacement. She's angling for an iPhone 6s, but I'm going to try to steer her to the much less expensive iPhone SE. After all, a 0.7″ diagonal screen dimension differential only translates to a ~17mm differential in screen height, and a ~9.5mm differential in screen width…
9.7″ iPad Pro
Again, it's pretty much as I suspected. Its integrated Lightning controller only supports USB 2 transfer speeds, not the USB 3 capabilities of its big brother, but otherwise it's pretty much a shrunken down 12.9″ iPad Pro, complete with a Pencil, Smart Connector-based detachable keyboard, etc. System memory capacity isn't public, per longstanding (and annoying) Apple tradition, although it'll quickly become known once units show up in developers' and users' hands…I'm putting my money on 4GB, as I mentioned last week.
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