Apple unveil detail of new iThings
THE LAUNCH of Apple's iPhone SE appears to have seen the company succumb to demand for a cheaper version of their famous handset.
Along with the lower price comes a four inch screen, making the SE - basically a revamped iPhone 5S - the smallest of Apple's phones.
Their new tablet - the iPad Pro, revealed at the same time as the phone - maintains the firm's reputation for expensive tech.
Both devices are available to view on the Apple website, with pre-orders starting on March 24th, before they start to appear on shop shelves on March 31st.
Same but different
While the iPhone SE is cheaper than previous new iPhones, and smaller than its predecessors, it certainly isn't the least powerful.
Thanks to the addition of Apple's A9 chip, the SE has the same processing speed as the iPhone 6S - and twice the computing power of the iPhone 5S.
The better processor allows the phone to be operated solely with voice commands - so users can activate Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, without even touching the phone.
As could almost be expected there's also a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip that supports Apple Pay, allowing users to make transactions of up to £30 by holding the phone near a contactless reader while their finger is over the phone's Touch ID scanner.
Perhaps in keeping with the iPhone SE's spring launch, Apple have opted for a pastel colour palette, with satin-effect handsets available in rose gold, space grey, silver and gold.
The body itself is metal, with the familiar rounded corners of the 5S, a camera lens that's flush with the body, and the fingerprint scanner.
The 12-megapixel camera - an improvement on the iPhone 6's 8-megapixel camera - also comes with the ability to record moving photos.
Known as Live Photos, these basically involve the camera recording the moments just before and after a shot is taken.
For proper video though, Apple claim the SE offers 4K recording - which should provide footage of around four times the resolution of 1080p HD video.
We've been waiting for a cheaper iPhone for a long time - and in 2013 it looked as though we were going to get our wish in the form of the iPhone 5C.
That was supposed to give Apple the phone it needed to better compete against the budget (and more moderately priced) Android handsets.
In the end, however, the 5C was priced at a rather expensive £469. By contrast, the 16GB version of the SE costs £359.
But those wanting the more useful 64GB phone will have to pay £439, which isn't really all that cheap - by comparison, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, which has 32GB of storage, costs £379.
Of course, most people will get the iPhone SE on a contract rather than buying it outright.
The four big mobile networks have all said they'll carry the phone, but while pre-orders could well be available from Thursday, none of the networks have announces details of any price plans yet.
One of the main focal points of the iPhone is the fact that it's got smaller, rather than larger - and if the iPad Pro is anything to go by, it seems that Apple are keen to buck the "bigger is better" trend.
With a 9.7 inch screen, it's a scaled down version of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro introduced last November.
It comes with the same features as its bigger brother, including 10 hours of battery life and a 64-bit A9X chip that rivals most portable PCs.
Apple say that the Pro has 1.8 times the CPU performance of the iPad Air 2, and is more powerful than an Xbox 360.
The Pro also boasts a speaker in each corner and two cameras - a 12 megapixel camera at the back, equipped for capturing 4K video and taking Live Photos, and a front-facing 5-megapixel HD camera.
The display has been improved as well, offering up to 25% greater colour saturation than previous iPad models - indeed, Apple go as far as to claim that the screen is the "brightest and least reflective in the world".
For those who want to do more than read e-books or watch films, the Pro is equipped to be used with a smart keyboard that doubles as a cover, and the Apple Pencil, which is sensitive to both tilt and pressure.
Like the iPhone SE, the iPad Pro will come in gold, silver, space grey and rose gold, and will also feature Touch ID technology.
How much will it cost?
As might be expected, the new, smaller, iPad Pro is cheaper than the larger version - but depending on the amount of storage and connectivity users want, it could still be considered pretty expensive.
As far as the wi-fi only versions of the iPad Pro go:
The 32GB version will cost £499, and the 128GB version will be £619. There'll also be a 256GB version - making this the first iPad with so much storage - which will set us back £739.
Models that require a SIM card to access mobile broadband will cost £100 extra.
Although Vodafone and EE say will stock the new tablet, they have yet to confirm prices.
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