Apple September 2019 event: My middling warm take

Here’s my middling warm take on the Apple keynote today, in handy list form:

  • Little in the way of surprises, though there were a few small ones (see below)–this is pretty standard now for Apple events, where all major details leak months in advance
  • iPhone Pro is a dumb name. Apple is good at coming up with dumb names. Is iPhone 11 Pro Max better than iPhone XS Max? Kind of a draw.
  • People will at least stop calling the LCD model the “ex-ar” now that it’s just iPhone 11
  • I’m going to be talking about price for 6 of the next 8 bullet points
  • The price went down for the iPhone 11 from $749 to $699–a good sign that Apple is counting on this phone to shore up flagging sales and is willing to cut the price (and margin) to entice more to buy it
  • Pricing on the “Pro” phones remains ludicrous, even excluding Canadian pricing ($1379 and $1519 if you were curious)
  • The “affordable” iPhone 11 starts at $699 U.S. or $979 (!) Canadian. I did an exchange rate comparison and $699 U.S. works out to about $920 Canadian. Hmm, I say. Hmm.
  • Unless you want the improved cameras and are sticking to iPhones, I can’t think of a compelling reason to buy any of the new phones, unless you have something old, in which case the iPhone 11 makes sense (or get the still-being sold Xr for even less)
  • Prices stayed the same for the U.S. but some products went up in other countries (like Canada). I guess we’re paying for the tariffs (lol)? Example:
    • Series 4 Apple Watch 44mm with GPS + Cellular: $649
    • Series 5 Apple Watch 44mm with GPS + Cellular: $699
  • I want a Series 5 Watch, but I don’t want it for $699. Or even $569 (GPS only). So I’ll stick with my Series 2 (Apple will give me $60 for trade-in if I change my mind).
  • Always On Display for the Series 5 Watch was an actual surprise. It’s nice, but I suspect it won’t push many people into buying who didn’t already have other reasons.
  • Arcade and Apple TV+ pricing are decent and about what I expected
  • Apple giving away a year of Apple TV+ with new Apple devices seems to be both a good idea (it creates a huge, instant audience) and also a sign that they may not have faith in the service to survive on its own
  • iPad: Nice, but kind of meh. Looks like Apple is trying to squeeze maximum value out of the original generation Pencil and smart keyboard cover that debuted with the 10.5″ Pro in 2017. Recycling is good for the environment, why not for peripherals, too?
  • Watching game demos is never not painful for me
  • If you removed all of the adjectives from the presenters, the keynote would have been 30 minutes shorter

Kind of boring overall, which makes the “By innovation only” tagline look even more silly.

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