Apple has launched a range of new products in its September event, but – for the first time in years – it has not released a new iPhone.
Three new Apple Watches were shown off, as was the updated version of watchOS.
The marquee new feature is a pulse oximeter which allows the wearable to detect blood oxygen levels by using red and infrared light to measure the colour of wearers’ blood.
This will be used with researchers in three studies focusing on respiratory diseases, including asthma and COVID-19.
The Apple Watch 6 will be available for £379 from 18 September, while the high-end version with GPS and cellular capabilities costs £479.
Apple also announced the launch of a cheaper device, the Apple Watch SE, which will be available from £269 with just GPS, or £319 with GPS and cellular capabilities.
As part of the company’s move to generate revenue from services as well as its hardware devices, it announced a new Fitness+ service allowing Apple Watch users to take part in programmed workouts with world-leading fitness experts, with performance measured by the Apple Watch.
Access to Fitness+ and other services is now available in a bundle called Apple One. This will be priced at £29.95 per month in a premier version which can be shared among family members, or for £14.95 per month on a limited subscription with fewer services.
The company also introduced its most powerful ever chip, the A14 Bionic, which will be available in the new iPad Air 4, available from £579.
The chip was described as “by far the most advanced we’ve ever made” with transistors so small they “challenge the laws of physics” with about 11.8 billion packed into a single chip.
“We’re talking about a scale so small, they’re measured in atoms,” the company said.
It is the first time such a chip has been announced in any product line other than the iPhone, potentially due to the delayed release date which the company warned investors about earlier this year.
According to Apple the iPad Air 4 is three times faster than the top-selling Android tablet, and six times faster than the top-selling Chromebook.
The iPhone 12 is expected to be the company’s first 5G device and will be launched at an event in October, according to reports.