Apple expands the iPhone ecosystem


Apple goes pro with their new iPhones announced on the 10th of September. A whole new range of iPhones from the carefully priced 11 to the 11 Pro offers substantial improvements into a massively competitive and saturated market.

Apple again has shown that it understands its customers and are expanding the services it provides to keep up with the competition.


The presentation started with gaming, and Apple arcade goes live on the 19th of September at an incredibly competitive price of USD$4.99 per month which included family access for up to 6 members. There is a one-month free trial. Apple arcade will be available across all devices by the end of October including the new OS for Macs, Catalina

Apple demoed several games from the upcoming Arcade library. The games included Frogger in Toy Town from Konami, Shinsekai: Into the Depths from Capcom, and Sayonara Wildhearts from Anna Purina. The gameplay and visuals look exceptional.

Apple TV+

Next up was Apple TV+ announced at their WWDC conference a while back and the details were more exciting than many expected with a November 1 launch and a price of USD$4.99.

Significantly less than any other streaming service currently. Apple TV+ will launch in 100 countries, and we wait to see if South Africa will be one of them.

The previews of their original content look attractive, and the price makes sense as there is currently minimal original content. I expect most consumers will add Apple TV+ to their bouquet of streaming services especially at the low price initially. Apple also promised a free year of Apple TV+ with every new device bought which could give them a massive captive starter audience. Brilliant marketing from Apple.

iPad renewed

The sales of tablets globally have been declining steadily over the past few years, and although the iPad from Apple has mostly held its own the prices of the iPad Pros has been a massive barrier.

Apple announced a new entry-level iPad with a bigger 10.2“ screen, pencil capability and Apples Smart connector for their decent keyboard all from USD329.00 available from September the 30th.

Apple Watch 5

Apple watch was also refreshed with some intelligent features and new technology which enables the screen to stay on all the time, just like a real watch.

A new display and optimised processors allow the same battery life despite the screen remaining on all the time. Apple has added Titanium and ceramic cases to the range and finally will allow customers to choose any case with any band, both online and in-store. The pricing remains the same as the previous models. The Apple Watch 5 will be available from 29th September in the USA.

iPhone 11

The big announcement was the Apple iPhone 11. Apples entry-level new device is substantially similar in look and size to the 2018 iPhone XR but is called the iPhone 11. Apple has added a wide and ultrawide camera. The magic is in the camera software and hardware.

The new camera setup is aided by advanced HRD driven by the latest processor and video processor. The net effect is a massive improvement in photographic prowess and video taking ability. Apple demonstrated some of the photographs and videos, and frankly, it appears that Apple has caught up to and in some ways may have surpassed their Android competitors with their new camera setup.

The new A13 Bionic chip gives longer battery life and faster performance. There are also six new colours and a slightly lower price. I expect a local price in the R14,999.00 range once these land in South Africa toward the end of September.

Apple also announced its new successors to the iPhone XS and XS MAX. The new iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max again look very similar in size and shape to their predecessors. A new matt glass back and enhanced glass toughness along with the solid stainless-steel construction make these the most robust iPhone yet.

Once again Apple has taken photography very seriously and have a total of three cameras on the back of the iPhone 11 Pro range. The triple cameras consist of a telephoto lens a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens which all work together seamlessly to offer SLR level flexibility. The latest computational tricks will use data from all three lenses to ensure the best results at all time. A new night mode and enhanced HRD, have once again pushed Apple to the forefront of mobile photography.

Battery life has been significantly enhanced on the Pro range, and faster charging is now standard in the box with an 18-watt charger. Disappointingly the iPhone 11 still comes with a 5w charger, but can charge faster if you purchase the new quick charger.

Local South Africa pricing will be very similar to last years pricing, and the new iPhone 11 Pros should also be available toward the end of September or early October.


Apple has shown that they truly understand what people expect from them in both products and services. The complete control over hardware and software and now extended into a comprehensive content and hardware ecosystem continues Apples ‘it just works’, promise.

IOS 13 will launch on September the 19 and will bring many new features to even older iPhone Models and the iPad variant, iPad OS, will update iPads with more computer-like features. New dark mode and greater speed, even on older models will make this a must-have update.

The new range does not reframe the smartphone market but does more than enough to make Apple the product to beat and will please both Apple fans and those that chose Android devices from competitors due to their photographic and technical prowess.

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Steven Ambrose | @ambio | mail me |



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