Life Tech Apple unveils new ‘COVID world’ iMacs and lost item trackers

Apple unveils new ‘COVID world’ iMacs and lost item trackers

A still from the video shown during a special event at Apple Park in California shows the new AirTag tracking device. Photo AAP
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Apple has unveiled its latest products, including a new line of slim iMac computers the company says have been redesigned for the “work-from-home world”, and which use Apple’s own processor chips.

And for those who are constantly misplacing their keys and wallets, Apple is also releasing AirTags, which will cost $A45 each or four for $A149.

The new, thinner iMacs will start at $A1,899 including GST, and come in seven colours including purple and green.

They feature a higher quality front-facing camera and microphone array, responding to complaints from consumers during the pandemic that the computer’s cameras had not kept pace with the company’s iPhones and iPads during an era of pervasive video calls.

Both new products will be available from April 30, and were unveiled at a special company event in California.

Apple’s Colleen Novielli showcases the all-new iMac lineup during a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino.

Tracker rival to testify

The AirTag announcement could result in a new round of complaints to US lawmakers that Apple is hurting smaller rivals.

Tile, a start-up that has sold a competing tracker for nearly a decade, last year testified before the US House of Representatives that Apple’s App Store rules had made it harder to use Tile’s products and will be called before the US Senate to testify on Wednesday.

Apple has said it subjects all apps, including its own, to the same App Store review rules.

Bob O’Donnell, head of TECHnalysis Research, said he does not believe the trackers will become a big business on their own.

“Because they are so late to this, it might not be that much different than when Apple got into set top boxes like Apple TV. They’re a player. They’re there but they’re not huge,” he said.

But Bajarin said the trackers could keep people tied to their iPhones if they rely on them to find items like keys and wallets.

“The more you buy into just one hardware product, the less likely it is you’ll ever leave,” Bajarin said.

Apple podcasts and TV

Apple is also to provide podcast subscription services that will compete with rival Spotify.

Subscription prices will be set by creators and billed monthly, Apple said.

Apple has also updated its Apple TV set top box with better colour output and a faster processor chip.

The new Apple TV 4K will also let users improve a TV’s picture by using light sensors on the iPhone.

  • with Reuters