The big theme of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference this week was change. Apple overhauled the clunky look and feel of its Apple Watch software barely a year after the product launched. It redesigned Apple Music to be simpler to, you know, find and listen to music. And the company expanded Apple Pay to the web so it's not longer solely dependent on the slower adoption of retail stores. It may be easy to write-off these changes as evidence that Apple messed up its big new product categories, but longtime Apple analysts have a different take.
It's a long held "open secret" that if you want to save money on Apple products to buy refurbished. These items, which have previously included Macs, iPads, iPods and Apple TVs, offer heavy discounts directly from Apple on products that are often just as good as their new counterparts. Well, you can now add the iPhone to the list. First spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple appears to have begun selling refurbished iPhone 6s and 6s Pluses. A refurbished 16GB iPhone 6s goes for $449 while a 16GB 6s Plus is $529.
To celebrate, we've compiled a list of the company's 15 most pivotal products, starting with the design of the iPhone and ending with the San Bernardino iPhone. But to see all of Apple's products from the past four decades, at once, look to "The Insanely Great History of Apple 3.0" ($90)--a comprehensive visual overview of Apple's oeuvre, from the folks at Pop Charts Lab. The Brooklyn infographic-makers created the original chart in 2011, when the iPad 2 was the latest innovation. Now, they've updated it to include everything up to the iPhone SE and 9.7" iPad Pro, both of which were added to Apple's lineup after the recent Apple event in Cupertino. The updated poster, like the original, is organized by year and device category (software, all-in-ones, handhelds, and so on).
Apple has pandemic work-from-home orders and stimulus checks to thank for setting new all-time sales records across a number of its product categories. Starting with the iPhone, which saw a decrease in sales last quarter, Apple revealed revenue for that product category grew by two percent during the third quarter. "In April, we expected year-over-year performance to worsen, but we saw better than expected demand in May and June," said CEO Tim Cook during the company's earnings call. "We attribute this increase in demand to several interactive causes, including a strong iPhone SE launch, continued economic stimulus, and potentially some benefit from shelter-in-place restrictions lifting around the world," he explained. Yes, you read that correctly: stimulus packages.
Continuing a tradition that began with a special edition iPod Nano in 2006, Apple is gearing up to sell Product RED versions of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in stores tomorrow. To commemorate the occasion, we've taken possession of a new iPhone 8 Plus to ogle and, erm, yeah: it's red. Unlike last year's Product RED phones, Apple did the right thing and paired the deep red glass-and-metal frame with a black front. I could go on at length about how the specific hue Apple chose for the glass fluctuates between maroon and an almost nuclear candy apple red depending on the lighting, or how the aluminum frame's crimson finish seems a touch more sophisticated than the bright, boisterous look of last year's Product RED phone. Suffice to say, this is a much different beast than the RED iPhones we got before, and it's a real stunner as a result.