Business

Apple betting big on health with Fitness Plus, new Apple Watch

An Apple product a day can help keep the doctor away — at least that’s what the iPhone maker is banking on with its new slate of health offerings.

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant on Tuesday launched an all-new virtual workout subscription service called Fitness Plus, which offers Peloton-like virtual classes at a time when people are increasingly looking for ways keep in shape without having to go to the gym.

The iPhone maker also introduced a new Apple Watch with faster computing power that monitors blood oxygen — a tool that’s become an increasingly popular during to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Apple also unveiled updates to its mid-priced iPad Air as demand for such home-computing products surges.

The new fitness service, watch and iPad Air were unveiled at the company’s first ever all-virtual product launch event, which took place at its headquarters without the usual throngs of tech journalists and bloggers around to help hype the products. Onlookers were relegated to seeing the new lineup via the website or its YouTube channel for the first time ever.

And for the first time since 2012, Apple didn’t unveil a new iPhone at the September launch. It’s expected to reveal the newest 5G device later this year, just in time for the all-important holiday shopping season.

Fitness Plus is a $9.99-per-month fitness service that includes access to workout classes in sports including cycling, running and yoga, which can be viewed via the iPhone or on a television set. It can also be connected to the Apple Watch so users can track their performance.

ALSO READ  US may look to ban more Chinese-owned apps beyond TikTok

The service marks the latest effort by Apple CEO Tim Cook to grow revenue tied to the sale of services, like music, TV and news. In an effort to sell more of such services, Apple on Tuesday launched a new bundling plan called Apple One. For $14.95 per month, customers can receive access to Apple’s television, music and gaming services as well as an iCloud storage plan.

Customers who want Apple News and Fitness Plus thrown in will pay double, or $29.95 a month.

Apple’s said its newest Watch Series 6, which monitors blood oxygen levels, costs $399. It also introduced a new, cheaper Apple Watch SE for $279 device, which will feature the same speeds and design as the Series 5.

Apple also refreshed its iPad lineup with the iPad Air, which serves as the midpoint between the entry-level iPad and the high-powered iPad Pro, getting a face lift. The new version of Apple’s popular tablet, which starts at $599, got rid of its home button in favor of a display similar to that of the iPad Pro with just a thin bezel surrounding the screen.

Rather than install FaceID technology — which is included in the iPhone 11 as well as the iPad Pro — Apple has built a fingerprint scanner into the iPad’s side button. It marks the first time that Apple has built a biometric scanner into anything besides the home button.

The revamp comes as global shipments of iPads and others tablets jumped 26 percent last quarter over the previous year amid a jump in online work, schooling and socializing, according to research firm Canalys.

ALSO READ  Court ordered Air France to pay Lagos judge, husband N500,000 damages

Shares of Apple were up just 0.1 percent following Tuesday’s presentation, at $115.48.


Tags

Leave a Reply

Back to top button
Close