No ‘iPhone 12,’ but new iPads, Apple Watches, and antitrust battles – Apple’s September 2020 in review


September 2020 was the first September in eight years where Apple didn’t launch a new iPhone. However, in the midst of App Store and antitrust battles, it did rather well with iOS 14, a new iPad Air, and Apple Watch Series 6, plus a new fitness program, and the Apple One services bundle.

You have to go back to 2011 to find the last time that Apple didn’t bring out a new iPhone in the month of September. Even then, it was close — the iPhone 4s was announced on October 4, 2011.

So bumping the iPhone to October does have a precedent, but of course the coronavirus does not. And if Apple wasn’t able to bring out the “iPhone 12” on schedule, still it did a remarkable job releasing anything at all.

September 2020’s “Time Flies” event was another virtual one instead of the old in-person, on-stage, live presentations. Apple does these videos so extremely well that you can forget how hard they are to make, and you can forget how devices have to be ready to show in time for filming.

In its second longform video launch of the year, Apple again whisked us around Apple Park — with Craig Federighi having to duck out of our way — and released four major hardware releases. Plus there was a bundle of services, and a new fitness addition, too.

Apple Watch Series 6

This was arguably the major announcement, the tentpole for the whole launch — or at least, according to Apple. The new Apple Watch Series 6 got a lot of attention, a lot of noise, and it is without question the very best Apple Watch ever made.

It’s also, without any question at all, the best smart watch that there is. And yet for all it added, for all the new health features and improvements, it wasn’t a giant leap forward.

Whereas the Apple Watch SE is likely to have more of an impact. Depending on how you look at it, the Apple Watch SE is an Apple Watch Series 6 with some lower-cost case options, and fewer key health features.

Or if you’re Apple, it’s the big step up from the Apple Watch Series 3. All of the comparisons Apple made were to that model, the oldest Apple Watch still being sold.

Apple Watch SE and Family Setup

Apple also came as close as it ever does,…

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