Apple launches cheaper 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro

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San Francisco, March 21 (IANS) Aiming to make deeper inroads into the emerging markets like India and China, tech giant Apple on Monday stunned its rivals by launching a cheaper, smaller yet powerful iPhone SE and a game changer 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The 64 GB version of the phone will come at $499 while the 16 GB model will cost you $399.

As powerful as iPhone 6S, the device will have a 64-bit A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor.

It will be available in sleek rose gold colour, the company announced during its special “spring lineup” at the packed auditorium at its Cupertino, California-based headquarters.

The iPhone SE will be available in 100 countries including India by the end of May and will go on full sale on March 31.

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Apple also launched a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro which is touted as 40 percent less reflective than an iPad Air 2.

An ultimate “PC replacement”, iPad Pro can shoot 4K video, has a 5MP FaceTime camera and retina flash, The Verge reported.

The company also unveiled a new iOS 9.3 operating system. It includes a night mode that reduces blue light.

The company also dropped the price of it wearable watch to $299 (Rs.19,295).

Last year, Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones.

Earlier during the event, Apple CEO Tim Cook, referring to the ongoing battle with the US government over encryption to unlock an iPhone used by an attacker in a mass shooting in San Bernadino last year, reiterated the company’s commitment to protect its users’ data and privacy.

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“We have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We will not shrink from this responsibility,” Cook told the gathering, taking a dig at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“We built the iPhone for you, our customers, and for many of us it is a deeply personal device,” he added.

The company also revealed that it fully runs on renewable energy in 23 countries.

According to the Telegraph live coverage, Apple has built a machine called Liam that can deconstruct an iPhone into its components to recover high quality materials and reintroduce them into the supply chain.

“For example, the silver from the motherboard can be used in solar panels. Eventually, Apple wants to recycle the parts into new iPhones,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said at the event.

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“Take your old product into an Apple store or visit its website and post it to the company,” she added.

Apple is expected to appear in a federal court in California on March 22 to fight the order and has accused the US Department of Justice of trying to “smear” the company with “desperate” and “unsubstantiated” claims.

The US government has been fighting Apple over access to information on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers, Rizwan Farook, in December.

Apple says the demands violate the company’s rights and has argued that the government is asking for a “back door” that could be exploited by the government and criminals.

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