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Apple Leads Off Product Event Vowing to Protect Privacy

  • VOA News

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at an event to announce new products at Apple headquarters, March 21, 2016, in Cupertino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at an event to announce new products at Apple headquarters, March 21, 2016, in Cupertino, California.

Apple unveiled a slew of new products and initiatives at today’s “Loop you in” event.

Before revealing the new products, CEO Tim Cook took a few moments to talk about the company’s battle with the U.S. government over Washington's request to build a backdoor into encrypted phones.

"We built the iPhone for you, our customers, and we know it is a deeply personal device,” he said. “We need to decide, as a nation, how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy."

He said there had been an “outpouring” of support from Americans of “all walks of life” for the company’s stand against the government.

Cook then handed over the microphone to Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP for environment.

She said the company is 93 percent run on renewable energy. Two years ago, Apple has stated its goal was to only use renewable energy at its stores and other facilities.

Jackson also unveiled a new Apple robot, but it won’t be one you’ll have in your home.

Liam, as it’s called, is a robot that specializes in taking apart iPhones allowing any parts or materials to be reused either in other devices or in new ways.

After Jackson, the company’s COO Jeff Williams took the stage to talk about CareKit, an open source platform that allows developers to create health care apps.

Then came the slate of new consumer products.

Price drop, new products

iWatch will get new bands and a drop in price to $299.

Apple TV is getting revamped with Siri and dictation capabilities.

Next came the introduction of a new, smaller iPhone, the 4-inch SE model. The company says that despite its compact size, it’s just as powerful as the iPhone 6S.

The company said it developed the smaller phone because a lot of people want a compact device.

The price starts at $399 and will be available March 31, with pre-ordering starting on March 24.

New iOS

The company also announced the release of iOS 9.3, which the company says has many upgrades, the flashiest of which is called Night Shift, which will automatically shift the color of light emitted from the phone into a “warmer” range. This is in response to reports that looking at a device emitting cool colors can affect sleep.

Finally the company revealed a new iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch screen.

The company thinks the tablet may lure many with older laptops to get an iPad rather than replace the computer.

Apple’s App Store head Phil Schiller, who introduced the new iPad said “that there are over 600 million PCs in use that are over five years old.”

The new iPad will start at $599 and will ship on March 31.

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