New iPhone, new problems

Apple held its latest product event yesterday, dubbed “Wonderlust,” to pitch shiny new toys they hope will help them navigate unusually choppy waters. 

What happened: The marquee release of the event was undoubtedly the iPhone 15. The two top-of-the-line versions of Apple’s latest phone, the Pro and Pro Max, have cutting-edge features that Apple hopes will make them must-haves even as smartphone sales slump

  • Aside from being Apple’s “most powerful” smartphones ever (a phrase that now seems as old as time itself), the Pro and Pro Max 15 have titanium bodies instead of stainless steel ones and feature a new “Action Button” replacing the ringer switch.
  • And for all you wearable-heads out there, the company also rolled out new and improved makes of the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra.

Why it matters: The product rollout comes at an important moment for the tech giant as it faces increased regulatory scrutiny and cracks in its relationship with China (its second-largest market), challenges that are reflected in its flagship product.

  • The iPhone has dropped its long-time Lightning port to comply with the EU’s common charger directive, which makes the standard USB-C port mandatory for a range of devices.

  • Some of the new batch of iPhones will also be made in India rather than China, marking the first time that a latest-generation Indian-made product will be available on the first day of sale.

Bottom line: Ultimately, Apple is still Apple. Even as sales falter, it has still managed to increase its share of total smartphones sold over the past five years.—QH