Apple Inc. showed off a new smartwatch that can measure blood oxygen as well as a virtual fitness service and bundled subscription options in an online event Tuesday that lacked the pizazz of the company’s standard September product unveilings.
The Cupertino, Calif., tech company held its first virtual-only product introduction from its headquarters, where past events have attracted crowds of journalists, employees and guests to help hype the latest offerings.
Chalk up Apple’s keynote event to another annual rite changed by the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of Chief Executive Tim Cook unveiling the company’s latest flagship iPhone, as he has done every September since 2012, Apple showed its Watch Series 6, starting at $399, and a new midtier offering called Watch SE, with fewer abilities than the high-end version and starting at $279.
The company also showcased its burgeoning services available to consumers, including through several new options to bundle subscriptions to music, TV, cloud storage, gaming and other offerings. Apple has turned to services revenue as iPhone sales continue to decline. Services made up more than 20% of Apple’s sales in the April-to-June quarter, up from about 10% in the same period five years ago, according to FactSet.
“It’s been gratifying to see the important role our products have played in helping people come together, carry on and move forward,” Mr. Cook said as the one-hour, highly produced event began. “We know that life won’t always be like this, and we’re all looking forward to better days.”