Apple leaves sour taste as product showcase underwhelms customers

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves goodbye after an event at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California March 21, 2016. © Stephen Lam
Size does matter, Apple has learned, after their latest product showcase left fans who were initially excited more than a little underwhelmed. Amid the hype, the company unveiled smaller versions of existing products.

#AppleEvent had been trending on Twitter in anticipation of the big reveal, and continues to trend for all the wrong reasons.

Shares in Apple turned negative during the hour-long event, as the newer, smaller gadgets failed to impress customers.

The company introduced a new version of its smallest iPhone ‒ the iPhone SE ‒ described as “the most powerful 4 inches ever,” complete with an A9 chip and graphics processor equal to the larger iPhone 6S. Prices for the iPhone SE will begin at $399 for the 16GB model.

Typically, some penis-related jokes followed before criticism set in.

Staying with the trend of diminishing the size of existing products, Apple also announced a smaller iPad Pro model, with a 9.7-inch display, retailing from $599 for the 32GB version.

On the upside, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced some of the prices would shrink as well: the Apple Watch will now start at $299, rather than $349.

The company also showed off its new recycling robot, called Liam, that claims to be able to take apart one iPhone 6 every 11 seconds to recover aluminum, copper, tin, tungsten, cobalt, gold and silver parts.

Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, introduces a robot named Liam that deconstructs iPhones during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California March 21, 2016. © Stephan Lam

Cook kicked off the event by addressing the company’s current legal battle with the FBI over a court order requiring them to help unlock the phone of a terrorist responsible for the San Bernardino massacre last December. Both sides are set to argue their case in a federal court in Riverside, California on Tuesday.

READ MORE:Apple-FBI encryption tensions spiked upon iOS 8 reveal in 2014 - report

“We did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our own government, but we believe strongly we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy,” Cook said. “We will not shrink from this responsibility.”