Apple Inc. just wrapped up its iPhone launch event, introducing three new phones and updating the Apple Watch line.
The highlight of the event was, as expected, the smartphone launches.
Apple unveiled , dubbed the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. The first is a slightly upgraded version of the current 5.8-inch iPhone X, while the XS Max is similar, except with a 6.5-inch screen size. The iPhone XS Max has a similarly sized body to the iPhone 8 Plus, but which much more usable screen space.
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The phones will be offered with a gold color option this year, and there will be a 512 GB storage configuration. The iPhone XS starts at $999, while the iPhone XS Max begins at $1,099. The 512 GB XS Max goes for $1,449. They’ll be available for sale starting on Sept. 21, while preorders will begin Sept. 14.
Apple shares fell 1% in afternoon trade Wednesday, and were trading 3% below the Sept. 4 record close of $228.36. The shares have still run up 31% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.1%.
Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, a fixture at these sorts of events, spent a lot of time discussing the company’s new A12 Bionic chip, which powers these new phones. The A12 has an eight-core neural network, which allows for 5 trillion operations per second. Apple said that this is the first 7-nanometer chip in the industry.
The company brought up some presenters to show what this more powerful chip means for users. The takeaway was that the A12 helps support more intense gaming, augmented-reality capabilities, and more.
The third phone is the iPhone XR, an LCD model that has the same look as the other two. The phone will come in white, black, blue, coral, or yellow, and there’s also a Product Red option. The device starts at $749, which is cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus. Preorders begin Oct. 19, and the phones start shipping a week later.
The XR has a single camera, but Schiller said it still allows users to get bokeh effects or use portrait mode. There’s no 3D Touch, but the device has “haptic touch,” which the company says achieves a similar feel to what users get when using a MacBook Pro.
The company showed a list of its full iPhone lineup, which showed the iPhone 7 beginning at $449 and the iPhone 8 beginning at $599. That suggests the company cut the iPhone 8 Plus and X.
Apple also announced , which features an edge-to-edge screen and comes in both 40-millimeter and 44-millimeter versions.
Each of the watches has more than 30% larger screens than the prior versions, and they feature different ways to use “complications,” or mini applications, on the watch face. One watch face supports up to eight complications, and there are new ones, including an option to display small photos of your loved ones on the screen and tap their faces when you wish to them.
The new watch has the same 18-hour battery life as its predecessor.
Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams discussed the added heart features on this watch. The most impressive was an electrocardiogram option, which will let users take ECGs on their wrists. The company has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for this feature, Williams said.
The Series 4 boasts a crown that supports haptic feedback, and the “absolutely beautiful” watch backing better enables cellular connectively, per Williams.
The non-cellular version will start at $399 while the cellular option begins at $499. Fitbit Inc. after the company announced the new watches.
Apple also said that the HomePod would soon gain the ability to set multiple timers and allow users to search by lyrics.