Apple Launch Event: New Watch, New iPhones
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It's A Wrap
Apple has refreshed its iPhone lineup. Though the new phones are not very different visually from last year's flagship iPhone X, they do come with significant hardware and software enhancements.
It’s clearly the best lineup we’ve had so farTim Cook, CEO, Apple
The iPhone XS twins, come with a stainless steel body and a Super Retina OLED display. They feature the new A12 Bionic chip new 6-core CPU, a new neural engine claimed to perform 5 trillion operations at once, and a dedicated machine learning chip that can analyse data faster. It is a 7 nanometer chip, which means it will consume less power. It can launch apps nearly 30 percent faster.
The twins also come with a camera bump-up. It is a dual setup on the back with a 12 megapixel wide-angle and a 12 megapixel telephoto lens. The front features a 7 megapixel RGB camera. Apple has also improved its post-processing software using the new chipset.
Dual SIM, with eSIM technology, is another welcome feature. The phones will have storage that goes up to 512 GB.
Then comes the iPhone XR, a lower-cost model, as Apple looks to expand customer base. It has an aluminum body, a 6.1 inch LCD display and is available in six colours.
The Apple Watch Series 4 has also been announced with an edge-to-edge, bigger, curved display. But it is not just a watch. With the new edition, Apple has stepped-up its healthcare game. The Series 4 has three key new features: detecting low heart rate and irregular heart rhythm (including atrial fibrillation), and it doubles up as an electrocardiogram.
This will be the first U.S. FDA approved ECG product that consumers can buy over the counter. The Watch also can detect a fall, and trigger an emergency response if you the user remains immobile after it.
“We hope that you love these new products as much as we do,” CEO Tim Cook said.
Cook concluded the event by saying that their smart speaker HomePod will get phone call and timer support. The MacBooks will get the new Mojave OS, announced at the developer's conference earlier this year, on Sept. 24.
Here are the key highlights from Apple’s big day.
New iPhone Lineup Prices
The preorder date is Sept. 14 and it will ship from Sept. 21. for the iPhone XS twins. The iPhone XR can be pre-ordered from Oct. 19 and will start shipping on Oct. 26.
Here are the prices:
- The iPhone XS will start at $999.
- The larger iPhone XS Max will start at $1,099
- The iPhone XR will start at $749
- Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 7, from $449, iPhone 8 from $599
Lower-Cost iPhone XR Unveiled
Apple also announced a cheaper version of the iPhone as it looks to expand its customer base. The new iPhone XR has an aluminum body and an edge-to-edge 6.1 inch display. It will feature an LCD screen that Apple calls Liquid Retina display.
It will come in multiple colours—white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red. “We hope customers love them just as much as we do,” Schiller said.
The phone, which has a slightly rounder form factor, also has a single lens 12 megapixel wide-angle camera. It uses the same 7 nm A12 Bionic chip that is featured in the iPhone XS twins.
Dual SIM Makes Its iPhone Debut
The iPhone XS will have dual sim cards with electronic sims or eSIM technology, Schiller has said. Dual sim cards, while widely available across Android smartphones, were not a feature on any of the previous iPhone models.
The eSIM is virtual, meaning that you don’t need to physically insert a chip in the phone. Instead you would have to change the phone's settings to theoretically switch carriers.
Schiller said Apple has tied-up with carriers across the globe to implement this. India's Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel were among the names mentioned.
You can read about the impact of Apple’s eSIM technology here.
The Camera Upgrades
Apple has also improved the camera on the iPhone XS twins. It now features dual lenses—a 12 megapixel wide-angle, and 12 megapixel telephoto lens. Both have optical image stabilisation and larger pixels.
Schiller also announced a new Smart HDR feature which has zero shutter lag.
The front features a 7 megapixel RGB camera.
The camera improvements also come on the software side. The new machine learning software and photo-taking algorithm perform about 1 trillion operations on the photo to ensure that the best possible version is created.