Apple on Tuesday rolled out new iPhone models including an advanced “iPhone X,” showcasing changes and improvements to the product line that has driven much of the company’s success over the last 10 years.
The iPhone 8 and 8+ have a new design with glass front and back, a new A11 Bionic processor and better image and video processing. They’ll be available in silver, space gray and gold finish. Most notable in its new features is wireless charging using the Qi wireless standard, something many competing Samsung smart phones have been capable of for years.
The iPhone 8 will start at $699. The 8+ will start at $799 with pre-orders opening up on Friday. The phones will be out on Sept. 22, with iOS 11, the new mobile operating system, available on Sept. 19. They’ll come in 64 GB and 256 GB.
Apple’s “One More Thing,” however was an even more advanced iPhone, the X (pronounced “Ten” and not “Ex.”) It has a larger and “Super Retina” OLED display. It eschews the Home button for a seamless front surface and a stainless steel back. It will unlock via face recognition, a new technology for Apple called Face ID that the company promises will rely on neural networking and will be secure unless you have an evil twin. (That’s not me saying that, Apple really brought that up.) The facial recognition also enables face emojis that are tuned to what your face is doing.
iPhone X will start at $999 and won’t be available until Nov. 3 (pre-orders are on Oct. 27.) Apple touted it as the future of smart phones, but it will arrive later than the 8/8+, cost more, and have some unproven technology that may not function any better than Touch ID. How the facial recognition tech plays and whether users find it a welcome improvement remains to be seen.
As part of the wireless charging initiative, Apple introduced AirPower, a wireless charging mat that can charge up multiple devices at once. It’ll be out in 2018; no price was set on it.
CEO Tim Cook started a day of announcements at the new Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino with an update of the Apple Watch.
The new Series 3 Apple Watch, which will include cellular capabilities, makes it less necessary to carry an iPhone around with it. It also has a faster processor, new watch faces, the ability to stream Apple Music songs, and all at the same size as the previous generation.
Tim Cook touted the Apple Watch’s success: he said it’s not the world’s top-selling watch and has had 50 percent growth over last year.
The Series 3 Apple Watch with cellular with start at $399.
The company also rolled out changes to Apple TV before getting to its iPhone news, including 4K technology. The new Apple TV 4K includes HDR (high-dynamic range) and Apple’s 4K movies will cost the same as HD movies. Owners of HD videos from iTunes will have them automatically upgraded if they’re available.
Apple is also promising live sports programming and updates and local television through its “TV” app. The Apple TV 4K is $179 and goes on sale starting Sept. 14.
Cook began the first-ever presentation from the Steve Jobs Theater with a voice over from the departed former CEO. “I think it is only fitting that Steve should open his own theater,” Cook said, beginning the Apple Event “It’s taken some time but we can reflect on him now with joy instead of sadness.”
Cook also gave an acknowledgment to victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, urging viewers of the event to continue donating to relief efforts and to tune in to a music benefit show Tuesday night.
Elsewhere in the presentation, the company also announced it will be making changes to Apple retail stores, making them more like community centers, including live music events.
iPhone 8/8 Plus. A11 Bionic chip. May as well just called it A11 Pretentious. https://t.co/dfxmEdTvC7— Dwight Silverman (@dsilverman) September 12, 2017
Why iPhone 10/X and not 9? Because clearly 7 Ate 9. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) September 12, 2017
Fonzie is getting an iPhone Ayyyy.— Brian Boone (@brianbooone) September 12, 2017
haha conspiracy people are going to go nuts over face id— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) September 12, 2017
Photos of my child are a documentation of improvements in iPhone cameras.— Tiff (@tiffanyarment) September 12, 2017
It is like he is becoming more crisp and clear as he grows.
ugh, iPhone X will be useless if your face is chewed off by a shark— The real Jon Brodkin (@jbrodkin) September 12, 2017
iPhone 8 seems closer to iPhone 7 than to Samsung Galaxy— Alina Selyukh (@alinaselyukh) September 12, 2017
Improved photography features + demo of improved game-playing = more signals about how ppl use iPhones as 24/7 lifestyle device #AppleEvent— Lisa Schmeiser (@lschmeiser) September 12, 2017
Key to LTE Apple Watch will be what the carrier charges you for the privilege of connectivity.— Philip Michaels (@PhilipMichaels) September 12, 2017
Apple adding trees to its Genius Bars because if there's one thing you need when your laptop hard drive dies, it's indoor shade. #AppleEvent— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) September 12, 2017
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