Apple has unveiled three new iPhones, including its biggest and most expensive model yet, as well as a major shakeup to their Apple Watch range.
In front of an eager audience, Apple’s key figures revealed the upcoming models at an event at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park in Cupertino, California overnight.
As expected, the newest iPhone will again test the limits of how much people are willing to pay for the latest technology with prices surpassing $2000 for the top of the line model in Australia.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s launch event overnight.
iPhone XS and XS MAX
CEO Tim Cook showed off the Apple XS, which has a a 5.8 inch super retina OLED screen display – a bigger screen than the one on last year’s dramatically designed model , the iPhone X.
Prices in Australia will start from $1629.
A bigger version (6.5 inch display) will be called the iPhone XS Max, which looks to be about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, though the screen size is much larger. If you thought last year’s price seemed jaw-dropping, hold onto your phones because this model will start at a whopping $1,799.
Both models, which featured a dual-sim capability, will come in three different colours: gold, silver and space grey.
An IP68 rating means they are resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5 metres, with the company saying you could drop it in a pool and confidently retrieve it, knowing it had not been damaged.
As with the iPhone X, the new phone has a screen that runs from edge to edge, an effort to maximize the display without making the phone too awkward to hold. The screen needs no backlight, so black would appear as truly black rather than simply dark.
This even-bigger iPhone represents Apple’s attempt to feed consumers’ appetite for increasingly larger screens as they rely on smartphones to watch and record video, as well as take photos wherever they are.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade to the smartphone range is the powerful A12 Bionic chip, that can process five trillion operations per second.
The sophisticated new camera will also open the door to what Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller described as a “new era of photography”.
Pre-orders for the iPhone XR begin on Friday before the handset starts shipping on 26 September.
Apple also showed off a cheaper iPhone, called the iPhone XR. It has a traditional, lower-quality screen and an aluminium body; it’s physically smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus but has a bigger screen.
It uses cheaper materials and will retail at just over $1000 in Australia.
iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
The model features a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide-angle lens with an all-new sensor, delivering faster auto-focus, while larger and deeper pixels improve image fidelity and low-light performance on photos and videos.
Pre-orders for the iPhone XR begin on 19 October before the handset starts shipping on 26 October.
Apple Watch 4
Apple also announced updates that push its Apple Watch further into medical device territory. It has a larger screen and a built-in heart sensor that the company said can detect irregular heart rates and perform an electrocardiogram.
The latter feature has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, the company said.
These features will be available to US customers later this year, but Apple did not say when it would make it to the rest of the world.
In addition, Apple says the Series 4 Apple Watch will also be able to detect when someone falls — and can tell the difference between a trip and a fall.
If it detects a fall and the user doesn’t respond in a minute, it’ll automatically call for help. This feature may be especially attractive to older people or those with elderly parents worried about falling when no one is around to help.
“Apple Watch has become an intelligent guardian for your health,”Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said at the launch.
“In these areas of staying connected, exercising and monitoring your health, we’re taking Apple watch to the next level.”
Apple also said that its next major update to its iOS operating system will come next Tuesday, followed a week later by a Mac software update.