Introducing the $999 iPhone X, new iPhone 8 and Apple Watch
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) – “One more thing.” With that phrase, Apple paid homage to its late co-founder Steve Jobs for the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone on Tuesday when it unveiled its latest – and almost certainly most expensive – new version of the device, the iPhone X.
CEO Tim Cook called it “the biggest leap forward” since the first iPhone. (“X” is pronounced 10, not the letter X.) It loses the home button, which revolutionized smartphones when it launched; offers an edge-to-edge screen; and will use facial recognition to unlock the phone.
Apple says the iPhone X will be available in silver and space gray in 64GB and 256GB models starting at $999. If you choose to use Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, you can get the phone with monthly payments starting at $49.91.
Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 8 and a larger 8 Plus with upgrades to cameras, displays and speakers.
Those phones, Apple said, will shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
Both iPhone 8 versions will allow wireless charging, a feature thought to be limited to the anniversary phone. Many Android phones, including Samsung’s, already have this.Follow Technology Reporter Gabe Slate for live updates during the event.
WHAT A THOUSAND BUCKS WILL BUY
Apple is releasing a super-premium iPhone with a super-premium price tag, starting at $999.
While Apple is continuing to update its existing, cheaper models, the new iPhone X – pronounced like the number 10 – will have a screen with higher resolution and “OLED” technology for richer colors.
It will also lose a distinct home button to make more room for the 5.8-inch display, which is slightly more than the Plus model’s 5.5 inches. The features are similar to what Samsung offers.
The new design will enable new ways to interact with the phone. Instead of pressing the button to get the home page, you swipe up instead.
Apple is also offering the ability to unlock the phone with facial recognition rather than a fingerprint or passcode. Though some Android phones offer this, Apple is adding sensors to improve performance and says it worked with mask designers during testing to improve security. An executive initially failed to unlock the phone this way in a demo Tuesday, though.
The new phone, which is coming Nov. 3, will also permit animated emojis that mirror your facial movements and promises two more hours of battery life than what’s in the current iPhone 7.
Such an iPhone has been widely anticipated for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary and comes just weeks after Samsung unveils its own super-premium phone, the $930-and-up Galaxy Note 8.
INTRODUCING THE IPHONE 8
Apple is refreshing its lineup of iPhones with camera, display and speaker improvements.
The new phones promise to shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
The new iPhone 8 will keep its predecessor’s size – 4.7 inches __ but have a higher starting price of $699, up from $649. The 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799, up from $769. The new phones come out Sept. 22
Apple is bucking its traditional naming convention by calling the new phones iPhone 8 rather than 7S. The S designation might have given consumers the impression that the new phones are mere incremental updates from the current iPhone 7. That’s especially so this year given that Apple is also expected to announce an anniversary edition with additional features and a higher price tag.
The Plus version will continue to have two camera lenses and now has the ability to optimize lighting as you shoot.
Both versions will allow wireless charging, a feature thought to be limited to the anniversary phone. Many Android phones, including Samsung’s, already have this.
Apple is coming out with a new smartwatch designed to be less dependent on the iPhone.
Apple Watch will still require a companion iPhone. However, a new model comes with cellular access, so it will be possible to do more – such as receiving messages – while the phone is at home. It will require a data plan, which typically costs $5 or $10 a month.
Since the original watch’s debut in April 2015, Apple has been trying to enable more stand-alone features. Last year’s model, for instance, introduced GPS capabilities, so that the watch can measure runs and bike rides more accurately without the iPhone nearby.
The new cellular model, called Series 3, will start at $399. One without cellular goes for $329, down from $369 for the comparable model now. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $249, down from $269. The new watch comes out Sept. 22.
A rival smartwatch from Samsung already has cellular options.
Existing Apple Watches will get a software update next Tuesday.
APPLE TV GETS UPGRADE
A new version of the Apple TV streaming device will be able to show video with sharper “4K” resolution and a color-improvement technology called high-dynamic range, or HDR.
Many rival devices already offer these features. But there’s not a lot of video in 4K and HDR yet, nor are there many TVs that can display it. Apple TV doesn’t have its own display and needs to be connected to a TV.
Apple said it’s been working with movie studios to bring titles with 4K and HDR to its iTunes store. They will be sold at the same prices as high-definition video, which tends to be a few dollars more than standard-definition versions. Apple said it’s working with Netflix and Amazon Prime to bring their 4K originals to Apple TV, too.
The new Apple TV device will cost $179 and ships on Sept. 22. A version without 4K will cost less.