Apple, on Tuesday launched three new editions of the iPhone it calls “new generation” iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus as well as the “futuristic” iPhone X (iPhone X pronounced “10”) during its annual press conference.
Apple, for the first time, held the press conference finside the circular Steve Jobs Theater, part of Apple’s brand new multi-billion dollar “spaceship” campus in Cupertino, California.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said: “It seems only fitting that Steve should open his theater. Steve meant so much to me and so much to all of us. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him. Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event.”
The New iPhone X
The new iPhone X comes without the home button, making the screen appear larger.
It has an edge-to-edge display, glass on the front and back, a surgical grade stainless steel band around the edges, and it is also water and dust resistant.
The 5.8-inch OLED display isn’t just bigger, it also packs 458 pixels per inch. Apple (AAPL, Tech30) calls it a super retina display. It supports HDR, has a million-to-one contrast ratio and an improved colour accuracy.
The loss of the home button means no more fingerprint sensor. To unlock the phone, you use your face with a new technology called Face ID. Front-facing cameras and sensors create a map of your face to determine if you are the phone’s proper owner. It uses a flood light to work in the dark.
Apple said face detection is more secure than fingerprints. The company said there was a one in 50,000 chance of a random person being able to open your phone with their fingerprint. But those chances drop to one in a million with face detection.
The iPhone X will start at $999 and shipping begins November 3.
The iPhone 8 device features wireless charging.
The charging is based on Qi wireless charging, which Apple believes will be available at coffee shops, stores, and airports around the world in the near future.
The iPhone 8 clocks in at 4.7 inches and iPhone 8 Plus is 5.5 inches. Inside is an A11 “bionic chip” and an improved camera sensor. There are new camera modes, including an expanded portrait mode that allows you change lighting effects after you take the shot.
iPhone 8 smartphones, which come with an aluminum band around the edges, will be available in three colours: space gray, gold, and silver. The iPhone 8 will start at $699 while the iPhone 8 Plus is $799 for 64GB models.
Pre-orders start Friday, September 15 and the phones will hit stores a week later.
New products and features
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple also unveiled a new cellular Apple Watch, which CEO Tim Cook called the best-selling watch in the world. The waterproof Apple Watch has an even greater focus on fitness and health. For example, it flags users when it detects an elevated pulse.
The new Apple Watch Series 3 comes with an inbuilt cellular connection, so it no longer needs an iPhone within close proximity for most tasks.
You can answer calls, receive text messages, use Siri, check maps and use third-party apps over cellular connections. Starting in October, it will also be able to stream music to ear pods over cellular.
To demonstrate the watch’s new powers, Apple conducted a live phone call from stage with a person on a paddle board in the middle of a lake.
Siri can finally talk back on the new watch, thanks to a new dual-core processor. Also included is a barometric altimeter, which tracks activity like stair climbing, skiing and snowboarding.
The company is launching an Apple Heart Study later this year that will be able to detect early signs of atrial fibrillation, one of the leading causes of stroke.
The watch will cost $329 without cellular, and $399 with celluar. The watch will be available September 22.
The company unveiled some of the new features coming to iOS 11, including augmented reality.
Apple also introduced a Face ID-enabled feature called Animoji, which serves up animated emoji that mimic your facial expressions. For example, you’ll be able to give your friends side-eye as a unicorn.
*Includes texts from TheCable’s Ada Igboanugo