Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone Plus smartphones were announced by the company. The company held the launch event at the brand new Steve Jobs Theatre in its yet-to-be-opened Apple Park campus to showcase the new iPhone X — called iPhone ten to mark 10 years of the phone that changed the mobile phone segment — with a bezel-less 5.8-inch Super Retina Display in OLED.
The phone does not have a Home button, replacing the action with a swipe up gesture to go to the home screen or to multi-task. It uses FaceID to unlock the phone using the True Depth camera system on top of the display. CEO Tim Cook chose to call this top-end version of his company’s phone the future of smartphones and predicted an impact similar to that of the first iPhone, launched a decade back. Apple iPhone X starts at $999.
While the iPhone X might not be for everyone, the volume play will be with the new Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus smartphones which sport glass on both sides. There’s also a new A11 Bionic chip with six-cores and the 64-bit design. The dual camera will be just on the iPhone 8 Plus, while the iPhone 8 will have a 12MP rear camera. The dual camera will come with a beta version of the Portrait Lighting mode. The company is promising the highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone with better 4K and slow motion.
The iPhone 8 series comes with Qi wireless charging, a feature rival Samsung has had for a few years. This Apple hopes will help push volumes up in market like India, where it has a 2.30 per cent share in Q2 2017 as per IDC.
Apple Watch series 3 will meanwhile unyoke itself from the phone and come with Cellular access, which will let users make calls and connect to the net for maps or music streaming. But without the bother of a new cellular number as it will mirror the same number as the iPhone. Also, Siri on the Watch will now come with voice. The innovation here is clearly how Apple has been able to squeeze in the antenna for the Watch and they have done that by integrating it inside the display along with an electronic SIM. The new Watch retains the same size as the old one. India is not among the countries where this new Watch will be available initially.
Apple also says their watch grew over 50 per cent year-over-year and is now the largest selling watch in the world beating Rolex. Talk about staying in tune with the times, and this is a product that was written off many times. Actually, Apple has been really smart in selling it as a watch and not exactly a smartwatch.
Apple TV has been upgraded with 4K HDR to cater to the large screens that are taking over living rooms across the world. It will run the latest tvOS and 4K titles will not be priced higher than HD.
The Apple event started with an ode to founder Steve Jobs, after whom the venue is named. It was only apt, says CEO Tim Cook. “We dedicate this theatre to Steve, because we loved him and he loved days like this…” Cook said this was not just a dedication to Steve, but also a way to inspire the next generation of innovators. “Steve’s vision and passion live on here at Apple Park and everywhere at Apple.”
The Apple event on Tuesday was the first time the world got to officially see the new Apple Park campus of the company. Envisioned by founder Steve Jobs as a workplace within a landscape.Jobs wanted this to draw on his memories of Stanford. Powered fully by renewable energy, the campus is one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world, as well as one of the world’s largest naturally ventilated buildings. The 2.8 million-square-foot main building has the world’s largest panels of curved glass and the structure resembles a space ship, or as some say the Home button of Apple phones.
Disclaimer: The author is in California on the invite of Apple.