The predictions were almost right, again. Apple on Wednesday launched three new iPhones — the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR — with different price points and aimed at different users. Also, Apple finally brought in dual SIM considering markets like India and packed its eSIM technology into the new phones. In India, the iPhone Xs will be priced Rs 99,900 onwards and the iPhone Xs Max will be priced from Rs 1,09,900 going on sale in India from September 28. Apple iPhone Xr will start at Rs 76,900 and go on pre-orders from October 19.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are upgrades on the iPhone X launched last year. However, both sport the new A12 Bionic processor, the first 7nm chip in the industry with a neural engine and a 6-core CPU. Apple claims the new process will help apps launch 30 per cent faster. The machine learning capabilities will be nine times faster, but using a tenth of the power as before. So you can expect developers to use machine learning features more in the their apps from now.
Plus, the phones now have a better dual camera at the back, which while improving optics also uses the processing power of the new chipset to offer better images with features like Smart HDR. Also, for the first time, users will be able to adjust the depth of field on photos shot using the portrait mode. Apple calls this the advent of “computational photography”.
In his keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasised the fact that the iPhone X — despite all the criticism of being a very expensive phone — had become the top smartphone in the world and had also secured 98 per cent rating on consumer satisfaction. With the iPhone XS Max, the largest phone ever made by Apple with a 6.5-inch screen, he is also pushing the price points to new levels. The average selling price of Apple’s phones are only going to go up with these launches.
The Apple iPhone XR is meant to be a more affordable iPhone for countries like India. However, this new model will achieve its lower price point by offering a 6.1-inch LCD screen with liquid Retina display in place of the OLED and aluminum body instead of stainless steel and by offering single 12MP single camera at the back. The phone will, however, look like the iPhone X from the front with a notch and no home button.
At the start of his keynote address at the Steve Jobe Theatre, Cook announced that the 2 billionth iOS device will be sold soon. And helping the cause is the Apple Watch, which is now the number 1 watch in the world, and not just the top smartwatch.
Apple Watch is going to the next level with an upgrade to the screen size in the same body with new watch faces and complications. However, the ceramic back of the watch will also have electrodes now allowing device to offer ECG. Powered by a new S4 processor, this will be the first over-the-counter device to offer ECG. The watch will also map low heart rate now as well as murmurs that need attention.
Cook said the iPhone X has changed the industry and is now the top smartphone in the world, also clocking a 98 per cent customer satisfaction rating. The iPhone XS, he said, was the most advanced the company has ever created.
Disclaimer: The writer is in California on the invite of Apple.