Apple’s iPhone X may have grabbed the headlines at the company’s annual product launch, but was the tip of the iceberg in a presentation which included a pair of more traditional iPhones and the company’s first 4G-enabled watch.
The main talking point about Apple’s hotly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone is the $999 price tag. Analysts told Mobile World Live the high price will likely mitigate potential supply chain shortages by limiting consumer demand for a device with a number of high-end components and features.
The 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina Display is one such component. The screen covers the entire front surface of the device, and eliminates Apple’s traditional home button in favour of gesture controls and the company’s Siri digital assistant.
Some of the display real estate is sacrificed to Apple’s TrueDepth camera, a 7MP unit with ƒ/2.2 aperture capable of recording HD video. The module includes a raft of sensors to enable FaceID, one the key developments Apple highlighted.
At its simplest level, FaceID is a biometric security feature used to unlock the device, though Apple said it will also be used to verify payments in stores, apps and online.
The vendor followed a recent trend for dual cameras on the rear of the device, with 12MP wide-angle and telephoto lenses offering ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/2.4 apertures respectively. Other highlights include the ability to shoot 4K and HD video and take still photos while recording.
Apple said the battery lasts up to two hours longer than the iPhone 7, and offers fast charging – typically providing up to 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes.
Like many of its competitors, iPhone X is IP67 rated for splash, water and dust resistance.
Available in silver and space grey, with 64GB or 256GB of storage, Apple will begin taking orders on 27 October, with shipments due to commence on 3 November.
iPhone X runs Apple’s new six core A11 Bionic CPU. Two of the cores are dedicated to performance, with the remaining four focused on efficiency. The performance cores are 25 per cent faster than the vendor’s A10 Fusion chip, with the efficiency cores offering a 70 per cent improvement.
A new performance controller is capable of accessing all six cores simultaneously, which Apple said delivers up to 70 per cent better performance when multi-tasking. The chip also incorporates a three core Apple GPU delivering a 30 per cent improvement in graphics performance.
Apple emphasised its new chip was powerful enough to enable new features including machine learning, AR apps and 3D gaming.
iPhone 8 features a 4.7-inch Retina display with 1334×750 pixel resolution and the 8 Plus a 5.5-inch, 1920×1080 pixel, version. A 12 MP camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture graces the back of iPhone 8, while the larger model offers a twin camera set-up on par with iPhone X. Both models feature a 7MP unit on the front, with Retina Flash and an ƒ/2.2 aperture.
The devices offer 64GB and 256GB storage options and use a fingerprint sensor for user verification.
Available in gold, silver and space grey, ordering opens on 15 September with shipments from 22 September. Prices start at $699.
Apple also unveiled the Watch Series 3, its first wearable with built in wireless connectivity meaning users no longer need an iPhone to make calls or send SMS. The vendor said Watch Series 3 features a pioneering antenna, which uses the screen to transmit and receive UMTS and LTE signals.
The device is geared towards the fitness segment of the wearables market, incorporating an updated heart rate app, coaching features, up to 50 metres water resistance, and a barometric altimeter. A non-cellular version is also available, and Apple said both models feature a dual-core processor which is up to 70 per cent faster than previous versions.
Prices for the cellular-equipped version start at $399 and $329 for the non-cellular variant.
View a summary of Apple’s full launch event here.