Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch at its annual launch event, focusing on the capabilities delivered by its custom processors and adding 5G connectivity to an updated iPad mini as well as to more operator networks globally.

The company highlighted its use of custom-design antennas and radio components to add more 5G bands worldwide. Its new iPhone 13 will be compatible with 200 operator networks in 60 countries and regions by the end of 2021, it announced.

Automatic fallback to LTE will conserve battery life “when 5G speeds aren’t needed,” Apple stated.

Apple’s A15 Bionic chip features in the range, comprising the iPhone 13, mini, Pro and Pro Max models.

The chip is produced using a 5 nanometre process, features 15 billion transistors and offers a CPU with two high performance and four high efficiency cores, along with a four core GPU which is bumped to five in the Pro model.

Apple explained the chip enables cinematic video using professionally-derived filming algorithms developed in house.

A neural engine can process 15 trillion operations per second, supporting AI features.

The iPhone maker also highlighted three privacy features of iOS15, its latest software due for release on 20 September.

Siri speech recognition software will process commands on the device rather than the cloud; intelligent tracking to prevent profiling of users via their IP addresses; and mail privacy protection to hide IP addresses in email messages.

The vendor matched its previous flagship’s pricing, putting iPhone 13 at $799, mini $699, Pro $999 and Pro Max $1,099, with the figures likely based on the lowest-spec 128GB storage option for each.

Apple scheduled 17 September to commence the ordering process, with availability a week later.

Ahead of Apple’s event, research company Canalys branded predecessor the iPhone 12 “the best-selling smartphone worldwide for H1”, after shipments grew 19 per cent year-on-year to 98 million units, 15 per cent of the period’s total.

Faster than Chromebook
The latest iPad range employs Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, with the company stating processing is 20 per cent faster than the previous model and up to three times faster than “the best-selling Chromebook”.

The latest iPad mini gains 5G connectivity for the first time, a 40 per cent increase in CPU and 80 per cent increase in GPU performance.

PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore commented the timing of the iPad mini launch is noteworthy “given the growing focus on foldable devices by rivals.”

Prices start at $499 for Wi-Fi only and $649 including mobile connectivity, with the ordering process open now and availability due on 24 September.

Power up
The Apple Watch Series 7 gained fitness features including improvements to a related app, along with a larger display and faster charging than its predecessor.

It is due on sale later this year.