Apple has launched a trio of iPhones and upgraded smartwatches that can detect heart problems at its annual product launch event in Cupertino on Wednesday.
The tech company unveiled a new iteration of the flagship iPhone X with a 5.8in screen dubbed the iPhone XS – pronounced “ten S” rather than “excess” as well as the iPhone XS Max, which comes with a larger 6.5in screen.
Both feature an upgraded version of the iPhone X’s dual lens camera – one of the device’s best features – which allows for better portraits and higher-quality videos even in low light. They also come with Face ID facial recognition for unlocking the device and a richer display.
The company is also launching a lower-cost 6.1inch version, the iPhone XR. The iPhone XR comes in a range of candy colours, is made from aluminium rather than stainless steel, has a single camera system and trades the OLED screen of its more expensive counterparts for an edge-to-edge LCD screen.
The last time Apple launched a lower-cost version of the iPhone was the iPhone 5c in 2013, when it took the innards of the previous generation’s iPhone 5 and wrapped it in a plastic body.
All three devices also come with a more powerful ‘A12 Bionic’ processor which allows developers to build more sophisticated video games, augmented reality experiences and other apps with real-time features that couldn’t previously run on a mobile device. Appledemonstrated one app, HomeCourt, that uses the camera viewfinder to track and analyse basketball shots to provide real-time feedback that can help players improve their technique.
“No other chip in the world would allow us to do this,” said Apple’s Kaiann Drance, on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, the company’s new “spaceship” campus.
“With the new iPhone X line-up and its pricing repositioning, Apple demonstrates once again it excels at extending the lifecycle of its product portfolio through incremental innovation, impressive technical specifications boosting the performance of its devices and smart marketing,” said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.
The iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB of storage; the iPhone XS at $999; and the iPhone XS Max at $1099. All can be pre-ordered from 19 October and will start shipping the following week.