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Apple Debuts Faster, More Durable iPhones; New Watch Enters Medical Device Territory

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Apple Debuts Faster, More Durable iPhones; New Watch Enters Medical Device Territory
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Three new iPhones and a new Apple Watch were unveiled Wednesday in Cupertino at Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s much-anticipated product launch event. 

The iPhone X

The new iPhone models all feature cutting-edge photo capabilities, faster operation and the most durable hardware to date.

The XS And XS Max

The XS and XS Max feature OLED HDR super retina displays that are 5.8 and 6.5 inches, respectively. Both include a dual camera setup with 12-megapixel wide and telephoto lenses, allowing for what Apple said is its highest-ever photo quality. The camera also includes smart HDR with a depth adjuster, ushering in what the company called a new era of “computational photography.”

The A12 bionic chip 7nm processor allows the XS line to launch apps 30 percent faster than previous models.

The physical features of the phones are also noteworthy.

The XS will feature the most durable glass of any iPhone model to date and provide water resistance up to 2 meters for 30 minutes.

The XS starts at $999 while the XS Max starts at $1,099. They will be available to order Sept. 14 and ship September 21.

The iPhone XR

The iPhone XR includes the same A12 bionic chip processing, iOS 12 capabilities and true-depth camera as the XS models.

This phone features a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge Retina LCD display and a single camera with a 12-megapixel, wide-angle lens. The camera will also include the portrait feature found in the dual-camera models.

The XR starts at $749. Customers can preorder the phone Oct. 19 for an Oct. 26 ship date. 

Apple Unveils Series 4 Watch 

Wednesday's presentation began with the announcement of the Apple Watch Series 4.

On the outside, the Series 4 has a new, thinner screen pushed edge-to-edge, making for a 30-percent larger display. The watch includes a dual-core 64-bit processor that delivers up to 2x faster performance and features the same "all-day" 18-hour battery life as the previous version, according to Apple. 

The most remarkable feature highlighted in the presentation may be the watch's heart rate monitoring potential.

The Series 4 can screen a user’s heart rhythm in the background and send a notification if an irregular rhythm is detected. The watch can even take an ECG heart scan, a feature for which Apple said it received FDA approval. The Series 4 is the first over-the-counter, direct-to-consumer product with this ability. This interesting and unexpected play into the medical devices space appears to have caused concern over disruption, with shares of Fitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT) trading sharply lower during the presentation.

The Series 4 will be available in three colors, including stainless gray and gold stainless. All previous bands will work with the new watch, and Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE)'s Nike+ has been optimized for the model.

The watch will retail for $399 with GPS and $499 with cellular service beginning Sept. 21. 

Apps

The iPhone’s app capabilities have evolved with the phone. A demonstration of the "Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Blades" game showed console-quality graphics with high-detail lighting. With iOS12, iPhone users can engage in games that are “more than simple diversions," said Todd Howard, Bethesda Game Studios' director. 

The phone's AI and AR capabilities also caught the attention of viewers.

Directive Games showed off an AR-based version of the arcade classic "Galaga." And NBA icon Steve Nash appeared onstage in a demonstration of "Homecourt," an AI app that allows users to record their basketball shots, track shot metrics and build muscle memory.

Apple shares were down 1.24 percent at $221.07 at the close Wednesday.

Related Links: 

What The Experts Are Saying Ahead Of Apple's Event

Analyst: No Reason For Apple Investors To Sweat Tariffs — Yet 

Photo courtesy of Apple. 

Posted-In: Apple Watch iPhoneNews Events Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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