Apple CEO Tim Cook and his cast of executives barraged customers with a series of devices and services to ponder. The headliner was the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the Apple Watch Series 5 upgrade may have a wider impact. Meanwhile, a new iPad for $329 will likely spur sales of the tablet.
What's very clear from Apple's event is that the company is hitting enough price points to keep its installed base happy. After all, Apple is increasingly about selling you subscriptions these days. By keeping the iPhone 8 at $499, offering the iPhone 11 at $699 and adding the Pro lineup, Apple is covering its bases. Trade-ins will also be critical for Apple in the US and international markets.
Here's the rundown of everything that happened at Apple's iPhone event Sept. 10 and pointers to more resources.
iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- See it now: iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max at Apple
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller outlined the iPhone Pro with a midnight green color as well as a triple camera setup. Colors are Midnight Green, Space Gray, Silver, Gold.
The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999, and the iPhone Pro Max starts at $1,099.
- Apple's iPhone 11 event: By the numbers
- Apple iPhone 11 models unveiled: Specs, features, and prices
- Phone 11 and 11 Pro: Apple's new phones start at $700 CNET
There are two display sizes, with 6.5-inch for the Pro Max and 5.8-inch for the Pro. These screens also get a new Super Retina tag for the display. The A13 Bionic chip will power both with an emphasis on machine learning in the devices as well as low-power consumption. A13 Bionic can process 1 trillion operations per second.
Apple also emphasized battery life with a 4-hour gain for the iPhone 11 Pro compared to the XS. The iPhone Pro Max improves battery life by 5 hours.
The cameras were also touted by Schiller, who boasted of pro-level photos with the triple camera setup and the ability to take three shots from one vantage point. "You can use the telephoto to get in close to your subject or use the wide to tell a bit more of the story or pull out with ultra-wide to take in more of the surroundings," said Schiller.
Apple also used the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max to highlight its approach to computational photography. The technology, driven by machine learning, is called Deep Fusion. Deep Fusion is driven by a neural engine that shoots nine images and analyzes long and short images to optimize for detail and low noise. iPhone 11: What is Deep Fusion?
Takeaway: The camera and battery updates are worthy of an upgrade, but the lack of 5G will likely mean many tech buyers hold out. The triple cameras on the iPhone Pro and Pro Max are enticing. Other features touted can be found in Samsung's Galaxy and Note lines and even lower-priced Android models.
- See it now: iPhone 11 at Apple
Apple's iPhone 11 didn't have 5G but did have a camera overhaul as well as a new color palette for the low-end model, which is a sequel to the iPhone XR. The starting price for the iPhone 11 will be $699.
Remember that expectations for an iPhone 11 upgrade cycle are fairly low, but given that Apple is becoming more of a services company and bundling Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscriptions for $4.99 each the company may not have to do much more than keep you in the fold.
On the surface, the iPhone 11 should give customers in need of an upgrade an excuse to play ball. But the iPhone 11 upgrade is likely to be all about the camera.
- A 12MP camera for selfies on the front. A 12 MP camera on the back with a wide-angle camera sidekick. The premium iPhone 11 deploys a triple camera setup.
- Night mode for low-light photos and improved flash.
- Video stabilization has improved with support for 4K at 60 fps with slow-mo and time-lapse.
- Other specs include the A13 Bionic chip and the 6.1-inch Retina display.
- iPhone 11 is aluminum with six colors: Purple, white, yellow, green, black, red.
- An hour more battery life than iPhone XR.
- The iPhone is also water and dust resistant.
Takeaway: The $699 starting price will entice upgrades and keep Apple competitive in the mid-tier sector, which is being targeted by a long line of Android vendors.
- See it now: Apple Watch at Apple
Cook launched the Apple Watch Series 5 with a heavy emphasis on the health benefits and research implications. Apple laid out its blueprint to expand the Apple Watch into healthcare and human resources wellness programs last year. The 2019 iPhone event outlined a continuation of a broader plan for the Apple Watch to dominate digital health and wellness.
Apple touted how Apple Watch was contributing to health research, development, and science. For instance, more than 400,000 people participated in the Apple Watch heart study. Apple is launching three more studies, including:
- Apple Hearing Study, looking at the health impact on news.
- Apple Women's Health Study, looking at conditions and how they apply to menstrual cycles.
- Apple Heart and Movement study, which is looking at interventions that affect the heart.
The upshot is that Series 5 starts at $399 and $499 with cellular. Apple is keeping the Series 3 around for $199.
Takeaway: The Apple Watch is likely to take over for the iPhone as Apple's unit shipment leader. The health play extends Apple's enterprise lead.
- Does Apple need to choose between consumer and B2B in health? TechRepublic
- Apple Watch Series 5 new features, specs reveal Apple's healthcare ambition
- 5 Apple Watch apps to simplify your workday | Women's health arrives on Apple Health priority list
- Apple reveals Series 5 smartwatch CNET
- Photos: 20 essential Apple Watch apps for busy professionals
- See it now: 10.2-inch iPad at Apple
Cook outlined the iPad update to join the iPad Mini, iPad Pro, and iPad OS. The latest addition to the iPad portfolio: the seventh-generation iPad. The device is designed for the iPad OS with a 10.2-inch Retina display and 3.5 million pixels.
Apple noted that 9.7-inch iPads were 60% of sales. The new iPad will work with Apple Pencil. The new iPad will start at $329. Education customers can get the iPad for $299. Apple is taking preorders today and ship at the end of the month.
Takeaway: There is an iPad upgrade cycle to be had. The $329 iPad is likely to land a few converts.
Apple TV Plus
- See it now: Apple TV Plus at Apple
Cook said the mission is to bring "the best original stories from the most creative minds in television and film." Trailers have been viewed more than 100 million times, according to Cook.
The first shows will be available Nov. 1, with more than 100 countries available for $4.99 a month for a family subscription. When you buy a new iPhone or iPad or Apple TV, you get a year of Apple TV Plus for free.
Takeaway: Another service, another $4.99 to Apple. The bundle with a new purchase is a nice addition and highlights how Apple can use its scale to blow the streaming cost curve.
- See it now: Apple Arcade at Apple
Apple launched its game service with unlimited access to more than 100 new games built for the company's devices. Subscriptions are available in the App Store with game guides and sneak peeks.
Apple Arcade will be available Sept. 19 for $4.99 a month for an entire family.
Games include Frogger in Toytown and other exclusives. Apple lined up a series of partnerships with Capcom and Konami.
Takeaway: The family subscription is a nice touch. The real upshot is that Apple Arcade is yet another service with a monthly fee that'll incidentally be hooked up to your Apple Card.
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