Cameras and batteries the focus as Apple unveils three new iPhones

Phones will cost from €829 to €1,279 and will ship later this month

Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple, speaks about iPhone Pro during an event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California on Tuesday. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple, speaks about iPhone Pro during an event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California on Tuesday. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

Apple unveiled three new iPhones with camera enhancements and improved battery life, making incremental tweaks to lure buyers ahead of a more substantial overhaul of its handsets in 2020. The new phones, unveiled at a bumper event in California, included the widely anticipated iPhone 11 Pro.

The tech giant also announced an updated iPad with a bigger 10.2-inch screen and an Apple Watch with an always-on display. And it revealed launch dates for its games and TV streaming services.

“[The] iPhone and the capabilities that it puts into people’s hands has changed the way we live our lives in ways that we never could have imagined,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said. “It’s become so essential for hundreds and hundreds of millions of people all over the world. It’s changed industries and led to the creation of entirely new ones.”

The much-rumoured iPhone 11 Pro adds a third camera, bringing a new ultrawide lens to the existing wide angle and telephoto setup. A new night mode will automatically kick in when the light drops below a certain level, and the camera has been tweaked to add new options for portraits and improved video shooting capabilities.

Software update

The front-facing camera has also been improved, with a 12-megapixel camera that offers a wider field of view and next-generation Smart HDR for more natural-looking photos.

The Pro will have a 5.8 inch custom-designed OLED display, dubbed Super Retina XDR, with the Max coming in at 6.5 inches.

A software update will add Deep Fusion to the camera, a feature that takes nine images and uses computational photography and the neural engine of the new A13 Bionic chip to combine them into a single photo.

The Pro and Pro Max will have longer battery life compared to the current Xs and Xs Max models, gaining five and four hours respectively. Apple is also including the fast charger with the new phones.

Other expected features, such as reverse wireless charging that could provide a power boost to the wireless Airpod charging case and other compatible devices, failed to materialise.

In price terms, the iPhone Pro 11 starts at €1,179, with the Pro Max costing from €1,279.

The iPhone 11, meanwhile takes the place of the iPhone XR in the lineup, although the latter will remain on sale at a lower price along with the iPhone 8. The new iPhone 11 has a new wide angle lens, a brighter flash and an improved front-facing camera that allows you to take slow-motion video.

It adds the ability to take a quick video even while in photo mode, and improves the front-facing camera, with faster Face ID for unlocking the phone and 4K video. The phone will go on sale from €829.

The company will begin shipping all three new models from September 20th.

Apple also used the event to unveil the Series 5 Apple Watch, which features a new always-on display. That makes it easier to sneak a glance at your wrist, with the watch coming up to full brightness when you raise your wrist.

The device is also getting a built-in compass that developers will be able to tap into to make hiking and other exercise apps more accurate, and all cellular models will include international emergency calling.

Bigger screen

Apple said it would also keep the Series 3 on sale, dropping the price to €229 compared to the Series 5’s €459.

The updated iPad, meanwhile, replaces the sixth-generation device that introduced support for Apple Pencil to the company’s regular iPads. The seventh-generation device, which will cost €399, has a bigger screen at 10.2 inches, supports iPadOS and brings the smart connector to the device so users can add smart keyboard cases.

Apple also announced pricing and launch dates for its streaming services Apple Arcade and TV+. Games streaming service Apple Arcade will launch on September 19th in 150 countries costing €4.99 for a family subscription. Games company Konami’s Frogger in Toy Town was announced as an exclusive for the service. Capcom and Annapurna Interactive will also bring exclusives to the platform.

“We’re bringing our brand of game design to a new wider global audience, both at home and on mobile, available only on Apple Arcade,” said Peter Fabiano of Capcom.

Apple TV+ meanwhile will begin releasing shows from November 1st, adding new content each month. Launching in 100 countries, the service will also cost €4.99 a month but customers who buy an iPad, iPhone or Mac will get a year’s subscription included, adding to the pressure on rival Netflix.

The streaming service is facing increased competition from Apple, Disney and other new entrants to the market.