Apple Releases New iPhone Handsets, New Watch

Three new iPhone models are revealed, as well as a new watch designed to detect heart problems

Apple has carried out another significant shake-up of its iPhone product range, after releasing its largest ever smartphone (which is also the most expensive), as well as a mid-range handset designed for the more budget conscious.

The effort, designed to reinvigorate sales in the saturated smartphone market, also saw Apple show off a brand new Apple Watch that is tightly focused on people’s health.

The product launches were held on Wednesday 12 September at the Steve Jobs Theatre in the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

iPhones XS, iPhone XS Max

As expected, Apple is not producing an iPhone 9, but is instead doubling down on its expensive iPhone X (pronounced ten) that was released last year.

So what exactly are we getting?

Well Apple unveiled both the iPhone XS, which comes with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, and with prices starting at $999.

The second device, iPhone XS Max, is the largest iPhone to date as it boasts a whopping 6.5-inch screen. Indeed, the iPhone XS Max’s OLED display size is 26 percent larger than the previous largest iPhone display, which makes it the largest increase in screen size since 2014.

But it is also the most expensive with prices starting at $1,099.

For the record, both the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB capacity models in space gray, silver and a new gold finish.

And both the 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max feature Super Retina displays, a faster and improved 12-megapixel dual camera system, the first 7-nanometre chip in a smartphone (the A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine), as well as faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, a new gold finish and dual SIM capabilities.

“iPhone Xs is packed with next-generation technologies and is a huge step forward for the future of the smartphone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing. “Everything is state of the art including the industry-first 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip with 8-core Neural Engine, faster Face ID and an advanced dual camera system that shoots Portrait mode photos with Smart HDR and dynamic depth of field.”

“iPhone Xs is not one, but two new iPhone models, and iPhone Xs Max offers the biggest display ever in an iPhone with the biggest battery ever in an iPhone, delivering up to an hour and a half more battery life in your day,” said Schiller.

The two new models feature a “surgical grade stainless steel band now in gold joins finishes in silver and space gray.”

The front and back glass design is said to be the most durable glass ever in a smartphone with improved scratch resistance, while the glass back enables faster wireless charging. And the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have improved splash and water resistance.

iPhone XR

But Apple was not content to leave things there.

It surprised analysts and the market with the introduction of a lower-cost 6.1-inch (15.5 cm) iPhone XR made of aluminium and glass.

This handset is effectively positioned between last year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus, but is able to sold a cheaper price ($749) thanks to its use of a cost effective LCD screen.

“iPhone XR helps us reach even more people with the latest iPhone innovations,” said Philip Schiller. “It is packed with the newest technologies including a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display that goes edge to edge, the latest TrueDepth camera with faster Face ID authentication, new 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip with second generation Neural Engine and a 12-megapixel camera that takes advanced Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting photos.”

“The new iPhone XR has a gorgeous new aerospace-grade aluminium and glass enclosure that has IP67 protection from liquids and dust, long all-day battery life and comes in six beautiful finishes,” said Schiller. “iPhone XR makes it possible for even more people to have the great experience of the latest iPhone X technology, in beautiful new designs, at a more affordable price.”

The handset comes in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red, and comes in 64GB, 128GB and 256G.

Apple Watch

Apple also had another surprise with the introduction of the Apple Watch (series four) designed to deliver a “healthier day” to users.

The new Watch has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to detect atrial fibrillation – a heart disease that involves irregular heart rhythm.

This is the first time that a device like this which can an electrocardiogram (ECG), is being sold over the counters to consumers.

The new Watch also boasts edge-to-edge displays. Indeed, Apple claims that the display is over 30 percent larger and seamlessly integrates into the thinner, smaller case.

And the new Watch will start an emergency call automatically if it detects a user falling down, potentially appealing to the elderly.

All of these new devices will become available very shortly.

EE for example told Silicon UK that customers will be able to pre-order iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max beginning 14th September, and the iPhone XR beginning 19th October.

The Apple Watch Series 4 can be pre-ordered on 14th September.

Despite the new models and a few surprises for the market, Apple did not deliver some expected news, as it made no mention of any wireless charging mat, or content deals for Apple TV.

Quiz: What do you know about Apple?