On September 12, Apple announced a slew of new products including three iPhone models, AppleTV, a GPS- and cellular-capable Apple Watch, and much more.
As we reported last week in our Apple Event Preview article, the iPhone X (pronounced “ten,” not “ex”) was the star of the show. A beautiful new edge-to-edge OLED (organic light emitting display), it includes FaceID, a security feature that does away with fingerprint unlocking and instead uses a 3D scan of your face. Apple says this increases the security by about 95%. The device is a tad larger than the smaller iPhone 8 (which is the identical size as the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7). The screen is notched at the top, which some people are not crazy about. The notched area is where the receiver speaker, front facing camera, and sensors are located. It’s clearly a phone designed for those who want the very best device possible. For the 64Gb version, iPhone X costs $999 plus tax. For the 256Gb version of the iPhone X with AppleCare Plus (our recommendation), look to spend $1,298 plus tax.
Although they aren’t generating the same media buzz as the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are nice upgrades over the iPhone 7. The phones both have a True Tone display which sense the surrounding lighting and adjust colors/brightness accordingly, offering a dramatic visual improvement over older models. The iPhone 8 offers improved image stabilization, improved camera sensors for photography and videos, and improved HDR photography features. A great deal of the new technology in the iPhone X is also in the iPhone 8. For those looking to upgrade an older iPhone but who prefer not to invest in an iPhone X, the iPhone 8 is a great option. Pricing starts at $699 for iPhone 8 with 64Gb, and $799 for iPhone 8 Plus with 64Gb.
Apple Watch Series 3
The primary new feature of the Series 3 Apple Watch is cellular connectivity. For an additional $10/month paid to your cellular provider, you’ll have a data connection on your watch even when your iPhone is not nearby. You can now use iMessage, Maps, WeChat, and Siri, plus stream music via Apple Music, when you’re away from your phone. With cellular service activated, you’ll finally be able to make phone calls from your watch. The Series 3 offers some of the most versatile and powerful fitness and health tracking features on the market. And Apple’s interchangeable watch straps are hugely popular, coming in a broad range of colors and materials. The Series 3 makes a ton of sense for iPhone owners. Perhaps less so for Android owners, but it’s a possible reason for them to think about switching to the Apple ecosystem. Prices start at $329, and exceed $1000 for the ceramic edition models.
Apple TV 4K
Apple TV 4K offers support for both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR), delivering four times more pixels than standard HD. You’ll see sharp, crisp images with richer, more true-to-life colors plus far greater detail in both bright and dark scenes. Watch content from apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN (plus Amazon Prime Video, coming soon). The Apple TV 4K can now also stream live sports and news. The price is $179 for the 32Gb model and $199 for the 64Gb model. (For the slight cost difference, we suggest springing for the 64Gb model.)
A11 Bionic Chip
At the heart of Apple’s new devices is a brand-new applications processor known as the A11 Bionic chip. The A11 Bionic has six processor cores: Two high-performance cores (25% faster than Apple’s previous A10 Fusion) plus four high-efficiency cores (70% faster than the A10 Fusion). When you need the highest performance, a device will use all six cores. These speed increases are an impressive accomplishment for a mobile device that fits in your pocket with all-day battery life.
AirPower and Qi Charging
Apple’s new AirPower is a wire-free (but not strictly wireless) charging pad to help clean up the mess of charging cables for your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Apple unveiled AirPower at the event, though the charging pad won’t be available until early next year. To charge your devices, plug the charging pad into a power outlet, then place your devices on the charging pad, screen side up. That’s it!
AirPower utilizes the established Qi (pronounced “chee”) wireless charging method — an open standard run by the Wireless Power Consortium. One of the benefits of using an existing standard for wireless charging is that Qi-enabled devices will work with Qi charging stations and mats already in place around the world, including public access in hotels, cafes, and airports. (Please note: iPhone 8 and X models are Qi devices so can be charged at Qi charging stations; Apple Watch Series 3 and the new AirPod case are not Qi devices.)
Apple announced quite a bit of impressive new technology last week, and there’s a lot to consider and absorb. If you’re wondering if it’s the right time to purchase new devices for your office or home, or which device model might be best for you, please call us at (916) 972-9000 and we’d be happy to discuss this with you.