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Everything you need to know from Apple’s big 2019 event
Apple’s yearly September extravaganza has just wrapped up, and there was a lot to take in!
Despite no flashy redesign of the iPhone range for the second year running, there were plenty of changes under the hood and a brand new camera system to marvel at. Elsewhere, we saw updates to the Apple Watch and iPad ranges and learned a bunch more details about Apple’s upcoming subscription services, TV+ and Arcade.
We’ll dive into the details in more depth throughout the week, but for the moment let’s recap the biggest announcements!
Consider this article a cheat sheet of the biggest talking points of the event, so you can sound knowledgable around the water cooler tomorrow. Perhaps more importantly, these key facts could help you decide whether to splash out on Apple’s latest products now or wait until next year.
iPhone 11 Pro/Max (OLED)
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the direct replacements for last year’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and they’re priced accordingly. They’re being pitched as the first Apple smartphones worthy of the ‘Pro’ moniker.
To that end, Apple’s announcement concentrated on the new pro-level triple camera system, as well as the pro performance potential of the new A13 Bionic chip.
• Rear made of single piece of the toughest glass yet, surrounded by stainless steel band
• New finishes: midnight green, space gray, silver, gold
• All-new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR displays, which means a brighter and more vibrant OLED with 2 million to 1 contrast and 1200nits of brightness, 15 percent more energy efficient, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos
• A13 Bionic capable of 1 trillion operations per second, with machine learning accelerators – “The best machine learning platform in any smartphone”
• iPhone 11 Pro Battery life lasts four hours more than iPhone XS, iPhone 11 Pro Max Battery life lasts five hours more than iPhone XS
• Apple’s first triple camera system: 12MP wide camera f/1.8 OIS, 12MP telephoto f/2.0 OIS, New 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4 camera with 120 degree field of view
• Deep Fusion software feature coming this Fall uses Neural Engine to shoot lots of shots at multiple exposures, then assembles into a single detailed shot – “computational photography mad science”
• All three cameras shoot video at 4K and 60fps
Prices for the iPhone 11 Pro start from $999 for the 64GB iPhone 11 Pro, moving on to $1,149 for the 256GB model, and $1,349 for the 512GB model.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for the 64GB model, $1,249 for 256GB, and $1,449 for the 512GB model. Pre-orders for both start on Friday, with shipping set for September 20.
iPhone 11 (LCD)
Apple clearly took note of the huge popularity of the iPhone XR last year, to the point that it seemed to position the iPhone 11 front and centre as the iPhone that will be suitable for most people (or ‘non-Pros’, to use Apple’s terminology).
The iPhone 11 is a direct continuation from the iPhone XR, with a similar design and feature set, but with one or two fresh components that it shares with the Pro models.
• Anodised aluminum design paired with toughest glass ever
• Six new colours: Purple, white, green, yellow, black, red.
• 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, as with the XR
• Spatial audio, Dolby Atmos support
• Dual-camera: 12MP wide camera f/1.8, 12MP ultra wide f/2.4 providing 2X optical zoom-out
• A13 Bionic chip provides fastest ever mobile CPU and GPU
• 1 hour more battery life than iPhone XR, wireless charging, faster Face ID
Pre-orders for the iPhone start this Friday, with shipping set for September 20. Prices will start from $699 for the 64GB model, which is $50 lower than the launch price of the iPhone XR. The 128GB model will cost $749, and the 256GB model tops out at $849.
Talking of which, both the iPhone XR and the iPhone 8 will stick around in the range for $599 and $449 respectively.
Apple Watch S5
The Apple Watch range is by far the most popular on the smartphone market, and the Series 5 doesn’t look to rock the boat with any kind of radical design overhaul.
However, it does address one of the biggest issues people have had with the Apple Watch since its inception.
• New always-on display means watch face is always visible without having to lift your wrist
• LTPO display technology refreshes dynamically from 60Hz to 1Hz, meaning you will still get all-day 18-hour battery life
• Built-in compass with accompanying watch face, so you can see which direction you’re facing at a glance
• Cell models in 150 countries have international emergency calling – just press and hold side button
• Widest assortment of case finishes ever, including new titanium and ceramic models alongside new Nike and Hermes contributions
Prices for the Apple Watch S5 start at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular. You can order now, and they’re available in stores from September 20.
The Series 4 has been dropped from the range, but the Series 3 remains at a new low price of $199.
iPad 7th generation
In an event that wasn’t exactly what you’d call bursting with surprises, the most unexpected hardware reveal may well have been this modest replacement for the iPad 6th generation (9.7-inch).
Apple claimed that this iPad 7th generation was designed to make the most of iPadOS and its many new features, and that mainly seems to manifest itself with a larger display.
• 10.2-inch Retina display rather than 9.7-inch
• Same A10 Fusion chip as found in iPad 6th generation, iPhone 7, latest iPod touch
• Smart Connector means it can connect to Smart Keyboard
• Apple Pencil (1st generation) support
• 8MP camera, gigabit LTE
The iPad 7th generation can be ordered now, with shipments set for September 20. It’ll cost $329 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model, $429 for the 128GB Wi-Fi. The cellular model starts from $459 for 32GB, or $559 for 128GB.
Apple’s new TV service sees the company seeking to grab a slice of the streaming service pie. It had more to announce on this front at its iPhone 11 event, including pricing and rollout details.
First up, though, new drama See saw its trailer premiered. It’s a big-budget sci-fi fantasy starring Jason Momoa, set hundreds of years in future at a time when virtually all of mankind is blind and living a primitive existence.
The first Apple TV+ shows will start rolling out in 100 countries from November 1 at a price of $4.99 per month for the whole family. Starting today, when you buy a new iPhone, Apple TV, or iPad you’ll get 1 year of Apple TV+ for free.
Apple arcade is the company’s forthcoming gaming service. Announced at WWDC 2019, it promises to provide a subscription-based home for the kind of big-budget premium games that simply don’t have a market in these freemium-driven times.
Apple had some firm details for us at the iPhone 11 event.
• Apple is partnering with a number of major game developers and publishers, including Konami, Capcom and Annapurna Interactive
• Konami announced and demoed Frogger in Toy Town, which looks like a physics-enhanced Crossy Road (which itself was heavily inspired by the original Frogger)
• Capcom showed off Shinseki Into The Depths, a lush-looking underwater 2D platformer with immersive sound effects
• Annapurna Interactive showed off Sayonara Wild Hearts from developer Simogo, a rhythm action game with racing and endless running elements
Apple Arcade will be available from September 19 in 150 countries. There’ll be 100 new games added to the launch catalogue in the weeks ahead.
It will cost just $4.99 per month for the whole family, and it’ll launch with a 1 month free trial.
Phew! So that’s it for this year: three new iPhones coming this month and plenty more besides. We’ll have detailed reports on every single announcement in the next couple days, so stay tuned!