At an event closely watched from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple showcased four new smartphones, including a larger 6.7-inch model of the iPhone 14 Plus and an updated iPhone 14 Pro that rethinks the bad notch. In typical Apple fashion, the devices also offer better battery life and camera features than the previous year.
The biggest surprise, however, may be the price: The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus will start at $799 and $899, respectively, the same starting prices as last year’s models. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1,099, respectively, unchanged from the previous year. Analysts widely expected that Apple would raise the price of the premium models by $100.
“It’s impressive that Apple has maintained year-on-year pricing parity for the new iPhone 14 in the US,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at market research firm CCS Insight. “We expected that inflation, increased production costs, components and other expenses such as more expensive shipping would have prompted Apple to increase its retail prices.”
For Apple, the stakes are always high to convince customers to upgrade devices, especially the iPhone, which remains its central product. That task will likely be made more difficult this year by the broader economic turmoil, including fears of a looming recession.
Throughout the event, Apple seemed to alternate between promoting its range of products as tools to live our best lives and also to avoid any number of ills that could plague customers in an uncertain world, from car crashes to being caught in the wild.
Apple has announced several new Apple Watch models, including the top version that costs $799 and is designed to support the needs of a rare group of outdoor enthusiasts. It has also added an option for its watches to detect when a user has been in a car accident, as well as a satellite calling feature. for phones, which aims to help people communicate when their cellular service isn’t working.
Here are the highlights of the event:
The new iPhone 14 lineup
Apple has unveiled four new smartphones, including the new iPhone 14 with a 6.1-inch screen and the iPhone 14 Plus with a larger 6.7-inch screen.
The new iPhone 14 features a 12MP main camera with larger pixels, faster aperture and improved sensors. It also uses the same chip as last year’s iPhone 13 Pro model (A15), the first time a chip has been replicated in years.
However, for the first time, the new front camera features autofocus, allowing it to focus at multiple distances in low light for better single and group selfies. It also has a new action mode that allows users to keep videos stable while on the go.
Apple’s new Pro line features an always-on display and the ability to receive notifications and activities through what the company calls a “dynamic island,” the most polarizing notch on the top of the phone that’s now a feature. The Pro line also comes with the first 48MP camera on an iPhone.
In a notable shift, the iPhone 14 lineup also eliminates the need for a physical SIM card and instead uses a digital “e-SIM” card. Now, users can store multiple SIM cards on the same device and have multiple cellular plans and phone numbers on the same phone. It also prevents others from removing the physical SIM if the iPhone is lost or stolen. Apple said that all US iPhone models will no longer have a SIM card tray.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will come in five colors: midnight, starlight, blue, purple, and red.
New Apple Watch
Apple unveiled three new smartwatches at the event: Series 8, SE and Ultra.
Ultimately, the Ultra model is designed to help users keep track Endurance training, adventure diving and triathlon. Operating for approximately 36 hours on a single charge, the device is more water-resistant and features an improved compass that can work at night, in the ocean, and other conditions.
On the low end, Apple updated the SE to be 20% faster than the previous version. He. She It starts at $249 for GPS models and $299 for cellular models.
In the middle is the Series 8 model. which starts at $399. Like previous versions of the Apple smartwatch, the Series 8 aims to motivate users to stay active and fit. Apple has also emphasized the Watch’s women’s health features, with revamped menstrual trackers that can predict ovulation. Tracking data is kept on each device and can only be accessed through a passcode or face ID, according to the company. Apple does not have a key to the encrypted data, and therefore cannot access it without your explicit permission.
The announcement comes as women’s data security has become a major flashpoint in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
New AirPods Pro 2
Apple showcased its latest generation AirPods Pro, one of its biggest flagships in recent years. The new AirPods Pro will get six hours of listening on a single charge, better than the original version. Every headset and case itself is now equipped to make noise to help you find it. A slight swipe up and down of the headset will increase or decrease the volume.
AirPods Pro now come with improved Dynamic Noise Canceling technology, and can cancel twice as much noise as the original version. Meanwhile, a new adaptive transparency mode aims to reduce harsh environmental noise.
AirPods Pro 2 cost $249 and hit stores Friday.
Emergency satellite connection
Although Apple hasn’t revealed any groundbreaking new hardware products, there is at least one new feature that could change the rules of the game for customers—albeit on rare occasions.
The new Emergency SOS feature over satellite, which Apple said has been in the works for years, is built specifically for iPhone 14 devices to connect to satellites when you are not near an earth tower. By allowing users to point their devices toward the satellite, which will help the phone locate it, users will be able to send and receive information for emergency assistance.
The company said it has created a short text compression mechanism to condense messages that take about 15 seconds to send if the user has a clear view of the sky. (It may take a few minutes longer if something like foliage is in the way.)
Apple said local service providers will be alerted to help request assistance.
Correction: An earlier version of this story cited the wrong analyst at CCS Insight.
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