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Apple Unveils New iPhone X Alongside Upgrades; No Home Button

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After months of anticipation and speculation, Apple has finally revealed their ‘anniversary’ iPhone model, the iPhone X, alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, an upgrade to the Apple Watch and a higher-definition Apple TV.

Today, over a thousand journalists, executives and VIPs are gathered at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new Apple Park “spaceship” campus, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California, to hear the company’s latest announcements.

The iPhone X (pronounced iPhone ‘Ten’)

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The iPhone X is Apple’s biggest step forward in terms of design and technology in the last decade. It will feature a glass front and back, with a band around the edge made from surgical grade stainless steel, an edge-to-edge screen with Super Retina display and facial recognition software called ‘Face ID’ that allows users to unlock the phone without the need for a fingerprint reader or a physical home button.

Due to the removal of the home button, users can now raise the phone or tap the screen to wake the device, and swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reach the home screen. In terms of the Face ID, Apple states that the Face ID will learn your face, so that each time users glance at the iPhone, it will detects the user’s face, even in the dark. This feature works by projecting infrared dots out onto a user’s face, which feeds information back into an AI computer to create a model of the face and check it against the owner.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of world-wide marketing, said, “We worked to make sure it can’t be fooled by photographs, and worked with Hollywood teams to make sure masks don’t even work.”

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Another new feature in the iPhone X is ‘animoji’, a 3D animated emoji that can be controlled with a user’s face. The animoji works by tracking more than 50 facial movements and replicating these in a selection of dozens of animal emoji.

The iPhone X will be dust and waterproof at a microscopic level and will have dual 12MP cameras, with dual optical image stabilisation and quad LED true tone flash. The front camera is a breakthrough for selfies, able to take photos in Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting. The phone will also feature wireless charging with a battery life that will be two hours better than the iPhone 7.

There will be a 64GB version and a 256GB version of the iPhone X available, with a starting price of US$999 and going up to US$1149. The phone will be available in space grey and silver, and will begin shipping on November 3rd.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Schiller states that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are a “huge step forward for the iPhone” and that “These are a new generation of iPhone, and they improve on everything we love about iPhone.”

Both iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have glass in both the front and back, and come in silver, space grey and gold. It is made from aluminium, with steel-reinforced glass. The iPhone 8 has a 4.7 inch retina HD display, while the 8 Plus has a 5.5 inch retina HD display.

Camera-wise, the iPhone 8 Plus has dual 12MP sensor cameras, providing 83% more light. Both phone cameras are also calibrated for augmented reality (AR) and will include built in wireless charging.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available from September 22nd, and will each come in two versions, a 64GB version and a second at 256GB. The iPhone 8 will start at $699 (£699), and the 8 Plus will start at $799 (£799).

Apple Watch

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Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that the “Apple Watch was designed to keep people motivated, since the launch of series 2, it has grown over 50 per cent year on year” and that the “Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world, overtaking Rolex.”

The new Apple Watch software has been redesigned with new features for exercises and the ability to link to gym machines. The watch can now measure resting heart rate, and recovery heart rate, and will also alert users if their heart rate becomes elevated.

The Series 3 Apple Watch will have built in cellular capabilities and a new dual core processor, which comes built-in with Apple’s smart assistant, Siri.

Jeff Williams, COO of Apple, said “Now you can go anywhere with just your Apple Watch. You can leave your phone at home, and be reached if needed. The number will be the same as your iPhone. You will be able to stream 40 million songs from Apple Music using the connection.”

The watch display itself becomes the antenna, and the sim card is integrated into the electronics.

Williams added that “It’s really magical to make a call on a device this small.”

The Series 3 Apple Watch will be available in gold, silver, space grey and ceramic grey, with two versions available, one without cellular capabilities, that will cost US$329, and one with, that will be US$399.

Apple TV

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The Apple TV will now be in 4K with HDR capabilities, with Apple working closely with large studios to bring 4K movies to iTunes, all which will be available at the same prices as HD rental. Apple has also been working with Netflix and Amazon to bring their content to Apple TV in 4K and HDR.

Apple TV will support Live TV, and will even send users notifications when a game is starting. The 4K Apple TV will cost US$179-$199, and will ship from September 22.

New Zealand Pricing and Availability

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