South Africans will officially get the new iPhone and Apple Watch later this month
The new iPhones Xs, Xs Max and Apple Watch will be available in South Africa from 28 September.
An iStore spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa last night that pricing has not yet been released.
Apple released three new iPhones and a new watch last night at an event in California.
The iPhone XS
Pronounced "iPhone 10 S", it is the new version of Apple's middle-size smartphone, with a 5.8-inch screen and a starting price of $999 (around R15,000) in the US.
In keeping with Apple’s usual two-year product cycle cadence, the XS is an update to the year-old iPhone X , with a nearly identical design — a refinement, rather than a completely new phone.
New features and improvements include longer battery life, faster photo capture, and a new dual SIM capability that allows the phone to have two separate phone numbers.
The XS comes in gold, silver, and dark gray.
The phone can be configured with as much as 512 GB of storage, which is enough to store 200,000 photos, Apple's marketing head, Phil Schiller, said at the event.
The iPhone XS Max
It has the largest iPhone screen to date. It's about the same size as the existing iPhone 8 Plus, but with much more screen real estate.
A 6.5-inch (16.5cm) OLED "Super Retina" display with 60% better high dynamic range for colours. That's noticably larger than the 5.5-inch (14cm) display on the iPhone 8 Plus.
- The phone itself is about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus.
- Its body is made of "surgical grade" stainless steel.
- The screen is a "new formulation" of glass that's stronger than that of previous iPhones.
- It comes in three finishes: Gold, silver, and space gray.
- It sports IP68 water resistance, meaning it can withstand up to two meters of depth for up to 30 minutes.
- It runs on the Apple A12 Bionic chip, which it boasts is the most powerful yet — with processing cores reserved for neural processing, key to artificial intelligence.
The iPhone XR
It is a new iPhone that starts at $749 (R11,000) in the US and has a 6.1-inch screen (15.5cm) — giving it more screen real estate than the iPhone 8 Plus, which has a 5.5-inch screen. It will only be released in the US in October.
The iPhone XR is cheaper than either of the other two iPhone models.
What separates the iPhone XR from the other devices is its LCD display, which has a lower resolution than the iPhone XS and XS Max, resulting in a lower price point. It also has a single-lens camera and is made with aluminum.
The iPhone XR will also come in six colours (black, white, red, yellow, coral, and blue) and three storage sizes (64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB).
Here are the specs:
Here's a blow-by-blow account of the launch event:
Before the show even started, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted what appeared to be a DM fail (he deleted the tweet a few minutes after posting it). It makes you wonder what he was missing.
The iPhone Xs unveiling was held at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park, the company's new $5 billion campus in Cupertino, California.
You can see the edge of Apple Park's main building.
Back when Steve Jobs unveiled his plans for Apple's new campus, he said the new building would be "a little like a spaceship landed."
8:02: Another shot of Apple Park.
8:00 AM: Everyone starts heading towards the Steve Jobs Theatre.
8:12 AM: "Watermelon Breeze"
8:13 AM: "Sunshine Tea"
8:14 AM: "Smoked Salmon Avocado Tart"
8:15 AM: "Jalapeño and Candied-Bacon Deviled Eggs"
8:16 AM: "Fruit Skewers"
8:20 AM: Broadcasters setting up.
8:21 AM: Outside the Steve Jobs Theatre.
9:05 AM: Killing time inside Steve Jobs Theatre.
9:14 AM: People are getting antsy.
9:21 AM: Selfie!
9:23 AM: We're heading in!
9:28 AM: Heading down.
9:30 AM: Everyone's making their way to their seats.
9:39 AM: The view from our seats.
9:52 AM: Apple's Jony Ive has been spotted.
9:56 AM: Jony Ive is Apple's chief designer. He's looking pretty trim here!
10:01 AM: The show has begun! Apple is starting off with a Mission Impossible-style video, where an Apple employee runs across Apple Park with a mysterious briefcase roughly 2 hours before Apple's event is supposed to start.
The Apple employee arrives at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park to deliver the briefcase to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who opens it to find ... the clicker.
10:04 AM: Apple CEO Tim Cook comes on stage. "As you know, Apple was founded to make the computer more personal, first with the Apple II and later with the Mac."
10:05 AM: Cook says Apple's innovation has extended from computers to its own retail stores, which 500+ million people visit every year.
Cook announces Apple is about to ship its 2 billionth iOS device. "iOS has changed the way we live, from the way we learn to the way we work to how we're entertained, to how we shop, order our food, get our transportation, and stay in touch with one another."
10:07 AM: "It's only fitting that today, we're going to talk about two of our most personal products," Cook says. "So let's get started with the Apple Watch."
10:08 AM: Cook says: "To think this category didn't even exist a few years ago," Cook says about the Apple Watch, which he says is the top smartwatch in the world, and also "the No. 1 watch period."
10:09 AM: Cook invites Apple's Jeff Williams on stage to talk about Apple Watch.
10:10 AM: Williams talks about how Apple Watch has "become an intelligent guardian for your health," monitoring your heart rate when you're working out, in addition to its communication features. "Today we're taking Apple Watch to the next level."
10:11 AM: Apple shows off a video that unveils the new Apple Watch Series 4.
10:13 AM: The new Apple Watch has a screen that's 30% larger than before, with the display pushed up closer to the border, and now wrapped around the edges. Williams says every part of the Apple Watch UI has been redesigned to show you more of your content, and new complications show even more information and detail.
10:14 AM: Apple created new complications that let you customize more of your Watch face. You can now see more information from other apps, too, so you can see sports scores, your plane ticket, or your fitness information right from the Watch face.
10:15 AM: Apple also created some new dynamic new watch faces that interact with the new shape of the display. There are fire and water and vapor watch faces where the elements wash right against the sides of the display.
10:16 AM: The digital crown in the Apple Watch Series 4 has been completely re-engineered to get haptic feedback, and the speaker is 50% louder, which is great for phone calls or Siri requests. Apple also moved the microphone away from the speaker to reduce echo to make phone calls even clearer.
10:17 AM: The back of the Apple Watch Series 4 is made of ceramic and sapphire crystal, which helps to improve cellular reception.
10:18 AM: The new Apple Watch is powered by a new S4 chip, which makes the Watch up to two times faster than before.
10:19 AM: Thanks to the new accelerometer and gyroscope, Apple Watch Series 4 can detect falls. But many people get injured, and even die, from falls every year. Fall detection can contact emergency services for you.
10:20 AM: Apple Watch Series 4 can also detect low heart rate, and if it detects an irregular heart rhythm, it can help alert people to heart issues they may not have been aware of.
10:22 AM: The new Apple Watch can take electrocardiograms, or ECGs. It takes 30 seconds to do, and it measures the electrical impulses from your heartbeat and sends them to the S4 chip for analysis. Your ECG recordings are stored in the Health app.
10:24 AM: Williams invites Dr. Ivor Benjamin, the president of the American Heart Association, on stage to talk about why the data collected by the Apple Watch is so helpful for taking care of patients.
10:26 AM: Williams returns on stage to announce the Apple Watch Series 4 features have been cleared by the FDA.
10:27 AM: Williams talks about privacy. "At Apple we believe your personal information belongs to you." All of your data is encrypted on the device and in the cloud.
10:28 AM: Williams rounds up the features in the new Apple Watch Series 4, including the redesigned screen and digital crown, the fall detection and ECG features. He also announces the Apple Watch has 18-hour battery life, the same as the previous generation.
10:32 AM: Apple Watch Series 4 will be available in silver, gold, and space gray, and a stainless steel collection includes space gray and space black. Apple also added a new stainless steel gold finish. All band colours and styles fit any Apple Watch generation, so no one needs to buy new bands.
Apple Watch will also have improvements for Hermes and Nike-specific bands, with new faces that stretch to the full reach of the screen.
10:35 AM: Pricing and availability! Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $399, a cellular version will sell for $499, and the Series 3 will now cost $279. You can order it starting this Friday, and it will become available on September 21. WatchOS5, the newest version of the Apple Watch software, will be available on September 17.
10:37 AM: Apple CEO Tim Cook comes back on stage to introduce the new iPhone. But first, he's talking about the iPhone X, talking about how much customers love it.
10:38 AM: Cook: "Today, we're going to take iPhone X to the next level. I'm excited to show you what is by far the most advanced iPhone we have ever created."
10:39 AM: A new video shows off the new iPhone Xs. Cook invites Apple's senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller on stage to talk about the new phone.
10:40 AM: The iPhone Xs has a gorgeous new gold finish on the front, though it's also available in silver and space gray. "It is the most beautiful iPhone we have ever made," Schiller says. He also says it has the most durable glass ever in a smartphone.
10:41 AM: The iPhone Xs screen features a 5.8-inch Super Retina display with 2.7 million pixels and 458 pixels per inch, and supports HDR in Dolby Vision and HDR10. The iPhone Xs has a 60% greater dynamic range compared to the iPhone X.
10:43 AM: Apple is also selling an iPhone Xs with a 6.5-inch display, which is being called the iPhone Xs Max. "Watching videos on it is cinematic," Schiller says.
10:45 AM: Schiller says the iPhone Xs and Xs Max also have wider stereo sound, so you won't want to necessarily wear headphones while watching movies or playing games (but seriously, please don't do this in public).
10:46 AM: Schiller says Face ID is faster than ever thanks to a faster Secure Enclave chip, which powers the authentication software. The A12 Bionic chip is the industry's first 7-nanometer chip, Schiller says, which features a 4-core GPU, a 6-core CPU, and a neural engine — 6.9 billion total transistors. The GPU is up to 50% faster, but the machine-learning engine is much faster than before, and makes your phone much more efficient. Compared to the A11 bionic, which can do 600 billion operations per second, the A12 bionic chip can power 5 trillion operations per second.
10:51 AM: Apple's Kaiann Drance takes to the stage to talk about iOS 12 and how machine learning is used: when your phone maps your face for Animoji, when your camera detects your face and lighting, and more.
A12 Bionic chip will also help with augmented reality, and a cool new feature called AR Quick Look, which lets you look at objects you find in Safari and put them in the real world, in case you want to see how a toaster will look on your counter before you buy it online.
10:55 AM: Drance invites Todd Howard, game director at Bethesda Game Studios, on stage to talk about his company's new Elder Scrolls game "Blades" coming soon to iOS this fall.
11:00 AM: Drance comes back on stage to bring Dave Lee, CEO of Nex Team, and NBA Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash, to talk about a new app called Homecourt, which uses Apple's coreML software to track how people play basketball and coach them on how to improve.
11:03 AM: Drance invites Atli Mar, cofounder and CEO of Directive Games, to unveil yet another demo that leverages Apple's ARKit 2 to power better augmented reality experiences. It's an AR version of Galaga, where you shoot bad guys and grab powerups. It's a pretty loud demo.
11:06 AM: After one too many demos, Apple's Phil Schiller comes back on stage to talk more about the iPhone Xs (thank goodness). He's talking about improvements to the camera, which features a 12-megapixel wide camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, and an improved True Tone flash. It has optical image stabilization and a 1.8 aperture 6-element lens. On the front side, Apple has a new 7-megapixel sensor for the True Depth Camera system, which is used for Face ID.
11:08 AM: Schiller says the new A12 Bionic chip helps the CPU and neural engine work together to detect scenes and bodies, and understand the scenes you're shooting. It understands where eyes are, and make hair and glasses look really good. This results in a new feature called "Smart HDR," which captures all the best details of your photos, like light, shadows, and movement, to merge them into the perfect photo.
11:11 AM: Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting look even better than before in the new iPhone Xs, thanks to the new cameras and the new A12 Bionic chip.
11:13 AM: Schiller says Apple's photo team also made a breakthrough with "bokeh," or the blur effect your see in Portrait-mode photos that gives you a sense of background and foreground. "This is a breakthrough in photography on a smartphone," he said. Now, you can adjust the level of depth-of-field after you take a photo.
11:14 AM: The benefits of the new cameras and A12 Bionic chip extend to videos as well, with better image quality, and the ability to record stereo sound thanks to the new microphones in the iPhone Xs.
11:16 AM: Schiller says the new iPhone Xs gets 30 more minutes of battery life compared to the iPhone X, and the iPhone Xs Max gives you 90 more minutes of battery life compared to last year's phone.
11:19 AM: The iPhone Xs has a new dual-SIM card system, which means you can have two different phone numbers or use two different plans, depending on where you live or where you travel. China will get its own edition that lets you put two SIM cards into a single tray.
11:20 AM: Schiller rounds up all the new features in the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, and introduces Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, who announces that all Apple facilities are now officially powered by 100% renewable energy, from Apple's new $5 billion campus Apple Park to its data centers that power iMessage. She talks about how Apple is also relying on recycled and bio-based materials for making devices like iPhone, and Apple's GiveBack program that can assess whether your iPhone can be resold to another customer (in which case you'll be given a certain value in return), or if it should be recycled. "It's a huge win for the planet," Jackson says.
11:25 AM: Phil Schiller returns to the stage to talk about "one more iPhone." A video plays, and we see new iPhone colours, including red, yellow, and blue. "We're so excited to introduce you to the iPhone Xr, and we hope it reaches even more customers." It comes in white, black, blue, coral (pink), yellow, and red.
11:28 AM: The iPhone Xr features an LCD display that's fitted in the shape of the iPhone X display. Apple calls it a "Liquid Retina" display, which measures 6.1 inches, features 1.4 million pixels, and measure 326 pixels per inch. With a bigger display than an iPhone 8 Plus, "we think it's going to make customers really happy," Schiller says. All of the features from the iPhone X are here, including Tap to Wake, but it notably doesn't have 3D Touch. Instead, it has Haptic Touch.
11:32 AM: The iPhone Xr features a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, the same one in the iPhone Xs, but it only has one lens — no telephoto lens here. Still, Apple calls it the best single-camera system it's ever made. And this phone can still do Portrait Mode photos, despite not having two rear lenses.
11:33 AM: The iPhone Xr has 90 more minutes of battery life compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, which had the best battery life in any iPhone released last year.
11:34 AM: Schiller rounds up the features in the iPhone Xr. "This is a huge day for iPhone. We now have iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr." Schiller shows a product video featuring Jony Ive describing the new phones.
11:39 AM: iPhone Xr comes in six finishes and three sizes: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and starts at $749, which is less expensive than the iphone 8 Plus. It'll be available on October 19, and ship a week later on October 26. The iPhone Xs will come in 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB storage options, and start at $999. The iPhone Xs Max starts at $100 more at $1,099. You can preorder it this Friday and will start shipping on Friday, September 21. The iPhone 7 is still available from $449 (!), and the iPhone 8 is also still available starting at $599. iOS 12 will be available on September 17.
11:42 AM: Apple CEO Tim Cook comes back on stage to make a few more quick announcements: HomePod is getting some new features — you'll be able to make multiple timers and ask for a song by its lyrics soon — and Apple TV's operating system will get Dolby Vision support soon. Both updates will be available on Monday, September 17. The new Mac software, MacOS Mojave, will be available on September 24. "We're excited about this huge month, and all of these big releases that we've got," Cook says.
11:44 AM: Cook rounds up the announcements made this morning: The Apple Watch Series 4, the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone Xr, "which will allow us to deliver the future of the smartphone to even more people," Cook says. He thanks everyone in attendance, everyone watching online, and everyone at Apple "for making this day possible."
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