Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just wrapped up its annual iPhone event. While previous years have failed to fully live up to the hype, this year seems different. Apple announced the new flagship iPhone X, as expected, but the company delivered a whole lot more.
Here’s everything Apple announced today, at the first ever event held in the Steve Jobs Theater at the company’s new Apple Park headquarters.
This is the device that everyone has been waiting for, the all-new, ultra-premium Apple flagship smartphone. This is the new iPhone investors are counting on to kickstart an upgrade super-cycle that gooses AAPL stock.
It turns out the rumor mill got it mostly right on the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”). The new iPhone’s case is glass front and back, held together with a stainless steel band. A 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED edge-to-edge display virtually eliminates bezels. The Home button? Gone. Instead, the side button summons Siri. An advanced TrueDepth camera system will identify users with Face ID to unlock the new iPhone and support Apple Pay.
Like last year’s iPhone 7 Plus, it has dual cameras on the back (this time both are optically image stabilized), but they’re now vertically positioned and optimized for augmented reality applications.
Apple says battery life is two hours better than last year’s iPhone 7 and wireless charging is now supported. Powering the iPhone X is the new six-core A11 Bionic CPU with an integrated neural engine to support Face ID.
As expected, the iPhone X is expensive, but with a starting price of $999, it’s not quite as steep as had been predicted, and is in line with Samsung’s new $950 Galaxy Note 8.
The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on October 27 with a November 3 shipping date. Expect line-ups and constrained supplies for this new instant status symbol.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
Expected to be called the iPhone 7s, Apple’s new mainstream iPhone is instead the iPhone 8, dropping the “s” designation. Those who want a new Apple smartphone but aren’t willing to wait or pony up the cash for the iPhone X still have the option for a flagship-class smartphone in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
While the iPhone 8 sticks with an LED Retina display, and the Home button, it gets the same new six-core A11 Bionic CPU as the iPhone X along with support for wireless charging. It also goes all glass, but with an aluminum frame. Cameras are improved and calibrated for augmented reality support.
The iPhone 8 starts at $699 ($799 for the iPhone 8 Plus) and will be available for pre-order on September 15 with in-store availability on September 22.
Apple TV 4K
After falling seriously behind the competition including the Amazon Fire TV and Roku, a new 4K Ultra HD Apple TV with HDR support is here –and along with it, 4K video content from the iTunes Store. Previous HD iTunes movie purchases will automatically be upgraded to 4K HDR versions for free, while Apple says it’s negotiated movie prices that remain the same as current HD versions. With 4K graphics and seriously upgraded processing power, video games on the platform are also greatly improved.
The new AppleTV 4K starts at $179 and will be available for pre-order on Friday.
Apple Watch Series 3
A new version of the Apple Watch cuts the cord from the iPhone, with optional LTE cellular connectivity.
One of the biggest complaints –battery life– doesn’t change, so the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch still has an advantage there. But with the Apple Watch Series 3, wearers can empty their pockets and continue to take calls, receive messages, stream Apple Music, use Siri and get notifications without having to carry an iPhone. There’s also a new focus on heart health, including notification if an Apple Watch detects an elevated heart rate.
The new Apple Watch Series 3 comes in new finishes, starts at $329 ($399 with cellular) and will be available for pre-order on Friday.
The fall iPhone event isn’t just about hardware, it’s also where Apple shows off new versions of the software that powers its devices. The company showed off iOS 11 –particularly its focus on augmented reality– along with new versions of tvOS and watchOS. Even those who don’t immediately buy a new Apple product are going to get some interesting new capabilities out of their existing gear on September 19.
Apple also showed off its AirPod wireless earbuds with a new wireless charge case, along with an AirPower wireless charger mat for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods.
We’ve previously predicted that Apple had the products in its pipeline to drive a blowout holiday quarter. Today’s iPhone event showed that if anything, Apple may exceed already lofty expectations. The new hardware, plus the excitement over augmented reality has the potential for quarterly sales that propel AAPL stock to new heights.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.