Today’s special event just wrapped up, featuring Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhones. Here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and everything else it announced at at the 2018 Apple event.
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
Apple’s special September event is traditionally focused on iPhones. And this year was no exception, as it included what might be the strongest lineup of new smartphones AAPL has ever released.
The followup to the flagship iPhone X is the new iPhone XS, and it’s joined by the super-sized iPhone XS Max, both with HDR Super Retina OLED displays, and both at 458 ppi. We actually knew about these already thanks to a leak by Apple, but now we have the complete picture, including the all-important pricing.
At the Apple event, it was revealed that both smartphones will be powered by AAPL’s powerful new A12 processor, offer storage up to 512GB, dual-SIM support and get the gold color option that was missing from last year’s iPhone X. The dual-cameras are better than those on the iPhone X, thanks to faster sensors and use of the A12’s Neural Engine. New features include Smart HDR and the ability to dynamically change depth of field on images.
Pricing starts at $999 for the iPhone XS and $1,099 for the iPhone XS Max.
The more exciting announcement — at least when it comes to the possibility of kicking off an upgrade frenzy — is the more affordable iPhone XR.
The iPhone XR offers a look that’s similar to the iPhone XS, including the notch and TrueDepth camera. It gets that new A12 Bionic processor. Like the more expensive iPhones, it loses the Home button for an edge-to-edge display, and it’s big: 6.1-inches. In addition, it comes in a variety of colors: black, white, red, yellow, coral and blue. Its battery life is also claimed to be 1.5 hours greater than the iPhone 8 Plus. Sweetening the deal, it’s priced starting at $749.
So why would anyone buy the iPhone XS instead of the XR?
Well, to keep costs down, the iPhone XR has an aluminum frame (instead of stainless steel), it has a single camera on the back instead of the more advanced dual-camera system on the iPhone XS and that display is LCD (Apple calls it Liquid Retina) instead of OLED, with a lower resolution. It’s still a premium smartphone, but not quite on the same level as the iPhone XS series.
At the Apple event, the company also revealed that iPhone XS and XS Max will be available for pre-order Friday and in stores starting Sept. 21., while iPhone XR is available for pre-order starting Oct. 19 and in stores Oct. 2
Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple event kicked off with the Apple Watch Series 4. And as we were expecting, it has a larger display. What caught people off guard was just how big: 30% larger!
The new Apple Watch gains significant performance improvements, the bigger and higher resolution display, a thinner case, haptic feedback for the digital crown, fall detection and a new ECG sensor. It continues to offer 18-hour battery life. Finishes will be aluminum or stainless steel. Apple says existing Apple Watch bands are compatible with the new Series 4, which is a big deal (bands can be expensive) for attracting upgraders.
The Apple Watch Series 4 pricing starts at $399 ($499 for LTE) and will be available for pre-order starting Friday, with Sept. 21 shipping dates. Series 3 drops to a $279 starting price.
As is traditional, AAPL took a few minutes to plug new operating system versions coming this fall. First up will be iOS 12, which comes pre-installed on the iPhone XS series and iPhone XR, followed by macOS Mojave and watchOS 5 (which will be on the Apple Watch Series 4).
What Didn’t Get Announced At the Apple Event?
Some of the products that had been a possibility for today didn’t make it to this Apple event. There was no AirPos 2, new iPad Pro with Face ID, no new MacBook Air and no new Mac Mini. However, we’re pretty sure at least some of these are going to arrive in 2018, and there’s still time for an October special event.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
[Editor’s note: A previous version of this story mistakenly cited that all three new iPhones were available for pre-order Friday and in stores starting Sept. 21. It has since been corrected.]