Apple Unveils 3 New iPhones, Higher Prices

September 12, 2018

By Carlo Versano

As expected, Apple spent its first product launch as a trillion-dollar company reintroducing the world to its most important product, the iPhone, and launched three new models at different price points in an effort to squeeze more growth from a slowing market.

Two new versions of last year's X model ー the XS and XS Max ー will have the edge-to-edge display and glass back of the current version, but will boast a faster chip and new camera features. The Max will have a 6.5 inch OLED display, making it the largest iPhone ever, and positioning its maker to go head-to-head with Samsung for customers seeking devices with bigger screens.

The XS will have a 5.8 inch screen, same as the X, but sports a A12 Bionic chip, the new processor powering the entirety of the new iPhone lineup.

Apple also announced a new "bargain" model, the XR. It's available in a variety of colors and built with an LCD screen and aluminum display. The company hopes it will appeal to more price-sensitive customers, though even that device will start at $750 ー more than where the iPhone 8 started when it debuted last year.

The XS Max, the most expensive iPhone, will start at $1,099, $100 more than X's base price. For the top 512GB model, prepare to shell out $1,450, about the price of the mid-level 13" MacBook Pro.

Among the upgrades made possible by the A12 processor, all the iPhones will have new camera features and what is believed to be a first in mainstream photography: the ability to adjust the depth of field after a photo has been taken. The new models will all include Face ID technology, waving Touch ID off to a corner of ancient history.

In addition to the new iPhones, Apple announced a redesigned Apple Watch, the Series 4, which features a bezel-less face, thinner body, and new health features ー among them an electrocardiogram and a feature that calls for help if a wearer has fallen, an attractive function for elderly buyers.

CEO Tim Cook made note of other updates to Apple's HomePod speaker ー including the ability to call ー and said the latest versions of the iOS and MacOS operating systems will hit devices on Sept. 17 and 24, respectively.

What didn't Apple do on Wednesday? There were no updates for its line of laptops, AirPods, or any mention of its content pipeline. And, to Hope King's dismay, no Oprah.

Instead, the company known for its record of innovation stuck to a playbook that has, by all accounts, now worked for more than a decade: introduce faster, sleeker devices that cost more money and get people to buy them.