Announcing iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4
According to Statista, about 88% of all smartphones worldwide run the Android operating system. Math majors may immediately conclude that Apple's devices account for about 12% of the market. But the Reality Distortion Field created by genius marketers at Apple make it look like almost everyone has an iPhone. That impression was made even stronger yesterday, with the fanfare surrounding the announcement of the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the latest Apple Watch. Here's the scoop...
Apple’s Latest Flavorade
I'm in the 88% group with an Android-powered smartphone, but I know many AskBob readers are Apple fans and iPhone users. So today I'll be commenting on the new products and services coming out of Apple between now and September 21, if all goes according to plan.
A slew of new, shiny, smartphones were announced on September 12, 2018, during a media spectacle known humbly as “Apple’s annual September press conference.” Held in the opulent Steve Jobs Theater on the circular Apple Park campus in Cupertino, CA, this extravaganza was to a press conference what the Rose Parade is to a funeral procession. Here is what it was about:
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max -- Apple’s iPhone X, already its highest-priced model (which makes it the best, right?) got an upgrade and a new name, the iPhone XS. At a starting price of $999, it comes with a 5.8-inch screen. For another $100, the iPhone XS Max provides a 6.5-inch screen. These prices are the minimum for each model; adding up to 512 GB of storage can boost the XS’s price tag to $1500, Apple’s highest asking price ever. (Does that seem XS-essive to you?)
Like the iPhone X, the new XS models don’t have a home button and feature Face ID in lieu of a fingerprint scanner. They're powered by an A12 Bionic chip with a "Next-generation Neural Engine" and have Super Retina HD displays with 458 pixels per inch and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. You can choose from Gold, Space Grey or Silver finishes.
The cameras are “better than ever before” -- dual 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras with bigger sensors and an improved HDR mode. Customers can now adjust the depth of field in portrait mode, moving that invisible plane of crystal-clarity behind the foreground image for interesting effects. They can record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, or slow-motion video at up to 240 frames per second.
A third, “low-end” iPhone XR was announced, with a price tag of $749. (Remember when $749 was a mind-bending "high-end" price tag?) It features a 6.1-inch screen, multiple chassis colors, another missing home button and the ability to activate it by swiping up. It has only one 12 MP camera but it supports the same portrait features as the others. The screen vibrates a bit in response to touch, presumably without ruining a shot. Unlike the XS models, the XR can be ordered in six different colors, including coral, red, yellow and blue options.
The new iPhones can be pre-ordered beginning September 14, and will start shipping on the 21st, according to the company. The iPhone 7 & 8 will remain available, each in regular and Plus sizes, starting at $449 and $549, respectively.
Hey, Watch This...
The new Apple Watch Series 4 is "Part guardian, part guru." It's a full-fledged, FDA-approved medical device that can administer an ECG (electrocardiogram) test to its wearer at any time. Frankly, if I have that much concern about my heart it usually means I’ve seen Apple’s latest prices. The Series 4 can even detect when you fall, another symptom of sticker shock, and call a designated emergency phone number. Maybe Apple’s earnest push into healthcare fuels its price increases, or vice versa.
The Apple Watch can function as a Walkie-Talkie, make phone calls, and receive messages. It will stream Apple Music, play podcasts, and interact with Siri. It has Automatic workout detection, with advanced features for runners like cadence and pace alerts. It offers personalized coaching, monthly challenges, and achievement awards. It may even tell time, but Apple makes no mention of that in their marketing materials.
The watch’s screen is 30% larger but its bezels have not grown commensurately; they got rounded corners. The dial on the right side is called a “digital crown” and now gives haptic feedback in the form of vibration, which was available only on the screen in older Apple Watches. Pre-order and shipping dates are September 14 and 21 for the Series 4 Apple Watch, with prices starting at $399.
An iPhone trade-in program called GiveBack was announced. Apple will buy back usable iPhones, or recycle unusable ones free of charge. Apple also wants you to know that it is 100% powered by clean energy now, not by greed and hubris as the haters may have said.
As an Android user, I must admit that Apple's new iPhones are beautiful to behold, and impressive in many ways. Will you buy a new iPhone XS or Apple Watch? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 13 Sep 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Announcing iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4 (Posted: 13 Sep 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved