High-Priced iPhones

Apple made its long-awaited iPhone splash, accompanied by announcements of major upgrades to Apple Watch and Apple TV. The company launched two new generations of mobile phones — iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and iPhone X — with enhancements in photography and device security in all models. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are built for durability with a new glass back design and aerospace-grade aluminum bezel. They come in three colors: space gray, silver and gold. The phones feature a powerful new A11 bionic chip — the most powerful smartphone chip in the industry, and 70 percent faster than the previous A10 chip, according to Apple. Together, the camera functionality and the powerful chip are designed to provide a sophisticated augmented reality experience, with gyroscopes and accelerometers installed for accurate motion tracking. The 12-MP camera features a larger and faster sensor and high-quality video capture. The iPhone 8 Plus features dual 12-MP cameras and introduces portrait mode.

With the new glass back design, the phones can be charged wirelessly using the Qi ecosystem, with charging mats from Belkin and mophie available for sale. When AirPower is released next year, it will allow users to charge up to three devices at the same time, including the 8 and X phones, the Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will start at US$699, with 64-GB and 256-GB models available online or at the Apple store. The new iPhone X, powered by an A11 bionic chip, breaks the bank in terms of new security features and price point, starting at a hefty $999. The phone features an all-glass design on both sides, which provides a wider screen area for viewing, and a 5.8-inch Super Retina display. The phone uses a major new facial recognition authentication system, Face ID, which employes a TrueDepth camera system that projects 30,000 invisible infrared dots.

Describing it as an inflection point in the history of television, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced Apple TV 4K, which brings cinematic quality to television. The new device supports both High Dynamic Range and 4K technology, which has four times the number of pixels as traditional HD video. The Apple TV 4K features the A10 Fusion chip, the same one found on the iPad Pro device. iTunes users will get automatic upgrades of HD titles to 4K HDR in their existing libraries, and customers will get access to 4K HDR on third-party video services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and others. Users of the TV App, which works with Siri, will be able to get automatic updates of live sports, along with on-screen notifications of their favorite teams’ activities and breaking news. The app will be available this month in the U.S, Canada and Australia before expanding to France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK.