Apple Unveils iPhone 8, Plus, iPhone X; Facial Recognition, Wireless Charging Are Key Features

The long-awaited unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 8 and updates to the other stars of its product line including a new Apple TV 4K arrived today with the fanfare usually reserved for a major motion picture opening. The first event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s revamped Cupertino campus, the corporate show attracted a worldwide audience for its live stream.

iPhone X
iPhone X Apple

The 10th anniversary of the iPhone marks a crucial event for Apple — the iPhone accounts for slightly more than 63% of the company’s total revenue as of 2016. Disney CEO Bob Iger was among those present.

“We  have huge iPhone news for you,” said CEO Tim Cook, as he showcased the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the new iPhone X. The iPhone 8 will go for $699 in its base version. The iPhone X is $999 (just missing the rumored $1000 price point) and available for an October 27 order, shipping November 3. Cook later added that he believed Jobs “would be proud’ of the items announced today.

Apple stock was at $161.22 at the presentation start. It has held firm during the presentation.

Details from the 90-minute presentation:

iPhone 8: Available in Silver, Space Grey and Rose Gold, the iPhone 8 features a deeper strengthening layer in the glass, making it “the most durable in a smartphone,” and is sealed for water and dust resistant. It also has 25% louder speakers than the iPhone 7. The iPhone 8 features an A11 Bionic processor, 4.3B transistors, 6 cores, two high-performance cores, 4 high-efficiency cores (70% faster than A10), and a new 30% faster GPU.

Photo fans will be impressed with the totally new photo engine. There is a new Apple-designed ISP, featuring faster low light auto-focus, a better pixel processor, and, for the first time, hardware multi-band noise reduction.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have all-new sensors, with lenses featuring f1.8 and f2.8 apertures (which are brighter than the 7 Plus telephoto) in the iPhone 8 Plus. It also has new color filters, making for a totally new photo engine. Studio lighting includes dropping the background out completely to black. Portrait artists are nervous, or should be.
The cameras have been calibrated for augmented reality and the A11 Bionic chip is also optimized for AR. A special feature for gamers is the spatial audio with sound occlusion from digital objects in the games, creating a more realistic virtual world.
Wireless Charging: Public places and cars, etc., with wireless charging built into furniture and consoles are coming, making charging generally available throughout the world once they become commonplace. Goodbye to crowding around a pole at the airport.
The iPhone 8 64GB will now be $699 for the 256GB price, while iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 for 64GB, with the 256GB price unknown. Order date for both is September 15, with availability on September 22. Apple’s iOS 11 will be available September 19.
iPhone X: The special edition is available in Space Gray and Silver, with 2046×1125 resolution and 455 PPI. iPhone X has a ‘Super Retina’ display, which supports HDR in Dolby Vision and HDR10 and True Tone.
Facial recognition: This new feature won’t be fooled by hats or beards, Apple promises, as it used Hollywood mask-makers to make sure the system couldn’t be spoofed. However, there may be a problem with evil twins. Apple FaceID will allow you to look at your phone to unlock it. Enabled by a True Depth camera system and featuring an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector. Face ID works with Apple Pay, and the apps that worked with TouchID will work with FaceID.
Animoji:  Controlled with your face, these allow you to change expressions of any emoji you use.
Battery life: Two hours more than iPhone 7.
Also announced:

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K: Supports both 4k and HDV, plus HD-10 and DolbyVision. A 10x chip in the new ATV4k, and Apple will automatically upgrade movies you own to 4k, and price all movies the same as HD. Netflix and Amazon services coming to ATV4k “soon.”  Live sports and local programming will also be added for your cord-cutting pleasure, with live score updates in the TV app. Selling for $179, Sept. 15 orders taken, Sept. 22 ship date.

AirPower: A larger charging mat that charges iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. Any current charging standards do not support a multi-charging interface, which is expected to arrive at some undefined point next year.

Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity: Tim Cook is claiming it is now the world’s most popular, eclipsing Rolex. Can communicate with exercise machines and do heart-rate sampling. Siri can now provide a voice, not just text. Watch is $399, $329 without cellular. Series 2 is now $249. Available September 22.

Angela Ahrendts also talked about Apple retail, with the larger stores now called Apple Town Squares.

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