Apple unveils the next generation of iPhones
By Chong Jinn Xiung September 13, 2017
- The iPhone X stole the show with its high price tag and gorgeous all screen front display
- Makes big AR push in all three models with new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking
The new iPhone X
ALL eyes were on this year’s keynote launch at Apple’s new US$5 billion (RM20.9 billion) campus in Cupertino, California as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with many speculating that something special was in store.
Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook took to the stage to pay homage to the late Steve Jobs in an impressive new theatre named after the Apple visionary, dedicating the latest product launch to the company’s founder before diving right into the product presentation that Apple fans were eagerly awaiting.
As it turns out pretty much all the leaks from the past few days came true so the surprise factor wasn’t quite there this time around. Nonetheless, the star attractions for the show were the anticipated iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. A new Apple Watch was also launched, with cellular connectivity. But most of the attention was on the new phones.
Just as Jobs claimed that the iPhone would change the face of technology back in 2007, so too did Cook as he boldly called the iPhone X “the future of the smartphone”.
Featuring an all-glass design matched with an eye catching 5.8-inch Super Retina display, featuring the first implementation of an OLED screen on Apple’s iPhone. Interestingly, the OLED screens are being supplied by its fierce competitor Samsung though there is one Japanese company as a second supplier as well. The display also supports Dolby Vision, HDR10 and True Tone to make pictures and videos look more outstanding.
“For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display. The iPhone X is the realisation of that vision,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionized the mobile phone with Multi-Touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone — one in which the device disappears into the experience.”
With the new, all screen display Apple has done away with the home button completely and introduced Face ID to unlock the phone and incorporated a swipe up gesture to return home and alternate between recent apps.
Not forgetting the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8, the two models feature a glass and aluminium design that improves upon the previous years. The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 come with a 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch Retina HD displays.
Apple has also introduced new stereo speakers that it claims is louder and delivers richer bass when listening to music, videos and calls.
Apple claims the glass used on all the new iPhones are durable and these are the first iPhones engineered to be water and dust resistant with a rating of IP67, a slight step below Samsung’s IP68 Galaxy S8.
The new iPhones are water and dust resistant too
As expected Apple also revealed their new powerful A11 Bionic chip that is available across this year’s iPhone range. Claimed to be more powerful and smarter than its previous chips, the six-core CPU does a bevy of tasks that range from intense graphics processing for its new AR apps, depth-sensing for its new Face ID feature on the iPhone X, animated expressions on Animojis on the iPhone X as well as assist the camera to snap better pictures.
Just as the rumours go, Apple is making a big push for AR in the new models of the iPhone with new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking. Expect to see a bevvy of new AR enabled apps that allow users to bring animated 3D characters into the real world, overlay information on live sporting events and superimpose a star map on the sky.
In terms of cameras, Apple naturally saved the best for the iPhone X which comes with a redesigned dual 12-Megapixel rear cameras with a wide-angle (f/1.8) and telephoto (f/2.2) camera.
The iPhone 8 Plus carries a similar dual 12-Megapixel rear camera set up though it's telephoto camera has a f/2.8 aperture. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 has a single 12-megapixel camera.
All the new cameras will take advantage of Apple’s improved Portrait mode that includes a Portrait Lighting mode that enables it to separate subjects from the background delivering more than just ‘bokeh’ effects but also lighting effects to give a simulated studio lighting condition.
The glass back of the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 also enables brings wireless charging to the Apple iPhone at last. Compatible with the Qi wireless ecosystem of chargers, Apple also announced its own AirPower mat, coming in 2018, that it has designed to wirelessly charge the new iPhones, Apple Watch series 3 and AirPods - simultaneously.
As has been widely reported, the iPhone X has a high price tag starting at US$999 (RM4,190). It will be available in either silver or space grey in the 64GB and 256GB models. Pre orders for the iPhone X start on Oct 27 while the phone will be available on Nov 3. As usual, Singapore will be the first country in the Southeast Asia region to sell the device. No timeline is known yet for the other countries in the region.
Meanwhile the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in three colour options: space grey, silver and gold in 64GB and 256GB models with prices starting at US$699 (RM2,933). Pre orders begin on Sept 15 and the phones will be available on Sept 22 in Singapore and other countries across the world.