Apple has unveiled a pricey new premium iPhone that it says marks the “biggest leap forward” since the company first released a smartphone ten years ago.
At Apple’s annual keynote presentation at the tech giant’s campus, CEO Tim Cook revealed the much-heralded iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’), as well as iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the Apple Watch 3, and Apple TV 4K.
The iPhone 8 will come with the usual small upgrades from the last device, mainly in terms of operating power and camera, with the biggest change coming in the form of wireless charging. While this is a big step forward for Apple, several other smartphone companies, including Android and Windows, have been using wireless charging for years.
But following the announcement of the annual upgrades, Cook took to the stage to reveal “one more thing”, (which was former CEO Steve Jobs’ famous catchcry) -- a product that will “set the path for technology for the next decade”.
“Our team has been hard at work for years on something that is important to all of us: the future of the smartphone,” Cook said.
“This is iPhone Ten -- it is the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
The new high-end phone has edge-to-edge touchscreen display and an OLED screen for the first time.
The iPhone X will feature a 5.8 inch super retina display screen, with the glass touch-screen taking up all of the phone and removing the standard home button. It will also feature a vastly upgraded camera system.
“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,” Apple chief design officer Jony Ive said.
“With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionised the mobile phone with multi-touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone – one in which the device disappears into the experience.”
The other big change with the phone is face ID authentication, which replaces fingerprint authentication on other models. The camera system, with dot projector, infrared camera and flood illuminator, will be able to accurately map and recognise the user’s face, which will be used to unlock the phone, Apple Pay and other secure apps.
Apple said this feature will only be activated when the user looks directly at it, and cannot be manipulated with photographs or masks.
But the Face ID feature hit an embarrassing snag during the Apple keynote presentation, with Apple senior vice-president Craig Federighi forced to resort to the “back-up” after the feature failed to unlock the phone on stage.
All of the new iPhone models also boast cameras which are tuned for the “ultimate AR experience”. While it was largely downplayed at the keynote presentation, this is a major area of growth for Apple in the future. Along with the new camera, the upcoming iOS 11 will come with the ARKit, which will deliver face-tracking technology to the iPhone X.
The company also announced the Apple Watch 3, which will come with 4G technology, allowing users to make calls and texts without a phone nearby.
It also introduced 4K and HDR streaming for its Apple TV to deliver a “stunning cinematic experience at home”.
The new features come at a big price, with the 64GB model to cost $1579 in Australia, while the 256GB model will set you back a whopping $1829.
Apple will be taking pre-orders for the iPhone X from 6.01pm on Friday 27 October. The device will be available in-store in Australia on 3 November 2017. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available from 22 September.