Apple has made a ‘luxury’ $999 (£999) iPhone X that it claims will revolutionize the industry.
Apple executive Phil Schiller said at yesterday’s launch event: ‘There has never been anything like it.’
But many are criticising the device for lacking the innovations to justify such a huge cost.
They say they are ‘underwhelmed’ by the new technologies, and what they were hoping would be ‘big leaps’ in systems such as augmented reality have turned out to be ‘baby steps’.
Others are disappointed by the lack of new technology. Among the features that aren’t truly ‘new’ are facial recognition, the thinner display and wireless charging,
Rival phones – many of them from Samsung – already offer similar technology, if often in cruder forms that mostly haven’t won over large numbers of phone users.
Apple laid claim to the future of the smartphone Tuesday with a 10th anniversary iPhone X, touting the device as the next generation of mobile computing. APPLE
And they are cheaper. A 64 gigabyte capacity model will cost $999 (£999) when it goes on sale on 3 November. A 256GB version will be priced at $1,149 (£1,149).
For comparison, Samsung is charging $930 (£869) for its new Note 8 phone, which has 64GB of storage.
There also remain questions about exactly how effective the technology on the phone will be.
For instance, yesterday, Apple exec Craig Federighi took to the stage today at the Steve Jobs Theater to demonstrate the phone’s facial recognition capabilities.
But FaceID didn’t work on first attempt – instead prompting the Apple exec to use his passcode for access.
A few seconds later, Apple’s share price began falling fast.
In another try on a backup phone, Federighi was able to successfully unlock the device with nothing more than a glance.
Jane Foley, Rabobank’s senior currency strategist, told the BBC: ‘Apple shares were down around 4 per cent on the day – the word ‘underwhelmed’ certainly comes to mind.
‘What the market was expecting was a big leap into augmented reality, but what we got were baby steps into augmented reality.
Paul Armstrong of Here/Forth, the technology consultant, told the Times: ‘Much of what has been announced today has been available in competitor products for years.’
Richard Holway of the analysts TechMarket View added: ‘Will I be waiting in the queue to be the first to get an iPhone X?
‘No. I will wait until my trusty iPhone 6 decides to die.
The $999 (£999) cost is double what the original iPhone cost a decade ago and more than any other competing device on the market.
It’s a clear sign that Apple is ramping up that strategy by continuing to push its prices higher.
This is despite analysts saying improvements it’s bringing to its products are often incremental or derivative.
Many have said the iPhone hasn’t been truly revolutionary since Steve Jobs passed away.
Despite this, Cook attempted to frame the iPhone X as a breakthrough, hailing it as ‘the biggest leap forward’ since the original iPhone.
But the original iPhone revolutionised society by putting connected hand-held computers and apps into the hands of millions of ordinary people.
The iPhone X mostly promises to do what earlier smartphones have done, only better.
The technological wizardry in the iPhone X is unquestionably impressive.
It includes a bright new edge-to-edge screen, a special artificial-intelligence-enabled chip, new sensors for facial recognition and fun items like animated emojis that mimic your expressions, portrait-mode selfies that blur the background, an augmented reality game platform and wireless charging.
Apple said the phone’s battery will last two hours longer than that of the iPhone 7.
Reporter Dave Lee for BBC Radio 4’s Today program was at the Apple launch.
He spoke to Marc Allera, chief executive officer of mobile network EE, who said: ‘I think that phone isn’t for everyone, given the price point, but there are a large number of customers that we’re seeing do want the latest technology.
These new smart phones are packing in more and more features and we’re all spending more and more time using more and more services and applications on our smartphones.’
But not everyone is convinced.
Robert Scoble, a Silicon Valley tech evangelist best known for his Scobleizer blog, was first in line for the original iPhone, 10 years ago.
But he feels the latest model is less than impressive, particularly given the price.
He told the Today program: ‘This doesn’t change the world.
‘The current phones we have, the functionality that this phone brings isn’t going to radically change your life.
‘It’s nicer to have and I think all the Apple fans will probably want it.
‘But it’s not the kind of thing I’m going to wait 35 hours for like I did the first time.
‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow because we were expecting a lot more.
‘We were expecting this thing to have really deep augmented reality features.
‘We expected to have something that would really take us into the future and really show us why this is the future phone and I don’t think it got to that level.
‘It’s certainly not the interesting technology pusher that it used to be, and that’s the new Apple that we’re all getting used to.’
Apple CEO Tim Cook left little doubt in the company’s confidence in the iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’), whose name references the decade that’s passed since company co-founder Steve Jobs first pulled out an iPhone that sold for $499.
None of which is to say that Apple won’t break new ground.
In particular, the iPhone X gives Apple the opportunity to bring augmented reality – essentially the projection of computer-generated images into real-world surroundings, a la the monster hunts in ‘Pokemon Go’ – into mainstream use.
No one can say with certainty what sort of ‘killer app’ will make augmented reality a hit.
Whatever it turns out to be, it seems as likely to emerge from an unknown startup as an established company. But Apple is certainly taking a stab at the problem.
Here’s what was unveiled at Apple’s event yesterday.
Having revealed several new devices throughout the presentation Tim Cook unveiled the much anticipated iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten).
Cook said: ‘We’re not stopping there, we have one more thing.
‘Our teams have been hard at work for years on the future of the smartphone.
‘Now, ten years later it is only fitting we are here, in this place on this day that will set the path for for technology for the next decade.’
A video then showed the iPhone X in action.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple explained: ‘It is all screen, it is beautiful to look at, incredible to hold. There has never been anything like it.’
The phone features a glass front and back, with a band around the edge made from surgical grade stainless steel, as well as an edgeless display.
The iPhone will be dust and waterproof at a microscopic level.
iPhone X has an all new display, called the ‘super retina display.’
On the diagonal, the display is 5.8 inch, with over two million pixels – the highest resolution and pixel density ever seen in an iPhone.
Another new feature in the iPhone X is animoji – 3D animated emoji that you can control with your face. The animoji work by tracking more than 50 facial movements and replicating these in your choice of dozens of animal emoji. APPLE
It also features an OLED display.
Schiller said: ‘It’s the point of this technology that matters – it’s easier to use, and more intuitive.’
With the phone, users will be able to raise it to wake, or tap the screen to wake – because Apple has ditched the home button.
Now, to reach the home screen, users now swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
Schiller said: ‘We also use the home button for Siri, but how do you do that now? You can now press the side button, which has been made larger, and speak to Siri.’
To unlock the phone, users can now use facial recognition, which Apple calls Face ID.
Schiller said: ‘Nothing has ever been so simple. This is the future of how we’ll unlock our phones.’
A new TrueDepth camera system includes an infrared camera, and other new technology.
The Face ID will learn your face, so every time you glance at the iPhone, it detects your face – even in the dark.
It works by projecting infrared dots out onto your face, which feeds information back into an AI computer, to create a model of the face and check it against the owner.
Schiller said: ‘This happens in real time, and invisibly.’
The built in chip that controls Face ID is built with a neural engine, allowing it to execute 600 billion operations per second.
While you might think that Face ID could be tricked by a photo, Schiller reassured that this wasn’t the case.
He said: ‘We worked to make sure it can’t be fooled by photographs, and worked with Hollywood teams to make sure masks don’t even work.’
Face ID will also work with Apple Pay, as well as third party apps.
Another new feature in the iPhone X is animoji – 3D animated emoji that you can control with your face.
The animoji work by tracking more than 50 facial movements and replicating these in your choice of dozens of animal emoji.
Unfortunately, when Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, came on stage to demonstrate the Face ID, it didn’t work on first attempt, and he was forced to revert to a backup phone.
But when he showed the animojis in action, he joked: ‘If you were wondering what humanity would do when given access to the most advanced facial recognition technology, here it is,’ before showing off a talking poop.
The iPhone X has dual 12MP cameras, with dual optical image stabilisation and quad LED true tone flash.
The front camera is a breakthrough for selfies, and can take photos in Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting.
Schiller said: ‘People will be blown away by the selfies you can take with the iPhone X.’
The iPhone also features the same A11 bionic chip as iPhone 8, and will also have wireless charging built in.
Battery life will be two hours better than the iPhone 7.
Schiller said: ‘We think we have an idea of how to make charging a better experience.’
He then revealed the new AirPower Charging mat, that can charge iPhone, Apple Watch and Airpods simultaneously.
AirPower will be available next year.
There will be a 64GB version and a 256GB version of the iPhone X available, with a starting price of $999 (£999 in the UK) and going up to $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK).
While it may seem a shock to many, experts say the $1,000 price point won’t be an issue.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies: ‘It’s a great product, and I think the price is entirely justified.
‘I think the $1,000 figure is a red herring – nobody will pay that, and if they do, they can afford it.’
Milanesi said the launch now meant Apple has an unrivalled range.
‘I really like the whole portfolio now – there’s such a range of options, nobody else has that
‘Whether I buy a 6 or the X, it’s still the iPhone and will be largely the same experience.’
The new device will be available in space grey and silver, and ships on November 3.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
Cook returned to the stage to talk about Apple’s new iPhones.
He said: ‘Apple has always believed technology infused with humanity can change the world. No other device in our lifetime has the impact the iPhone has.
‘It’s truly amazing how much the iPhone impacts the world every day. We want to create something so immersive the hardware disappears.
‘Over the past decade we’ve pushed ford with innovation after innovation, bringing us to this moment. We have huge iPhone news for you today.’
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, came to the stage to reveal the new iPhone 8 and 8+.
Schiller said: ‘iPhone 8 is a huge step forward for iPhone.
‘These are a new generation of iPhone, and they improve on everything we love about iPhone.’
The smartphones have glass in both the front and back, and come in silver, space grey and gold.
It is made from aluminium, with steel-reinforced glass.
Schiller said: ‘This glass is the most durable ever seen in a smartphone.’
The iPhone 8 has a 4.7 inch retina HD display, while the 8+ has a 5.5 inch retina HD display.
The phones feature an A11 bionic chip – the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone.
In terms of camera, the iPhone 8+ has dual 12MP sensor cameras, providing 83 per cent more light, with deeper pixels.
A new Portrait Lighting mode can alter lighting in an image, using artificial intelligence to change lighting over the face.
Schiller said: ‘These aren’t filters, they are real time analysis of light on the subject’s face.’
The smartphones will also feature new 40K 60 frames per second video mode, and a Slo-Mo option that runs at 240 frames a second.
The cameras are calibrated for augmented reality (AR).
For example, Schiller explained that the MLB app will be able to show player information if you hold up phone at a baseball game.
Both the iPhone 8 and 8+ will have wireless charging built in.
Schiller joked: ‘I can’t describe how much nicer it is not to have to plug in a cable!’
Wireless charging will work with hundreds of already available chargers, from Ikea to Ford, although Apple will also sell third party wireless chargers in stores.
The iPhone 8 and 8+ will each come in two versions – a 64GB, with a second at 256GB.
iPhone 8 will start at $699 (£699), and iPhone 8+ will start at $799 (£799). They will both be available on September 22nd.
Tim Cook took to the stage again to speak about the Apple Watch.
He said: ‘Apple Watch was designed to keep people motivated, since the launch of series 2, it has grown over 50 per cent year on year.
‘Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world, overtaking Rolex.’
Jeff Williams, COO of Apple, then revealed the firm’s updated Watch.
The software has been redesigned with new features for exercises and the ability to link to gym machines.
Williams said: ‘We want to help use the heart rate sensor to help more people.’
The watch can now measure resting heart rate, and recovery heart rate, and will also alert users if their heart rate becomes elevated.
Watch OS4 will be available on September 19th.
Apple has also revealed the series 3 Apple Watch with cellular capabilities built in.
Williams said: ‘Now you can go anywhere with just your Apple Watch.
‘You can leave your phone at home, and be reached if needed. The number will be the same as your iPhone.
‘You will be able to stream 40 million songs from Apple Music using the connection.’
The Series 3 watch has new dual core processor, and comes built-in with Apple’s smart assistant, Siri.
The display itself becomes the antenna, and the sim card is integrated into the electronics.
Williams added: ‘Its really magical to make a call on a device this small.’
Williams demonstrated making a call on stage to someone paddleboarding, and the call could be heard clearly.
He joked: ‘It’s just darn close to magic.’
The Series 3 will be available in gold, silver, space grey and ceramic grey.
There will be two versions available – one without cellular capabilities, that will cost $329 (£329 in the UK), and one with, that will be $399 (£399 in the UK).
Apple TV has also been given an update.
Tim Cook took to the stage once again, and said: ‘Apple TV has changed the way we watch TV.
‘There have been some key development that changed TV, from colour to HD. Now, we’re at the next major inflection point. I’m so excited to introduce Apple TV 4K.’
Apple is also adding HDR capabilities to Apple TV.
Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services explained: ‘4K is about the number of pixels, HDR is about better pixels.’
The Apple TV will contain an A10x chip – the same as is in the iPad Pro.
The firm will be working with large studios to bring 4K movies to iTunes – all which will be available at the same prices as HD rental.
Apple has also been working with Netflix and Amazon to bring their content to Apple TV in 4K and HDR.
The Apple TV app is also coming to the UK and seven other countries.
Cue added: ‘Later this year, Apple TV will do even more.’
Apple TV will support Live TV, and will even send users notifications when a game is starting.
The 4K Apple TV will cost $179-$199 (£179-£199), and will ship from September 22nd