Earlier today, Tim Cook kicked off the Apple iPhone X event at the new Steve Job’s theater at Apple Park. You can watch the full replay on Apple.com. The following are my impressions:
- Apple Watch Series 3. Apple added a new dual-core processor that is 70% faster than last year, a new barometric altimeter and a new LTE option. The current Apple Watch without LTE can only tell time without a paired iPhone nearby. Adding LTE means that you can workout or run with just the Apple Watch and still have full functionality. The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 without cellular and $399 with integrated LTE, and will be released on September 22nd. Monthly LTE plans for the Apple Watch start at ~$10 per month. Apple watchOS 4, currently in beta, ships on September 19 for all Apple Watch users. I’ve been running the beta and it has some useful features. I own the Apple Watch Series 2 which I love and don’t plan on upgrading to Series 3.
- Apple TV 4K. Apple added the A10x chip, which offers four times faster graphics than last year’s model as well as 4K and HDR support. In addition, if you’ve ever bought an HD movie from iTunes and a 4K version is available, you’ll get it for FREE. New 4K movies are the same price as HD movie. The Apple TV 4K starts at $179, can be preordered on September 15 and ships on September 22nd. I own the previous generation 4 Apple TV, several iTunes HD movies and will be purchasing the new Apple TV 4K.
- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple added a faster A11 Bionic processor with neural engine, wireless charging, 12MP rear-facing camera with support for Augmented Reality (AR) and a glass back. The iPhone 8/8 Plus comes in three colors (down from 5), silver, space gray and a new gold finish. The iPhone 8 begins at $699 for the 64GB, while the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. Preorders start on September 15 and ships on September 22nd. Personally, I’m not interested in the iPhone 8 as it offers only incremental improvements over the iPhone 7/7 Plus (and arguably the 6/6S as well)
- iPhone X. A big leap forward for the iPhone on its 10th anniversary with a a faster A11 Bionic processor with neural engine, large, 5.8 inch OLED screen, 2436 x 1125 Super Retina display, narrow bezel, wireless charging, Face ID (replaces TouchID). The entry level iPhone X will cost $999 and will offer 64GB of storage. The 256GB model will cost a whopping $1,149 (why no 128GB model?). Based on increasing competition from premium Android phones like Samsung Galaxy/Note, Pixel, LG V30, Essential and others, Apple needed a major iPhone upgrade after a series of incremental upgrades and the iPhone X appears to meet this challenge. Sadly, the only colors available are black and silver. Pre-orders begin on October 27 and will begin shipping on November 3. I currently own the iPhone 7 Plus but I’ll be keeping my eye on the iPhone X. iOS 11 will be available for current and previous 64-bit compatible models iPhone/iPad on September 19. I’ve been running the beta and can confirm that it’s a worthy upgrade – the biggest iOS upgrade in several releases, particularly for iPad. Learn more about iOS 11 new features on Apple.com
- iTunes 12.7. Apple revamps the latest version of iTunes for Mac and PC, available now, and adds support for iOS 11. Learn more on MacRumors. Do you have custom ringtones like me? If so, you’ll want to read this article on Apple.com for the new hoops you’ll need to jump through to get custom ringtones on your devices
- High Sierra. macOX Sierra 10.13 ships on September 25 and includes a number of incremental enhancements including the new Apple File System which debuted in iOS 10.3
- HomePod. Apple’s new smart speaker designed to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, wasn’t part of the announcement. However, it was introduced earlier this summer and is expected to ship in time for the holiday season. I’m planning on purchasing the HomePod.
- AirPower wireless charging pad for iPhone 8/X, Apple Watch and AirPods. Coming in 2018.
- AirPods with wireless charging. Coming in 2018. I have a pair of AirPods and love them but I probably won’t upgrade unless Apple offers a deal for existing owners.