Apple unveils new products including the $1,000 iPhone
Manila to fast track Chinese projects
THE Philippine government has streamlined the approval process for the big-ticket infrastructure projects to be funded by China in order to fast-track their implementation, the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Tuesday.
During a weekend meeting between the Duterte administration’s economic managers and a visiting Chinese delegation led by China Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, the two sides noted the “substantial progress made in revitalizing and strengthening economic relations between their two countries”, the DoF said in a statement.
They attributed the closer economic ties to “favorable and enabling environment fostered by their continuous efforts to fast-track the implementation of infrastructure projects that the Philippines has presented to China for possible financing”, the DoF added.
Specifically, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Zhong both “acknowledged the efforts of the two sides to streamline government processes to speed up the preparations for and implementation of the first basket of infrastructure projects presented for Chinese financing”, according to the DoF.
The first batch to be financed by China included the 10.9billion-peso ($214.2 million) New Centennial Water SourceKaliwa Dam Project and the 2.7-billion-peso Chico River Pump Irrigation Project.
Dominguez disclosed that “potential bidders have already been identified for the Chico Irrigation and Kaliwa Dam projects”, but did not elaborate.
“It is the first time in the history between our two countries that we are working this close and fast together,” Dominguez noted.
For his part, Zhong said China’s Ministry of Commerce would spare no effort to accelerate the construction of all these key projects and “it is our sincere hope these projects can be started at an early date and will be completed at an early date”. An article in yesterday’s issue,
incorrectly identified Chip Mong Insee as a joint venture between Chip Mong Group and Siam Cement Group. The company is in fact a joint venture between Cambodia’s Chip Mong Group and Thailand’s Siam City Cement Corporation (SCCC).
THE crowd at Apple’s new “spaceship” headquarters saw new smartphones – including a premium version priced at $999 – as the company commemorated its 10th anniversary of the iPhone.
Apple opened the event asking the audience to cover their screens as an audio clip of Steve Jobs played. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said that it was fitting that Jobs opened the theatre – named after him – where the event is taking place.
“His greatest expression of his appreciation for humanity would not be a singular product, but rather it would be Apple itself,” he said.
The bar is very high for Apple. Most of its revenue is generated through the smartphone. Cook promised that the company’s new phones would make a splash by defining the future of the smartphone.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
About midway through Apple’s event, Apple’s head of marketing Phil Schiller showed off the upgrades to the main iPhone line. Clad in an aluminium and glass skin that comes in black, grey and gold, the new devices are speedier with sharper screens and better battery efficiency. The phones will also accommodate wireless charging.
The new smartphones have revamped cameras that will use a feature called “portrait lighting” that will automatically optimise the lighting in your photos. The cameras also have substantially improved slo-mo video recording.
Schiller took some time to tout the smartphones’ ability to do more in augmented reality – expected to be a key area of growth for video games and other apps. An app from Major League Baseball, for example, will display live stats over players when users look at the field through their iPhone screens.
Apple is bumping up the base storage of an iPhone 8 to 64GB at a price of $699. The larger iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Both will be available for order on September 15 and ship on September 22.
The iPhone X
After the iPhone 8 presentation, Cook retook the stage to offer, in Jobs’s iconic words, “one more thing” – the iPhone X.
The phone, he said, was the “biggest leap since the original iPhone”. (The company is pronouncing it the iPhone ten).
The iPhone X will start at $999 – considerably more than the base price of previous models. It will be available for order on October 27th, and ship on November 3.
The iPhone X has an advanced array of cameras for facial recognition, which allows the phone to become unlocked just by looking at it. The cameras can learn a user’s face and note gradual changes. And it can be used at night or day.
But Apple promised it would not collect the data on those faces. The information would only be kept on the smartphone, not sent to Apple servers.
The facial recognition technology has other applications. Apple introduced “animoji” – animated emoji that imitates your facial movements and lets you record animated messages through texts.
The new high-end smartphone has a 5.8-inch display that covers the entire surface of the phone. Unlike its cheaper sibling, the iPhone 10 comes in space grey and silver and sports a “super” retina display, which Schiller said was much sharper than any other iPhone because it uses OLED display technology.
Notably, there also is no home button. Users must swipe and use gestures to close an app. Calling up Siri can now be done with a new side button.
The iPhone X boasts updated cameras as well, with the same features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as the capability to take better selfies. Battery life is two hours longer than the iPhone 7.
Apple Watch 3
The first product up for discussion was the Apple Watch. The new Watch – called the Series 3 – will have its own cellular connectivity. The Watch will be able to receive calls – using your iPhone’s number – and can support apps including Maps and WeChat. The new Apple Watch will also be compatible with Apple Music, meaning you can use it as a music player on its own. It can play up to 40 million songs using Apple Music. Siri also gets a boost on the watch. Conversations with Apple’s artificial intelligence can happen without even lifting an arm.
The iPhone X, which comes a decade after the original model, is Apple’s first major redesign since 2014 and represents a significant upgrade to the iPhone 7 line.