Ten years af­ter the first iPhone, Ap­ple sets out to lead way again with £1,000 de­vice

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By James Tit­comb in Cu­per­tino

AP­PLE last night un­veiled what it called “the fu­ture of the smart­phone” with a rad­i­cal new hand­set that will cost more than £1,000, in the big­gest over­haul of the world’s most prof­itable prod­uct for sev­eral years.

The new de­vice, which marks 10 years since the orig­i­nal iPhone was re­leased, comes amid two years of slow­ing sales of Ap­ple’s flag­ship de­vice. In­vestors are hop­ing it will trig­ger a wave of sales growth that could see Ap­ple’s value sur­pass $1 tril­lion (£750bn).

Hold­ing the first event at Ap­ple’s fu­tur­is­tic new head­quar­ters, a sprawl­ing $5bn com­plex in Cal­i­for­nia, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook said the new de­vice would “set the path for tech­nol­ogy for the next decade”.

The iPhone X, a rad­i­cally re­designed model, fea­tures a larger screen that cov­ers the whole body, re­mov­ing the home but­ton that has fea­tured on every iPhone to date.

It fea­tures fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy, which al­lows users to un­lock their phone sim­ply by look­ing at the de­vice, wire­less charg­ing and an up­graded cam­era. The first sig­nif­i­cant change to the iPhone’s de­sign since 2014, it is seen as a re­sponse to slick new de­signs from ri­vals such as Sam­sung. With the top of the range phone priced at £1,149 in the UK, or $1,149 in the US, it is also the most ex­pen­sive mass-pro­duced smart­phone ever, and is likely to be avail­able in lim­ited quan­ti­ties when re­leased in Novem­ber.

As well as the high-end iPhone X, Ap­ple un­veiled the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which fea­ture a more fa­mil­iar de­sign to cur­rent iPhones, and which an­a­lysts ex­pect to sell in greater quan­ti­ties.

The iPhone 8 hand­sets are less of a sig­nif­i­cant up­grade, fea­tur­ing iden­ti­cal di­men­sions and lay­outs to re­cent iPhones, but have a glass chas­sis to al­low wire­less charg­ing, as well as up­graded pro­ces­sors and cam­eras.

“The first iPhone rev­o­lu­tionised a decade of tech­nol­ogy and changed the world in the process,” Mr Cook said.

“Ten years later, it’s only fit­ting that we’re here, in this place, on this day, to re­veal a prod­uct that will set the path for tech­nol­ogy for the next decade.”

De­spite a num­ber of new prod­ucts

and ser­vices in re­cent years, Ap­ple still re­lies on the iPhone for the ma­jor­ity of its rev­enues, and over­haul­ing the lineup is the most sig­nif­i­cant event in the com­pany’s cal­en­dar.

Last year, iPhone sales fell for the first time since the first de­vice in 2007, and they have re­cov­ered only slightly this year. How­ever, shares have ral­lied by nearly 40pc this year on the prospect of the new de­vice, send­ing the com­pany’s mar­ket value past $800bn, although they slipped slightly last night to end down 0.4pc.

The new phones were the high­light of Ap­ple’s an­nual event, dur­ing which the com­pany lifts the lid on a ros­ter of new de­vices.

The com­pany also un­veiled a new Ap­ple Watch, the third gen­er­a­tion of its smart­watch, which can con­nect to mo­bile net­works in­de­pen­dently of the iPhone, let­ting own­ers re­ceive phone calls and stream mu­sic with­out hav­ing to carry a phone. The Watch, the first sig­nif­i­cant prod­uct launch since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, has not sold in the same quan­ti­ties as the iPhone, iPad or Mac com­put­ers. Mr Cook said the de­vice had ex­pe­ri­enced sales growth of 50pc year on year, and had now over­taken Rolex to make it the big­gest-sell­ing watch brand by rev­enue.

Ap­ple also un­veiled an up­graded ver­sion of the Ap­ple TV set-top box ca­pa­ble of play­ing 4K video and stream­ing live video.

The event was the first to be held in the Steve Jobs Theater, a pur­pose-built au­di­to­rium on the out­skirts of the new Ap­ple Park head­quar­ters. Mr Cook opened the event by lead­ing a trib­ute to Mr Jobs, say­ing his “vi­sion and pas­sion live on here”. The iPhone X has a larger screen that cov­ers the whole body, re­mov­ing the home but­ton that has fea­tured on every iPhone to date. It fea­tures fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy, wire­less charg­ing and an up­graded cam­era

Shares have ral­lied on the prospect of the new de­vice, send­ing the com­pany’s mar­ket value over $800bn

Tim Cook, Ap­ple’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, talks about the iPhone X dur­ing a launch at the Steve Jobs The­atre in Cu­per­tino, Cal­i­for­nia. It is the tech gi­ant’s most ex­pen­sive smart­phone yet

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