Apple makes big splash with iPhone X
More than 1,000 pack Steve Jobs Theater to get first look at company’s flagship device
Ten years ago, Steve Jobs stepped onto the stage in Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco to unveil the iPhone, not fully knowing its transformational power for Apple, Silicon Valley, the internet and the world.
On Tuesday, his successor, Tim Cook, unveiled Apple’s latest model, the iPhone X, in a state-ofthe-art Cupertino theater named after the Apple co-founder.
“It is only fitting we are here in this place to reveal a product that will set the path for this technology for the next decade,” said Cook.
With iPhone sales stagnating, the world’s most valuable public company revealed the biggest design overhaul since 2010 of its signature device. The opening of the $5 billion Apple Park campus and the 10th anniversary of the iPhone added symbolism to Tuesday’s event and heightened expectations.
“This was a spectacle in a way that was above and beyond past Apple events,” said CCS Insights analyst Geoff Blaber.
In the first-ever event at the newly constructed “spaceship” campus, the Cupertino tech giant shared a bevy of new products in under two hours, culminating with the iPhone X — pronounced “Ten.” They unveiled a Watch with LTE
connection — the fastest in Apple’s stable — to an ultra-high resolution 4K TV. It also snuck in previews for a new wireless charging dock that can simultaneously charge all the new generation devices.
It also revealed the stunning Steve Jobs Theater. The auditorium, which was given a permit to host the event just 11 days ago, is entirely underground. Attendees entered the theater from an above-ground lobby, which has a steel disc held by 20-feet-tall glass panels and two glass elevators.
But it was the devices that drew the most attention. The iPhone X will have end-to-end screen display with a “Super Retina” OLED display made of glass — and no home button. OLED is high resolution and energy efficient compared to screens in past models.
To unlock the phone, users have a variety of options. They can shake the phone, swipe their finger up the screen, or use facial recognition through new “TrueDepth” camera sensors on the front of the phone.
Apple calls the new feature “Face ID,” replacing the fingerprint “Touch ID” feature. It says its new Face ID technology is 40 times safer than its Touch ID and security tested it to prevent iPhone cameras from being fooled by photographs and masks.
Pre-orders for the iPhone X will begin Oct. 27, and the phone will be available Nov. 3. The 6 giga byte-phone will cost $999, confirming suspicions that the iPhone X will soon break the $1,000 barrier.
Apple reportedly has been manufacturing the iPhone X at a much slower pace than its prior models, thanks to the limited number of suppliers who can produce OLED screens en masse.
Wall Street has been concerned about potential delays with the device — and the November release date is later than expected — but Apple shares fell less than 1 percent to $160.82 at the end of Tuesday’s trading hours.
“It’s not like because you’re coming in a little late, that means you have no shelf space for the products,” said Creative Strategies’ consumer tech analyst Carolina Milanesi. “It’s not a bad thing.”
Despite packing more features into the new phone, iPhone X’s batteries last two hours longer than the iPhone 7, according to Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. The iPhone X will have wireless charging and is water and dust resistant.
Apple also announced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, cheaper alternatives that are natural extensions of existing models. Like iPhone X, these new phones have wireless charging, an improved portrait mode and the same new A11 “Bionic” processor.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will cost $699 and $799, respectively, and be available on Sept. 22.
With three new models, Apple now has a wide array of iPhones at various price points, according to Blaber. The iPhone SE, for example, is now the cheapest iPhone available at Apple for just $349.
“They got a very good spread and a strong portfolio,” said Blaber. “With the iPhone X, they have a nice halo product at the top.”
Thanks to its LTE connection, Apple Watch Series 3 will allow users to answer phone calls, send texts and see map directions without needing an iPhone nearby. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams announced the Watch will support thirdparty apps and can stream over 40 million songs via Apple Music.
The new Watch with cellular connection is priced at $399 — a non-cellular Watch will cost $70 less at $329.
With 4K compatibility, the Apple TV is revealing the company’s newfound ambitions to compete with Hollywood studios and streaming platforms like Netflix. The new TV app will also bring live sports and news, and iTunes will provide 4K movies at the same price at HD movies. The new TV will start at $179 for its 32 gigabyte version.
The iPhone 8, iPhone X, Watch Series 3 and AirPod earphones can all be wirelessly charged in a singular, new battery dock called AirPower. Apple, however, did not reveal a release date or price point for AirPower.
More than 1,000 people packed the Steve Jobs Theater on Tuesday for the iPhone product launch, the most anticipated of its kind in several years. Media, Apple employees and tech luminaries from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Laurene Powell Jobs and Pixar CEO John Lasseter filled the theater, which sits just outside the “spaceship” campus.
When the event ended, a demonstration space with the new products was unveiled when a retractable wall opened up.
Jobs’ influence in his namesake theater was everywhere. The event kicked off with a taped Jobs monologue and a short commemoration of Jobs by Cook — his long-time right-hand man.
“I love hearing his voice and his inspiring message,” said Cook. “It’s only fitting that Steve should open his theater.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the new iPhone X during a media event Tuesday at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino.