Ap­ple makes big splash with iPhone X

More than 1,000 pack Steve Jobs Theater to get first look at com­pany’s flag­ship de­vice

The Mercury News - - Front Page - By Se­ung Lee slee@ba­yare­anews­group.com

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.”

JOSH EDELSON — AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IM­AGES

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.

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