The iPhone X: At first glance, Ap­ple’s evo­lu­tion may not be a new branch of smart­phone.

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY HAY­LEY TSUKAYAMA

cu­per­tino, calif. — Ap­ple un­veiled three new ad­di­tions to its smart­phone lineup Tues­day, in­clud­ing a $999 pre­mium ver­sion — a phone that hints at where Ap­ple plans to take the iPhone into its next decade.

The bar for the new phone was very high for Ap­ple. Most of its rev­enue is gen­er­ated through the smart­phone. Over­all, an­a­lysts seemed to think the com­pany hit the mark but wanted more in­for­ma­tion on where the com­pany would go next.

“Ap­ple laid out a very com­pet­i­tive set of prod­ucts as it cel­e­brated the iPhone’s 10th an­niver­sary,” said Ge­off Blaber, re­search vice pres­i­dent at CCS In­sight. ‘ The key ques­tion now is how much it will pri­or­i­tize soft­ware and ser­vices as the en­gine of fu­ture growth,” he said, adding that that could help re­in­force Ap­ple’s suc­cess­ful hard­ware busi­ness.

While Ap­ple took time to cel­e­brate the iPhone’s his­tory and its late co-founder Steve Jobs, it also made clear that it’s forg­ing a path. For ex­am­ple, Ap­ple skipped the iPhone 7S name al­to­gether — sig­nal­ing a clean break from the past gen­er­a­tion of phones.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have glass backs with an alu­minum trim that comes in black, gray and gold. The new de­vices are speed­ier, with bet­ter cam­eras and im­proved bat­tery ef­fi­ciency. The phones will also ac­com­mo­date wire­less charg­ing, a fea­ture avail­able on com­pet­ing phones. Ap­ple’s head of mar­ket­ing, Phil Schiller, said Ap­ple and oth­ers will make charg­ing pads that will ap­pear at part­ner cof­fee shops, re­tail stores and some new cars.

Ap­ple is bump­ing up the base stor­age of the iPhone 8 to 64 gi­ga­bytes at a price of $699. The larger iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Both will be avail­able for or­der Fri­day and ship Sept. 22.

Yet while Ap­ple touted the features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it was the iPhone X that stole the show. Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook said that the iPhone X — a name spo­ken as the “iPhone 10” — will “set the path for technology for the next decade.”

The iPhone X will start at $999 — con­sid­er­ably more than the base price of the other mod­els. It will be avail­able for pre­order Oct. 27 and ship Nov. 3.

The iPhone X has an ad­vanced ar­ray of cam­eras for fa­cial recog­ni­tion, which al­lows the user to un­lock the phone by look­ing at it. The cam­eras can learn a user’s face and note grad­ual changes. And it can be used night or day.

But Ap­ple promised that it would not col­lect the data on all those faces. The in­for­ma­tion would be kept only on the smart­phone, not sent to Ap­ple servers.

The fa­cial recog­ni­tion technology has other ap­pli­ca­tions, as well. Ap­ple in­tro­duced “an­i­moji” — an­i­mated emoji that im­i­tate your fa­cial move­ments and let 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 X comes in space gray 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 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, and the bat­tery life is two hours longer than with the iPhone 7.

Like the new iPhone 8, the iPhone X can be charged wire­lessly.

Over­all, while an­a­lysts said this doesn’t feel as sig­nif­i­cant as the first iPhone, Ap­ple did enough to prove it’s headed in the right di­rec­tion. “The iPhone X will not dis­rupt the smart­phone mar­ket the way the ini­tial iPhone rev­o­lu­tion­ized mo­bile and many other in­dus­tries,” said Thomas Hus­son, vice pres­i­dent and an­a­lyst at For­rester. “How­ever, cou­pled with iOS 11 in­no­va­tions, it will re­in­force con­sumers’ and brands’ loy­alty to the Ap­ple ecosys­tem as well as il­lus­trate the evolv­ing role of smart­phones in an in­creas­ingly con­nected world.”

Ap­ple an­nounced other up­grades and new ad­di­tions to its prod­ucts line.

The new Watch, called the Se­ries 3, will have its own cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity, said Ap­ple’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Jeff Wil­liams, who is also in charge of Ap­ple’s Watch di­vi­sion. 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.

The Watch will have up to 18 hours of bat­tery life across LTE, Blue­tooth and WiFi. Start­ing Sept. 22, the cel­lu­lar ver­sion of the Watch will go on sale for $399. With­out cel­lu­lar con­nec­tion, it will cost $329. The Se­ries 1 Ap­ple Watch’s price will drop to $249.

Ap­ple is also mak­ing a big push to cre­ate its own shows and shore up its po­si­tion in the liv­ing room. The Ap­ple set-top box, Ap­ple TV, is now go­ing to sup­port 4K HDR video, the com­pany said. The com­pany is also adding live news and live sports sec­tions to the Ap­ple TV app.

The box it­self is get­ting faster pro­ces­sors. The com­pany showed how it could con­nect eight peo­ple on­line and have them play a video game to­gether.

Ver­sions of films and shows filmed in 4K will cost the same as HD videos on Ap­ple’s iTunes store. The new Ap­ple TV 4K will go on sale Fri­day and ship Sept. 22. It will cost $179. While 4K use has been slow to get started, an­a­lysts say it’s be­gin­ning to reach a tip­ping point.

Ap­ple’s stock fell as much as 2.5 per­cent dur­ing the event be­fore clos­ing down by just 0.40 per­cent to $160.86.

DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Tim Cook, Ap­ple’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the iPhone X will “set the path for technology for the next decade.”

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