Big phone, big price

Apple iPhone XS Max will break $2000 phone price bar­rier


APPLE has smashed all smart­phone price records, un­veil­ing its big­gest iPhone screen in­side its most eye­wa­ter­ingly ex­pen­sive mo­bile phone to date.

The Apple iPhone XS Max, due in Aus­tralia on Septem­ber 21, will fea­ture ma­jor up­grades to its dis­play, its speed, its cam­eras, and even its colour, but it will cost Aus­tralian buy­ers more than $2000 for the first time, break­ing last year’s record price for the iPhone X by more than $500.

The Cu­per­tino tech gi­ant also re­vealed a smaller iPhone XS, and a bud­get model dubbed the iPhone XR at its launch event.

Apple world­wide mar­ket­ing se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Phil Schiller re­vealed the com­pany’s new flag­ship de­vice would be the first iPhone to fea­ture a 6.5-inch screen, mak­ing it even big­ger than Sam­sung’s fa­mously large Galaxy Note 9.

“You can see it’s about the same size (as the iPhone 8 Plus) phone with a much larger dis­play. We think there are a lot of cus­tomers who are go­ing to love this big­ger dis­play,“Mr Schiller said

He said the iPhone XS Max, which will cost as much as $2369 when it ar­rives in Aus­tralia on Septem­ber 21, will also fea­ture “the smartest and most pow­er­ful chip ever in a smart­phone”, as well as up to twice the stor­age of the pre­vi­ous model at 512GB, more durable glass, and up­grades to its camera with larger image sen­sors and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to au­to­mat­i­cally recog­nise scenes and fa­cial fea­tures.

“You are go­ing to be blown away with the pic­tures you can take with the iPhone XS camera,” Mr Schiller said.

“Some peo­ple call this com­pu­ta­tion pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s mak­ing images pos­si­ble now that weren’t be­fore.”

The dual 12-megapixel rear cam­eras on the new iPhone XS mod­els will let users al­ter back­ground blur on images af­ter they’ve cap­tured them for the first time, and de­ploy a mode called Smart HDR that would use ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to iden­tify scenes or even users’ eyes.

Apple will also launch the cheaper iPhone XR, though even it will cost a min­i­mum of $1229 and up to $1479 for the 256GB model.

The writer trav­elled to Cu­per­tino as a guest of Apple.

Photo: Mar­cio Jose Sanchez

NEW TECH: Apple CEO Tim Cook dis­cusses the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max at the Steve Jobs Theater.

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