Ap­ple un­veils iPhone X in bid to re­gain lead

Business World - - TECHNOLOGY -

CU­PER­TINO, CAL­I­FOR­NIA — Ap­ple, Inc. on Sept. 13 rolled out its much- an­tic­i­pated iPhone X, a glass and stain­less steel de­vice with an edge-toedge dis­play that Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook called “the big­gest leap for­ward since the orig­i­nal iPhone.”

The launch con­tained few sur­prises, with leaked de­tails on the phone and other prod­ucts in­clud­ing an up­dated Ap­ple Watch prov­ing largely ac­cu­rate. But the iPhone X’s $999 price still raised eye­brows, and its Nov. 3 ship date prompted ques­tions about pos­si­ble sup­ply con­straints ahead of the hol­i­day sea­son.

The iPhone X has wire­less charg­ing, an in­frared cam­era and hard­ware for fa­cial recog­ni­tion, which re­places the fin­ger­print sen­sor for un­lock­ing the phone. The home but­ton is also gone, and users in­stead tap the de­vice to wake it up.

The screen on the iPhone X is about the size of the cur­rent iPhone 7 plus, though the phone is smaller. It features richer col­ors thanks to a new screen technology called OLED that other ven­dors are also rolling out.

But in an em­bar­rass­ing moment for Ap­ple se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Craig Fed­erighi, the face ID un­lock­ing did not work on his first at­tempt dur­ing the on-stage pre­sen­ta­tion.


Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tives also stressed the phone’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties in aug­mented re­al­ity, in which dig­i­tal images are over­laid on the real world. But their re­marks sug­gested that the phone does not have the full panoply of 3Dsen­sor chips that some had ex­pected.

Ap­ple also in­tro­duced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which re­sem­ble the iPhone 7 line but have a glass back for wire­less charg­ing. The com­pany said it was work­ing on a new de­vice, called the Air­pad, that would charge all newer Ap­ple prod­ucts.

The wire­less charg­ing uses a stan­dard called Qi, also used by Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co. Ltd., which will likely so­lid­ify that technology as the in­dus­try stan­dard.

The new phones all fea­ture Ap­ple’s first pro­pri­etary graph­ics pro­ces­sor, which pro­vides greater speed, im­proved cam­eras and some features for aug­mented re­al­ity apps.

The com­pany had pre­vi­ously used graph­ics chips from Imag­i­na­tion Tech­nolo­gies Group Plc, which put it­self up for sale ear­lier this year af­ter Ap­ple said it would make its own technology.

Ap­ple is mov­ing to de­sign more of the in­ter­nal com­po­nents of the iPhone, squeez­ing some sup­pli­ers but giv­ing Ap­ple con­trol.

The cheap­est of the iPhone 8 mod­els have 64 gi­ga­bytes of mem­ory, up from 32 gi­ga­bytes in pre­vi­ous mod­els, and will sell for $699 and $799. Ap­ple also noted that for bud­get-con­scious shop­pers, there is now a $349 iPhone SE, sim­i­lar to the iPhone 5.

The bump-up in mem­ory for the new phones should help sup­pli­ers of mem­ory chips, and Ap­ple is now an­gling to own a piece of the mem­ory-chip busi­ness be­ing sold by Toshiba Corp.

The new Se­ries 3 watch will cost $399 and sup­port a range of third-party apps.

Ap­ple has never re­leased num­bers on watch sales, but an­a­lyst Gene Mun­ster with Loup Ven­tures forecast the com­pany would sell 26 mil­lion in 2018. —

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