New iPhone line, watch fea­ture larger dis­plays

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BUSINESSRE­PORT - By Sophia Kun­thara

Ap­ple in­tro­duced three new iPhones and a health-fo­cused Ap­ple Watch on Wed­nes­day as it bet that larger dis­plays would con­tinue to lure cus­tomers, even for pricey prod­ucts.

The com­pany de­buted the iPhoneXS, iPhoneXS Max and iPhoneXR at the Steve Jobs Theater on Ap­ple’s new cam­pus in Cupertino, set­ting a higher price for the most ex­pen­sive iPhone avail­able. The iPhoneXS Max, which has a 6.5inch dis­play and the largest bat­tery Ap­ple has ever put in a phone, starts at $1,099.

The iPhoneXS and iPhoneXS Max are water­proof and have en­hanced graph­ics, an im­proved cam­era, and longer bat­tery life. The iPhoneXR, which starts at $749, has a larger dis­play than the iPhone 8 Plus and also has an im­proved cam­era. The iPhone XS — like its pre­de­ces­sor, the iPhone X — starts at $999. The XS and the XS Max are avail­able to or­der on Fri­day. They’ll ship a week later, on Sept 21. The XR is avail­able to or­der on Oct. 19.

The Ap­ple Watch, which was first in­tro­duced in 2014, comes with a re­vamped de­sign — a curved screen that’s 30 per­cent larger than pre­vi­ous mod­els and thin­ner than the Se­ries 3. The speaker is also 50 per­cent louder, and the mi­cro­phone is moved to the other side of the de­vice, away from the speaker, to make calls clearer.

But the big­gest leap for the new watch is its fo­cus on health.

The Se­ries 4 Ap­ple Watch, which Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Jeff Wil­liams called “the ul­ti­mate guardian for your health,” has the abil­ity to de­tect when a per­son falls and gives them the op­tion to call for help. If the per­son is im­mo­bile for one minute, the watch will au­to­mat­i­cally call for help and in­clude lo­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion.

“Get­ting FDA ap­proval for the health fea­tures on the new watch un­der­lines Ap­ple’s lead­er­ship in wrist­worn tech.” Ben Wood, chief of re­search at CCS In­sight

The watch, which starts at $399, also has three new heart-fo­cused fea­tures: a no­ti­fi­ca­tion if a per­son’s heart rate is too low, if there is an ir­reg­u­lar rhythm in­di­cat­ing atrial fib­ril­la­tion and an elec­tro­car­dio­gram.

The Se­ries 4 watch’s EKG is the first elec­tro­car­dio­gram avail­able over the counter and di­rectly to cus­tomers, Wil­liams said. The watch is also able to send heart health in­for­ma­tion di­rectly to a wearer’s doctor.

The com­pany re­ceived ap­proval from the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion was on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino on Wed­nes­day to voice his sup­port for the prod­uct.

Ben Wood, chief of re­search at CCS In­sight, wrote in a note af­ter the event that it would be in­ter­est­ing to see how the health care in­dus­try re­acts to the de­vel­op­ments in the Se­ries 4 watch.

“Get­ting FDA ap­proval for the health fea­tures on the new watch un­der­lines Ap­ple’s lead­er­ship in wrist-worn tech,” Wood wrote. “It’s an ar­du­ous process that no other con­sumer wear­able com­pany has suc­cess­fully nav­i­gated.”

“Ap­ple is hav­ing to make a care­ful trade-off with these new prod­ucts. It’s acutely aware that cus­tomers are hold­ing onto their iPhones longer than ever, but by in­creas­ing prices and sell­ing ser­vices such as Ap­ple Mu­sic, apps and iCloud stor­age the com­pany can keep rev­enue flow­ing in dur­ing the life­time of a de­vice,” Wood wrote. “Add the Ap­ple Watch into the mix, and you can see how Ap­ple is achiev­ing by far and away the high­est mar­gins in the in­dus­try while ri­vals are see­ing their prof­its squeezed harder than ever.”

Ap­ple stock fell 1 per­cent Wed­nes­day. The com­pany tends to trade lower on the days it an­nounces new prod­ucts. It’s up 31 per­cent in 2018, how­ever, and its val­u­a­tion re­mains well above a tril­lion dol­lars — a mark the com­pany hit for the first time last month.

The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Jim Wil­son / New York Times

Philip Schiller, Ap­ple’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent for mar­ket­ing, shows off the new iPhone XS and iPhoneXS Max at the de­but event.

Mar­cio Jose Sanchez / As­so­ci­ated Press

Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook (left) and soc­cer player Alex Mor­gan dis­cuss the new Ap­ple Watch 4 that has a fo­cus on health.

David Paul Mor­ris / Bloomberg

At­ten­dees ar­rive for the event de­but­ing Ap­ple’s new iPhone line and watch that fo­cuses on health at the com­pany’s Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

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