Apple unveils dual-lens camera at iPhone 7 launch
Tech giant Apple has consigned headphone connections to the dustbin.
The launch of the new iPhone7 took place in LA yesterday, and the new phone models have more storage memory and a new pressure-sensitive home button.
The biggest upgrade is a new dual-lens camera on the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which allows for a real zoom and better quality photos.
The new models should see a significant jump in photo quality, with much better portrait shots of friends and family, regardless of lighting quality.
It should also mean a huge improvement in photos of crowds, events or sporting occasions.
But the new handset's most controversial feature is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone port on both phones, meaning traditional earphones will now need an adaptor to work.
Apple says that it will provide an adaptor with each iPhone 7 sold.
There will be some disgruntlement about the move as many people have invested significant sums in their own high quality earphones or headphones.
Apple has traditionally been an early mover among hardware companies to drop physical ports, first ditching optical drives for CDs and DVDs and, recently, doing away with older USB ports on its lightweight MacBook laptop.
Apple has also announced new wireless earphones called Airpods that can be played for up to five hours at a time.
The new dual-lens camera that comes with the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the best camera on any phone.
It will likely hammer more nails into the coffin of the consumer camera market.
On the business side, bean-counters will be watching closely to see whether this iPhone can reverse a recent stagnation in handset sales for Apple.
Many pundits had predicted flat sales after this launch, believing that Apple is holding off until next year (the 10th anniversary of the iPhone) for a major overhaul of the handset.
But Apple has been unexpectedly handed a boost with the news that arch-rival Samsung has had to recall all of its latest Galaxy Note 7 phones because of a fire hazard.
That phone was (and will be) a major contender for the attention of iPhone 7 customers.
The new iPhone 7 won't come cheap, starting at €779. It is available from September 16 in Ireland with pre-orders starting this week.
The basic iPhone 7 model now has twice the storage (32GB) of previous iPhone models.
This will be a welcome development among those who quickly run out of space due to photos clogging up the system.
The phone also now has a top-end storage capacity of 256GB. The tech giant also launched a new version of its smartwatch, Watch Series 2.
The new wearable device is waterproof and has an extended battery life.