Sunday 22 September 2019

Apple unveils new iPhones – with more cameras and tougher screens

Phil Schiller talks about the new iPhone 11 Pro and Max (Tony Avelar/AP)
Phil Schiller talks about the new iPhone 11 Pro and Max (Tony Avelar/AP)
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

APPLE has unveiled its newest iPhones, pushing a larger-than-usual price cut on its older models.

The new phones are called the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The updated models come with extra cameras that are more powerful and tougher screens to prevent cracks.

They also have slightly longer battery life than current iPhones and feature very powerful new ‘A13 bionic’ chips.

The ‘ultra-wide angle’ cameras on the rear of the devices allow much more into the frame, while all three new models also now take clearer photos at night and more advanced, higher resolution video. Apple has also introduced slow-motion video recording for its selfie cameras, to produce what the company calls a “slofie”.

Apple has cut the price of the existing iPhone 8, 8 Plus and Xr models, while the iPhone 11 is cheaper than the Xr model was last year. The iPhone 8 starts at €549, while the 8 Plus starts at €669. The iPhone Xr starts at €729, down from €879.

The new iPhone 11 (6.1-inch screen) starts at €829 while the iPhone 11 Pro (5.8-inch screen) starts at €1,179 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5-inch screen) starts at €1,279.

However, the new iPhones do not come with 5G compatibility for faster data access.

In Ireland and Europe, 5G networks are starting to roll out with download speeds of up to 1,000Mbs, 10 times faster than existing 4G mobile connections and more than 100 times faster than 3G. Apple is reportedly set to wait until next year to launch a 5G model.

The new iPhones were also expected to be able to wirelessly charge other Apple gadgets, such as AirPods or the ‘smart’ Apple Watch.

However, the company reportedly pulled this ability at the last minute after experiencing difficulties. A similar issue occurred earlier this year when Apple pulled its promised AirPower wireless charging pad due to overheating issues.

September is often the time that consumers decide on whether to upgrade their smartphones as the Christmas shopping season looms.

The latest figures from the regulator Comreg show that Irish people spend an average of over four hours per day on their smartphone, messaging friends, reading news and watching video.

Apple also launched a new iPad with a slightly larger 10.2-inch screen. The new model comes with built-in support for an attachable keyboard and Apple’s ‘Pencil’ stylus.

The tablet is aimed at general users who are used to the way a smartphone works but want something closer to the size of a traditional computer that can also be used for light work, word processing and online functions.

And Apple also announced an updated Apple Watch Series 5 (€459) with an ‘always-on’ display, compass and SOS button. It cut the price of the Apple Watch Series 3 to €239.

Meanwhile, Apple has announced its TV Plus online rival service to Netflix will begin on November 1 and cost €5 per month, undercutting existing streaming competitors. The service will also be free for one year to anyone who buys an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

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