Tim Cook opened the company’s September 12 product event with an emotional tribute to Steve Jobs in the newly opened theater named after the late co-founder of Apple. The event began with a presentation featuring a voiceover of Jobs, before Cook began by saying, “It was only fitting that Steve should open his theater. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him.” Noting Jobs’ 2011 death, and the opening of the theater at the company’s new campus, Cook added, “It’s taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness.” Cook also talked about new releases from Apple, including a new Apple Watch and Apple TV, and he is later expected to announce details for the new iPhone X.
Apple fans have something new and shiny to get excited about: the iPhone 8 and its bigger sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus.
At its annual press conference, the company unveiled the all-glass iPhone 8 devices, which are faster, sturdier and better at snapping photos.
Inside is an A11 “bionic chip” and an improved camera sensor. There are new camera modes, including an expanded Portrait Mode that lets you change lighting effects after you take the shot.
The smartphones, which come with an aluminum band around the edges, will be available in three colors: space gray, gold and silver.
Apple also announced a new cellular Apple Watch, which CEO Tim Cook called the device the best-selling watch in the world.
The waterproof Apple Watch has an even greater focus on fitness and health. For example, it flags users when it detects an elevated pulse.
The device was the first product unveiled inside the circular Steve Jobs Theater, part of Apple’s brand new multi-billion campus in Cupertino, California.
The company was expected to announce three new iPhones, including a special high-end version that could cost upwards of $1,000.
The event opened with a short inspirational video with featured audio by late Apple founder Steve Jobs.
“It seems only fitting that Steve should open his theater,” Cook told attendees. “Steve meant so much to me and so much to all of us. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him. Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event.”
The event comes a little more than ten years after Steve Jobs unveiled the very first iPhone on stage in San Francisco. That small rectangle has been responsible for making Apple one of the largest companies in the world. Now, the iPhone accounts for nearly 70% of Apple’s revenue. Customers and investors have been waiting for a big iPhone upgrade, which Cook even blamed for slower than usual iPhone sales last year.
The press conference is the first time Apple has held a large event at its new “spaceship” campus, which is expected to be completed later this year.
Let’s take a closer look at the new products:
New Apple Watch Series 3
The new Apple Watch Series 3 comes with a built-in cellular connection, so it no longer needs an iPhone nearby for most tasks.
You can answer calls, receive text messages, use Siri, check maps and use third-party apps over cellular connections. Starting in October, it will also be able to stream music to ear pods over cellular. To demonstrate the watch’s new powers, Apple conducted a live phone call from stage with a person on a paddle board in the middle of a lake.
Siri can finally talk back on the new watch, thanks to a new dual-core processor. Also included is a barometric altimeter, which tracks activity like stair climbing, skiing and snowboarding.
Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 3. The new smartwatch comes with cellular connectivity, meaning that users can make calls and send messages, even when they are far away from an iPhone. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are 50 percent more efficient, to help save on battery life. Apple also revealed Watch OS 4, which features improvements to the heart rate monitoring app. Orders for the Apple Watch Series 3 begin September 15. The smartwatch is priced at $399. Tim Cook also revealed that Apple Watch is now the No. 1 watch in the world.
The company has bigger dreams for the watch than workouts and wrist calls. It’s launching an Apple Heart Study later this year that will be able to detect early signs of atrial fibrillation, one of the leading causes of stroke.
The watch will cost $329 without cellular, and $399 with celluar. It works with all four major carriers in the U.S., though Apple did not mention details on plan pricing. The watch will be available September 22.
Apple TV 4K
The company also teased a new Apple TV ($149) with support for 4K video streaming and a revamped the user interface. Its graphics are four times as fast, according to Apple.
Apple said it is working with studios and streaming companies like Netflix to add more 4K content. It will also launch on September 22.