"One more thing." With that phrase, Apple paid homage to its late co-founder Steve Jobs for the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone on Tuesday when it unveiled its latest — and almost certainly most expensive — new version of the device, the iPhone X.
CEO Tim Cook called it "the biggest leap forward" since the first iPhone. It loses the home button, which revolutionized smartphones when it launched; offers an edge-to-edge screen; and will use facial recognition to unlock the phone. It will start at $1,319 in Canada.
While Apple is continuing to update its existing, cheaper models, the new iPhone X — pronounced like the number 10 — will have a screen with higher resolution and "OLED" technology for richer colours.
It will also lose a distinct home button to make more room for the 5.8-inch display, which is slightly more than the Plus model's 5.5 inches. The features are similar to what Samsung offers.
Apple’s claiming a 1 in a million chance that a random person could look at your iPhone and unlock it with their face (but lower if related)— @mattbraga
The new design will enable new ways to interact with the phone. Instead of pressing the button to get the home page, you swipe up instead.
Apple is also offering the ability to unlock the phone with facial recognition rather than a fingerprint or passcode. Though some Android phones offer this, Apple is adding sensors to improve performance and says it worked with mask designers during testing to improve security. An executive initially failed to unlock the phone this way in a demo Tuesday, though.
The new phone, which is coming Nov. 3, will also permit animated emojis that mirror your facial movements and promises two more hours of battery life than what's in the current iPhone 7.
Such an iPhone has been widely anticipated for the iPhone's 10th anniversary and comes just weeks after Samsung unveils its own super-premium phone, the $1,299.99-and-up Galaxy Note 8.
Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 8 and a larger 8 Plus with upgrades to cameras, displays and speakers at an event in Cupertino, Calif.
The new phones promise to shoot pictures with better colours and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
The new iPhone 8 will keep its predecessor's size — 4.7 inches —— but have a higher starting price of $929. The 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus starts at $1059. The new phones come out Sept. 22.
Apple is bucking its traditional naming convention by calling the new phones iPhone 8 rather than 7S. The S designation might have given consumers the impression that the new phones are mere incremental updates from the current iPhone 7. That's especially so this year given that Apple is also expected to announce an anniversary edition with additional features and a higher price tag.
The Plus version will continue to have two camera lenses and now has the ability to optimize lighting as you shoot.
Both versions will allow wireless charging, a feature thought to be limited to the anniversary phone. Many Android phones, including Samsung's, already have this.
This is the first product event for Apple at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. Before getting to the new iPhone, the company unveiled a new Apple Watch model with cellular service and an updated version of its Apple TV streaming device.
The event opened in a darkened auditorium, with only the audience's phones gleaming like stars, along with a message that said "Welcome to Steve Jobs Theater." A voiceover from Jobs, Apple's co-founder who died in 2011, opened the event before CEO Tim Cook took stage.
"Not a day that goes by that we don't think about him," Cook said. "Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event. It's taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness."
The iPhone X costs twice what the original iPhone did. It sets a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
New Apple Watch
Apple is also coming out with a new smartwatch designed to be less dependent on the iPhone.
Apple Watch will still require a companion iPhone. However, a new model comes with cellular access, so it will be possible to do more — such as receiving messages — while the phone is at home. It will require a data plan.
"Now, you can go for a run with just your watch," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer and in charge of Watch development at the event Tuesday.
Since the original watch's debut in April 2015, Apple has been trying to enable more stand-alone features. Last year's model, for instance, introduced GPS capabilities, so that the watch can measure runs and bike rides more accurately without the iPhone nearby.
The new cellular model, called Series 3, will start at $519. One without cellular goes for $429. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $329. The new watch comes out Sept. 22.
A rival smartwatch from Samsung already has cellular options.
Existing Apple Watches will get a software update next Tuesday.
Apple is also adding more fitness features to the Watch, and says it is now the most used heartrate monitor in the world. Now, Apple Watch will notify users when it detects an elevated heart rate when they don't appear to be active. It'll also detect abnormal heart rhythms.
New Apple TV
Apple earlier unveiled a new version of its Apple TV streaming device that will be able to show video with sharper "4K" resolution and a colour-improvement technology called high-dynamic range, or HDR.
Many rival devices already offer 4K and HDR. But there's not a lot of video in 4K and HDR yet, nor are there many TVs that can display it. Apple TV doesn't have its own display and needs to be connected to a TV.
Apple TV app is coming to Canada, Australia and more this year. CraveTV, City, CBC, and more live Canadian content.— @journeydan
Apple said it's been working with movie studios to bring titles with 4K and HDR to its iTunes store. They will be sold at the same prices as high-definition video, which tends to be a few dollars more than standard-definition versions. Apple said it's working with Netflix and Amazon Prime to bring their 4K originals to Apple TV, too.
The new Apple TV device will cost $229 and ships on Sept. 22. A version without 4K will cost less.