Today, Apple made a number of announcements at its yearly press event, including a new gaming service called Apple Arcade, the launch date and price of its Apple tv+ streaming service, upgrades to its iPad and Apple watch devices, as well as the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The event began with the announcement of Apple’s new Arcade service, a subscription-based service for the App Store, which allows users to download unlimited games of a variety of genres for a monthly fee. The service launches with a number of games from partners such as Konami and Capcom, including an updated version of the classic game Frogger called Frogger in Toy Town, a side-scrolling action-adventure game about navigating underwater caves called Into the Depths, and Sayonara Wild Hearts, a rhythm-based racing game described as a “playable music video.” The service launches on September 19th in over 150 countries, and will cost $4.99 per month for a family subscription, including a 1-month free trial.
Next, Apple discussed Apple tv+, a streaming video service meant to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime video. The service will feature exclusive television programs such as For All Mankind, Dickinson, and the Morning Show, and a drama film starring Jason Mamoa about a distant future in which human beings have lost the ability of vision, called “See.” Apple tv+ will launch on November 1st, and like Apple Arcade, will cost $4.99 per month, and any purchase of a new iMac, Apple TV, or iPhone will include a year of the service for free.
Apple transitioned into focusing on their hardware releases, starting with the new 7th generation iPad. This upgrade includes a larger and higher-resolution 10.2” display and an upgraded chipset. Additionally, the new iPad is compatible with an optional case accessory that includes a full-sized keyboard, introducing much of the functionality of a laptop. The new iPad also supports software improvements, including improvements to multitasking, a floating keyboard, and compatibility with accessories like SD cards and thumbdrives. The Apple Pencil also sees added functionality, such as a streamlined ability to annotate screenshots. Apple touted accomplishments in more environmentally-friendly manufacturing, and announced the base model iPad would cost $329.
Next, Apple discussed the Apple watch. The company shared a video featuring stories of the Apple Watch’s lifesaving EKG capabilities, which alerts users to health emergencies and can automatically call emergency services in the event of a fall. Additionally, the company discussed the ways in which collecting data about users’ health contributes to research in fields such as cardiovascular fitness, hearing damage, and women’s health. Apple watch users can opt-in to share their health data with these research programs if they’d like to help improve the field of medical science.
The company then introduced the next generation of the Apple Watch, the series 5. The new version of the product features an always-on display, leveraging advancements in power-saving technology to maintain an 18-hour battery life. Additionally, the new watch includes a built-in compass and improvements to its safety features, such as international emergency calling. The new watch cases are made of 100% recycled aluminum, and other options for materials include stainless steel, ceramic, and titanium, and a variety of watch straps. The company again touted its environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, and announced the base series 5 model will cost $399, whereas the price of the series 3 watch was dropped to $199.
Then, Apple discussed the newest addition to its flagship line of products, the iPhone. The newest iPhone, the iPhone 11, features an improved camera and comes in a variety of colors. Apple claims that the all-glass construction is the strongest glass in the industry. The phone’s two-camera design features a main lens and an ultra-wide lens, and leverages software improvements for enhanced image processing, including more accurate depth-of-field simulation and better pictures in low-light environments. Additionally, users can take advantage of 4K video capabilities at 60 frames per second, image stabilization, and high dynamic range. The phone also includes an improved front-facing camera, with a wider depth of field and higher resolution.
Afterwards, the company discussed the improvements to its processor, called the A13 chip, which it claims is the fastest CPU ever in a smartphone. The company also showcased its new GPU, offering console-quality graphics, with an adventure game developed by a third-party called Pascal’s Wager. Apple also announced improvements to the new iPhone’s battery life and touted the device’s durability and water-resistance. The iPhone 11 will be offered at a base price of $699, following a trend of reduced prices for their products throughout the presentation.
The company also announced the iPhone 11 Pro, which it described as a product for power users and professionals. The device is constructed from durable stainless steel, and features an additional third camera on the rear. The iPhone 11 Pro comes in two sizes, and features a high-resolution OLED panel, which it calls the Super Retina XDR display. The phone’s chipset is called the A13 Bionic, is capable of 1 trillion operations per second, and features hardware specifically designed for machine learning and power efficiency.
The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max features a battery life 4 and 5 hours longer than the previous model devices, respectively. The device’s third camera, with a telephoto lens. enables what Apple calls professional-grade photography by introducing 4x optical zoom, and showcased photographs taken by professional photographers on the iPhone 11 Pro. The new phone includes a technology which Apple calls Deep Fusion, which combines nine pictures taken in quick succession using a neural engine to produce a higher-quality result. Additionally, Apple showcased video taken by a professional cinematographer with the device to emphasize its 4k, 60 frames per second video recording capability, and showcased the wide selection of photography and videography apps available for the device.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost $999 and $1099, respectively, and will be available starting on September 20th. Apple concluded by discussing changes to its Apple retail locations, including a greater number of customization options for the Apple watch, the Apple Trade In option for device upgrades, and a redesign of the company’s 5th avenue location in New York City.
Overall, the presentation represented a renewed effort by the company to present more affordable devices while responding to some of the criticisms of the previous generation of products. Throughout the event, Apple emphasized their commitment to environmentally-friendly business practices, and focused mainly on improvements to camera quality, battery life, and durability. While all of Apple’s announcements today represent a clear improvement of their device line up, the program offered few surprises, and no major launches of new product categories, with no mention whatsoever of the company’s desktop and laptop offerings. However, consumers are likely to respond positively to the products announced today, as the improved performance and reduced price of the overall lineup will be hard for competitors to beat.