Smartphone behemoth Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched on Wednesday its new batch of three much-awaited iPhones and an upgraded Apple Watch that will monitor workouts and the hearts of its users in time for the holiday shopping season.
With a 'Mission Impossible' theme song playing in the background, a woman dashes across the Cupertino, California, campus of Apple to the theater to deliver the suitcase to Apple chief executive Tim Cook backstage, who then walked out for the presentation.
The top-of-the-line phones are the iPhone Xs, with a 5.8 inch screen, the iPhone Xs Max with a massive 6.5 inch screen, and the iPhone Xr with a 6.1 inch display. The iPhone Xs will retail for US$999, the iPhone Xs Max will sell for us$1,099 and the iPhone Xr will retail for US$749.
"It is our best lineup by far," Cook said of the new smartphones, which will be on sale in time for the Christmas and year-end holidays.
The first two phones have a gold finish on the front and the glass, which could be particularly attractive to Asian customers since the estimated 2.5 billion people in China and India are the biggest consumers of gold in the world.
All of the phones will be powered by an A12 bionic chip, the first 7-nanometer chip which can zip through 5 trillion operations per second, dwarfing the previous year's A11 bionic which could only process 600 billion operations per second. The A12 also has machine learning capabilities seen in artificial intelligence.
All of the phones will come with longer battery life, a sore point for Apple users who complain their batteries run out of power quickly.
What the stronger computer chip means, says Apple, is that you can store up to 200,000 photos in the new devices.
David Lee of Nex Team and former NBA basketball star Steve Nash said they could now run real-time shot science, a basketball app that can measure things like leg angle, release angle, shot type, and release time among others that could be used to train players by scientifically analyzing their shots.
Atli Mar of Directive Games demonstrated how the high-performance qualities of the new iPhones could play interactive, immersive games.
The company also introduced an Apple Watch, called the Series 4, in which consumers can take their own electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor the health of their heart and protect them from irregular heartbeats.
American Heart Association president Ivor Benjamin called the innovation "game-changing" because it would boost the detection of possible atrial fibrillation or Afib, an irregular rapid heart rate that could indicate problems with the heart.
The new watch has received FDA approval. The ECG data on one's heart rhythm can be shared with one's physician, Apple said. The company said it would take just 30 seconds to take an ECG.
Benjamin said in the presentation capturing "meaningful data" will be vital for their patients. The Series 4 watch will retail for US$499.
Hundreds of people lined up to enter the Steve Jobs Theater at the company's flying saucer-shaped campus in Cupertino, California. The theater was named after the late iconic chief executive of the company, which recently became the first US company to have a value north of US$1 trillion.
The event is being livestreamed like the Oscars, Grammy awards and Olympics, with all the hype and buzz reserved for rock musicians, star athletes and A-list movie stars.
Apple also announced initiatives to reduce its consumption of materials such as tin to reduce their environmental impact in the world and become a green company.