Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Apple unveils premium iPhone XS, health features for watch

Apple unveils premium iPhone XS, health features for watch

Apple's event last night saw the arrival of three new iPhones and an upgraded version of the Apple Watch.

Apple has just announced the new iPhone XS and its bigger brother XS Max.

And Apple didn't stop at one iPhone this year: you'll have to choose between the Xs, the Xs Max (the Xs' bigger brother) and the confusingly named iPhone XR - a cheaper option if you don't fancy dipping into your rainy-day fund.

On Twitter, Apple fans are simultaneously hailing the sleek new products and dragging the company for its name choice.

"Overall, this is going to be a very good year for Apple". Apple has been successful with this type of delayed technology roll-out before: when Apple made iPhones water resistant, it had a significant effect on the position of the company in Japan, as Dual-SIM is another key feature for Japanese users.

With the launch of the iPhone XS, Apple is no longer selling the iPhone X in the UK.

The device is powered by A12 Bionic SoC which has a hexa-core CPU, quad-core GPU, and a neural engine, and will deliver 15% faster application processing than last year's A11 chip.

The home button is gone, but the screen acts much like the X's, with Face ID and swiping to go home.

This is why eSIM support in the iPhone XS and XS Max is so significant. It's certainly cheaper than the $999 iPhone XS, and since it starts at $749, it's certainly nice to see Apple releasing phones that don't cost $1000. And it says a lot about our era of digital binging that Apple will probably sell them like hot cakes.

Apple will reveal an iPhone model known as the XR, which is a rare "budget" offering by Apple.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 features sensors that can detect when wearers suffer a heavy fall as well as alert them if it clocks abnormal heart rates.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will go on sale in Hong Kong on September 21, starting at HK$3,199 for the 40mm and HK$3,399 for the 44mm.

"Apple Watch has now become an intelligent guardian for your health", said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

"This is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers", Williams said.

It is positioning the new watch as a more comprehensive health device, able to take an electrocardiogram to detect an irregular heartbeat and start an emergency call automatically if it detects a user falling down, potentially appealing to older customers.

"In addition, eSIMs provide operators with an opportunity to add multiple devices to subscriber contracts, on a global scale, creating valuable new revenue streams". It also means developers might have a harder time taking advantage of those features if Apple decides to remove any more.

Actually, this is Apple's priciest iPhone yet.

"Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones", the firm said. "Or something else entirely?" (For a while, we used the icky word "phablet"- for part-phone part-tablet - to describe them.) But now Apple's largest bests even Samsung's Note 9, which measures 6.4 inches.

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