Apple rolls out new iPhone, AirPods and Watch at annual event


Apple is unveiling updated versions of its popular iPhone, AirPods and watch on Wednesday at a highly anticipated event streamed from its Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The Apple Watch Series 8, which starts at $400 or $500 with cellular service, comes with a larger screen and new health and safety features. Those include a temperature sensor in the watch that allows it to track ovulation and new motion sensors that can detect if the wearer has been in a car accident. In a crash, the watch can also automatically call a person’s emergency contacts, a potentially useful feature in crashes that involve a single vehicle. 

Executives emphasized that Apple Watch users’ body-temperature data will be encrypted, so that Apple won’t have access to it. 

Lady in front of Apple watch display

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The company also introduced an update of the cheaper Apple Watch SE, with many of the same features as the Apple Watch minus temperature-tracking, as well as a new watch aimed at serious athletes and outdoor explorers. The Apple Watch Ultra, which starts at $800, has a titanium case, large screen, one outside button, more accurate GPS and a built-in siren. It’s certified to the same depth as scuba-diving gear and has a longer battery life, at a claimed 36 hours according to Apple.

3 Apple Watch models
The newest Apple Watch, Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE.

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Apple updated its AirPods Pro and made them recyclable — an answer to critics who complained of the devices’ wastefulness. Apple said the latest model, which starts at about $250, has a longer battery life at up to six hours of play time, along with better noise cancellation, including automatic damping of intense environmental noise, such as construction sites.

The AirPods Pro now also allow users to locate a lost charging case, as well as a new extra-small ear tip.

Bigger phone screen, better camera

Apple rolled out bigger screens on the new iPhone — the iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen and the iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. The company said thte new phone has improved camera features, including autofocus on the front camera and better low-light performance with a larger aperture.

A new video feature, “Active Mode,” smooths out video shooting, reducing hand-shake during high-intensity events, according to Apple. The phone will also have enhanced image processing for still shots and video.

Apple iPhones
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

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The newest iPhone has the same crash-detection feature as the Apple Watch and a satellite-based SOS service. The service, which lets users call for help from areas without cell phone reception, will be free for the first two years.

The iPhone starts at $800, same as last year’s model, and will be available beginning September 16. The Plus starts at $900 and will be available October 7, executives said.

iPhone features
A display of features on the new iPhone 14 models.

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Industry watchers have questioned whether demand for Apple’s premium-priced products would wane, with inflation hovering near four-decade highs. Even before the pandemic when the economy was booming, people were balking at the substantial price tags for smartphones with upgrades that don’t win over owners of recent models. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.



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