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Apple launches a slew of new products
September 17, 2017, 3:07 pm

Apple last week launched a series of iPhones and announced major upgrades to Apple Watch and Apple TV.

The highlight of the launch event was the introduction of two new generations of mobile phones — iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and iPhone X — with enhancements in photography and device security in all models.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are built with a new glass back design and aluminum bezel. They feature the company’s powerful new A11 bionic chip which is touted to be 70 percent faster than the previous A10 chip.

The iPhone X (pronounced as iPhone Ten and not x as in xyz) features a bezel-less, all-glass design on both sides and a 5.8-inch Super Retina display. The phone, powered by the same A11 bionic chip as in iPhone 8, uses a facial recognition to authenticate users. The Face ID authentication system employs a TrueDepth camera system, as well as invisible infrared dots in the dark, to identify faces. Neural networks then create a mathematical formula to authenticate the identity of the user, allowing only the legitimate owner to unlock the device.

Together, the camera functionality and the powerful chip are also designed to provide a sophisticated augmented reality experience, with gyroscopes and accelerometers installed for accurate motion tracking.

With the new glass back design, all three phones can also be charged wirelessly using the Qi ecosystem.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will start at US$699, with 64-GB and 256-GB models available online or at the Apple store. The new iPhone X, powered by an A11 bionic chip, breaks the bank in terms of new security features and price point, starting at a hefty $999.

Analysts’ reaction to the launch was mixed, with some praising the new devices while others calling the new iPhone 8 models as merely evolutionary from current version. Also, the iPhone X, which is being described as the most powerful iPhone ever, fades when compared to almost any other Android flagship model.

It is hard to pick out a category where the new iPhones leads the pack. The so-called Super Retina display has a lower screen resolution than Samsung’s new flagships and OLED displays are already a regular feature on many Samsung and LG devices. Facial recognition is also a feature on several Samsung devices, wireless charging has become passé and even the ‘bezel-less’ design was popularized by Xiaomi with its Mi Mix last year.

Despite all these ‘late to market’ features, iPhones are still an aspirational brand and the new models can be expected to outsell other flagship models, at least in the lucrative American market. 

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