Four new iPhones and three new Apple Watches – including a new Apple Watch Pro line – are expected to be revealed during Apple’s (AAPL) anticipated September event.
Eric Jhonsa, Real Money’s tech columnist, will be live-blogging Apple’s event, which is set to start at 1 P.M. Eastern Time, and providing some commentary about Apple’s product reveals afterwards.
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3:15 PM ET: On a big-picture level, it's notable just how many features Apple (though keeping its Pro iPhone pricing unchanged) is now reserving for its Pro iPhone models. The A16 Bionic, always-on display, dynamic islands and the 48MP rear main camera will all only be found on the Pro/Pro Max.
In a year when high-end smartphone demand has been holding up much better than low-end/mid-range phone demand, it's pretty clear Apple is looking to drive a greater mix shift towards Pro iPhone models (and by doing so, increase its iPhone ASP). And between the various improvements the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max deliver, this bet might pay off.
At the same time, effectively upsizing the standard iPhone line (going from 5.4" and 6.1" displays to 6.1" and 6.7"), while keeping pricing unchanged, might be enough to yield reasonably healthy iPhone 14/14 Plus demand, in spite of the phones' use of the A15 Bionic instead of the A16. The camera improvements won't hurt either.
The iPhone still accounts for a little over half of Apple's annual revenue, so the reception given to the iPhone 14 line easily matters more to Apple's stock than that given to the new Watches and AirPods. And on the whole, the upgrades delivered by the newest iPhones seem enough for Apple to add to its recent smartphone share gains.
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2:57 PM ET: Apple's stock is up 0.9% right now, amid a 2.2% gain for the Nasdaq. A few things from Apple's product reveals that stood out:
- Somewhat more aggressive Watch pricing than expected (the SE starts at $249, and all Ultra models go for $799). With still a lot of room to increase Watch penetration within its iPhone base, volume growth appears to be taking priority over margins.
- The hardware/audio-experience improvements delivered by the new AirPods Pro. They really drive home Apple's expertise in miniaturized computing (also seen in the Watch's hardware).
- The UI changes delivered by the iPhone 14 Pro (dynamic islands and the always-on display). Both should make it easier for users to see info at a glance. Always-on displays have of course been present on Android phones for a while, but it does look like Apple put some thought into how its implementation can show a lot of content while minimizing battery drain.
- iPhone 14 camera improvements, particularly for the Pro models. Assuming they're as good as advertised, the low-light improvements should especially be well-received. Cameras have long been a major driver for phone upgrades, and Apple (being well-aware of this) continues investing a lot in delivering top-flight camera experiences.
2:35 PM ET: Tim Cook makes some closing remarks praising Apple's new offerings. And with that, the event comes to an end.
2:33 PM ET: The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999, and the Pro Max at $1099 (same as their predecessors). They'll be available on 9/16. The standard iPhone 13 is being kept around at lower prices.
2:27 PM ET: The iPhone 14 Pro line at a glance:
2:26 PM ET: Apple is making improved low-light camera performance a big selling point for its new iPhones.
2:24 PM ET: New image-processing features enable 2x telephoto zoom using the main sensor. Apple also says professionals can now shoot ProRAW images at 48MP.
The 12MP ultra-wide camera also features a new/larger sensor. Apple promises up to a 3x improvement in low-light performance.
2:21 PM ET: With the help of a revamped Neural Engine, the A16 is said to support 16T neural operations per second.
The main rear camera (as expected) now supports 48MP images, aided by a sensor that's said to be 65% larger than the sensor for the iPhone 13 Pro's main camera.
2:17 PM ET: Like their predecessors, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max feature 6.1" and 6.7" displays. Peak display brightness has been upped to 2000 nits and (in line with rumors) always-on display support has been added.
The phones are powered by the A16 Bionic SoC, which uses a 4nm manufacturing process (presumably TSMC's) and contains 16B transistors.
2:13 PM ET: The dynamic island can be used by third-party developers to do things such as track sports scores or a Lyft ride without leaving another app.
2:11 PM ET: Now onto the iPhone 14 Pro. As expected, the notch has been replaced with a small cutout for the front camera/Face ID sensors. Notifications are shared on a "dynamic island" surrounding the cutout.
2:09 PM ET: The 6.1" iPhone 14 starts at $699, with the 6.7" 14 Plus starting at $799. The former is available on 9/16, and the latter on 10/7.
Apple also says its Fitness+ service will become available soon to iPhone users who don't own an Apple Watch, and that it will offer up to $800 for trade-ins.
2:06 PM ET: Apple says satellite connectivity is included free for 2 years with iPhone 14 and supports integration with the Find My app (to let loved ones know about one's location when in remote areas). The feature launches in November.
2:04 PM ET: As rumored, satellite connectivity has been added. However, it's only for emergency SOS support for now. Apple says it built a feature into new iPhones that help users point their phones in the right direction to get a satellite connection.
2:00 PM ET: The new iPhones won't feature physical SIM cards in the U.S. and will rely solely on eSIMs.
Also new: Improved accelerometers/gyroscopes that enable crash-detection.
1:57 PM ET: A new image-processing system (called the Photonic Engine) is said to drive 2-2.5x increases in low-light performance. The cameras are also said to provide better video stabilization.
1:54 PM ET: The main rear camera has a larger 12MP sensor. Apple claims a 49% improvement in low-light capture.
The front camera also has been revamped, with autofocus added for the first time. It's said to improve low-light capture by 38%.
1:51 PM ET: Now onto the main event. New standard iPhones are revealed. As rumored, they come in 6.1" and 6.7" models, and will be powered by the A15 Bionic SoC (used in last year's iPhones). The display supports 1200 nits of brightness.
1:49 PM ET: The new AirPods Pro cost $249 (same as their predecessor), and will be available on 9/23.
1:47 PM ET: Swipe controls are supported, and battery life is said to be improved to 6 hours (up 33%). The headphones also support a wider array of chargers.
1:45 PM ET: There's a personalized spatial audio feature, along with improved noise-cancellation (it's said to cancel up to 2x as much noise as the original AirPods Pro). There's also now an extra-small eartip option, and an "adaptive transparency" feature that deals with harsh background noise.
1:43 PM ET: New AirPods Pro headphones are revealed. They're powered by a new SoC (the H2) and feature a new audio driver and custom amp.
1:40 PM ET: Apple runs a video in which the Ultra is called "an essential tool for essentially anything." The stock hasn't moved much yet during the event: Shares are up 0.4%.
1:37 PM ET: All Watch Ultra models cost $799. Like other new Watch models, it'll be available on 9/16.
1:35 PM ET: A video runs showing an app from Huish Outdoors that turns the Watch Ultra into a dive computer when going scuba-diving.
1:32 PM ET: There's also a redesigned Compass app with Action Button integration. And the Action Button can emit a siren call. Water-resistance is said to be twice that of the standard Watch.
1:29 PM ET: The Ultra features a titanium case and an "Action Button." It also supports new bands meant for rugged environments and improved GPS performance (aided by support for the L5 GPS band).
1:27 PM ET: Now onto the new high-end Apple Watch. It's called the Ultra rather than the Pro. Williams suggests it was built with active outdoors types in mind. As rumored, it's bigger than the standard Watch, and it's said to provide 36 hours of battery life. All models come with a cellular modem.
1:23 PM ET: Notably, the new SE starts at $249 ($30 cheaper than its predecessor), with cellular models starting at $299.
1:22 PM ET: Now onto the new Apple Watch SE. The low-cost Watch is said to also support crash-detection and be 20% faster than the prior-gen SE. There's also a Family Setup feature for families with multiple Watch owners.
1:20 PM ET: The Watch Series 8 will start at $399 (same as the Series 7), with the cellular models starting at $499. It'll be available on Sep. 16.
1:17 PM ET: The Series 8 is said to have 18-hour battery life in normal mode. It also adds a low-power mode said to deliver 36 hours by disabling features such as the always-on display and workout tracking.
Also new: Support for international roaming on both new and older Watch models.
1:15 PM ET: The Series 8 also has a car-crash detection feature (made possible by new/improved sensors) that automatically notifies emergency services/contacts when a crash happens.
1:12 PM ET: Apple also says the Series 8 can track cycle deviations that can be a sign of health problems.
1:10 PM ET: The Apple Watch Series 8 is unveiled. It's said to have new Watch faces, a temperature sensor and (with the help of the temperature sensor) the ability to track ovulation.
1:05 PM ET: It looks like the Watch announcements will come first. A video runs featuring testimonials from people who were saved by the Watch's health/safety features.
1:02 PM ET: Apple's event has started. It kicks off with an image of the Earth (with a satellite orbiting), and then zooms in to the Apple campus. Then Tim Cook starts talking.
Cook says (in line with rumors) the event will feature iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods announcements.
12:56 PM ET: The new Pro iPhones are expected to get a new processor (likely called the A16 Bionic), an always-on display and a 48MP wide-angle rear camera.
There have also been some rumors (heightened by Apple's use of space imagery and the words "Far Out" in the event invite) that the new iPhones will support satellite connectivity.
12:51 PM ET: Apple is expected to reveal 4 new iPhones -- two standard models and two Pro models -- with both the standard and Pro lines rumored to feature phones with 6.1" and 6.7" displays.
3 new Apple Watches are expected -- a low-cost SE line, a standard line with new health features and a new Pro line featuring larger displays and batteries.
12:47 PM ET: Hi, this is Eric Jhonsa. I'll be live-blogging Apple's September event, and then providing some initial thoughts on what was announced.