Jae C. Hong / AP
SAN RAMON, Calif .– Apple has unveiled its next line of iPhones, including a model that offers twice the storage available in earlier versions and other modest upgrades from last year’s editions that proved to be be a big hit among consumers devouring the latest technology during the pandemic.
The pre-recorded video event that aired Tuesday gave Apple a neat story after a few hectic weeks. Recent issues have included a hastily patched security vulnerability that could allow hackers to covertly take control of iPhones and other Apple devices; a backlash to the company’s plans to scan iPhones for images of child sexual abuse and a federal judge’s ruling that further deepened the competitive barrier Apple has built around its store apps, which generates billions of dollars in profits every year.
As has been the case since the late Apple co-founder unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, Apple executives have reverently spoken of the latest model, although it is not drastically different from the version. released by Apple almost a year ago.
Like last year’s model, the new iPhone 13 will come in four different models, with prices ranging from $ 700 to $ 1,100. They should be in stores on September 24.
“It’s a gradual upgrade,” said Tuong Nguyen, analyst at Gartner. “Some of the new features are impressive, but most of them are not noticeable or practical for most users.”
Perhaps the most notable change in the latest high-end iPhone 13 will be an option for a full terabyte of storage – that’s 1,000 gigabytes – on the device, down from its previous maximum of 512 gigabytes. That’s enough storage to hold about 250,000 photos, or about 500 hours of high definition video.
Better video and 5G networks require more storage
Having a massive amount of storage could become more important to many consumers with the advent of ultra-high definition video and lightning-fast 5G wireless networks that will make downloading content faster and easier, Nguyen said.
Apple also promises better cameras on the iPhone 13, including an improved ultra-wide lens, cinema-like video capability, and technology for better nighttime images. (The latter reflects a feature that Google has long offered in its Pixel line of phones, which haven’t yet been big sellers.) As usual, the latest iPhones are also said to have longer lasting batteries.
“We continue to make the iPhone more capable,” boasted Apple CEO Tim Cook.
These types of incremental upgrades have become routine for Apple and other device makers in recent years as the pace of smartphone innovation has slowed, even as some phones have prices topping $ 1,000. . This trend has prompted more and more consumers to keep their old smartphones for longer.
But last year’s iPhone 12 release sparked one of Apple’s biggest sales spikes since 2014, perhaps because the pandemic has helped people confined to the house realize that ‘It was time to get a newer and better model than the one they were using. In the first six months of this year, Apple’s iPhone sales increased nearly 60% compared to the same period last year.
This boom recently helped push Apple’s stock price near all-time highs, giving the company a market value of around $ 2.5 trillion – more than double what it was before it started. pandemic 18 months ago.
Apple shares fell 1% on Tuesday, a sign that investors weren’t excited about what they were seeing in the new iPhones.
While the iPhone is still Apple’s biggest money maker by far, the company has tried to supplement its success with peripheral products like its smartwatch. The Cupertino, California-based company took advantage of Tuesday’s showcase to preview its upcoming Apple Watch, which will feature a thinner, more rounded and brighter screen.