The Biggest Announcements from Apple’s Launch Event

September 18, 2018 - 3 minutes read

At this year’s Apple Launch event in Cupertino, California (about a 45-minute drive from San Francisco), there were more questions than Apple had answers for.

News surrounding iPhone X updates, the launch of iPhone XS and XR, and the Apple Watch were expected, but the company surprisingly had nothing to say about Macs, iPad Pros, and MacBooks.

iPhone X’s Lineup Grows

Apple added a 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch XS Max to the iPhone X family. The company removed the iPhone X in the process of launching the newer models. Both models will come equipped with a new A12 chip, OLED display, Dual-SIM functionality, and FaceID.

Neither of the new models had their front-facing camera taken away; in fact, Apple added more photography features to the models: better depth capture, Smart HDR, bokeh effects, and user-adjustable depth of field.

Another less expensive iPhone X phone was added to the lineup as well: the iPhone XR. With the display coming in at 6.1 inches, it’ll cost $749. Apple will take pre-orders starting October 19th, but Apple stores will stock the XR starting October 26th. Intended to replace the iPhone 8 Plus, it also replaced the physical home button for gesture controls and FaceID.

Pre-orders for the XS and XS Max opened September 14th, and the store will stock the phones starting September 21st in the U.S.

Battery Warranty

Part of the presentation, weirdly enough, was dedicated to Apple’s battery replacement costs for out-of-warranty batteries. The company will raise prices in 2019, starting January 1st.

Currently, replacing your battery costs $29. Battery prices were lowered temporarily after Apple faced public backlash for slowing down iPhones with older batteries to force customers to buy new batteries (or new phones). The new batteries will cost a whopping $69, so get yours replaced before the Christmas rush.

The New Apple Watch

Updates to the Apple Watch include a bigger screen, better speaker, ECG tracker approved by the FDA, and improved reception. Apple’s super proud of the ECG, and for good reason: it’s the first over-the-counter product offering an ECG feature. Although the device looks for signs of atrial fibrillation, some doctors are warning that the technology is still in its infancy.

No News on Other Products

The launch event seemed to be dedicated to only the smaller devices; MacBooks and iPads weren’t mentioned in the presentations. Some industry experts think that means Apple will have another press conference, this time covering the bigger devices and a newly-improved feature: Memojis in group FaceTime video calls. The conferences could also revolve around new macOS and iOS development.

What was your favorite announcement from this year’s Apple conference?

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