Pricy iPhone faces future

September 13, 2017 GMT

Ten years after the first iPhone was introduced, Apple announced the $1,000 iPhone X yesterday, saying the new flagship phone will set the course for technology over the next decade.

“This is a phone we’ve been dreaming about for a long time,” said Craig Federighi, an Apple exec­utive.

At the newly opened Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple’s new campus will open later this year, the company unveiled its vision of a phone that will have as much of an impact as the original iPhone that debuted in 2007.

The iPhone X features a screen that stretches to every corner, eliminating the black or white border. The edge-to-edge screen also means there is no room for a home button, an iconic innovation of the original iPhone that set it apart from many competitors at the time.

“Ten years later, it is only fitting that we are here, in this place, on this day, to reveal a product that will set the path for technology for the next decade,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said. “It is the biggest leap forward since the iPhone.”

Before introducing the products, Cook paid tribute to Jobs, the late former chief executive responsible for much of Apple’s prominence.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him,” Cook said. “Memories have especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event.”

Smartphones from Google and Samsung and a convergence of essential features have made iPhones far more of a commodity than when they were first introduced, but the iPhone’s history is also littered with technology that proved to be game-changing. Without the App Store, for example, companies like Uber may not exist. And even decisions that seemed widely unpopular, like removing the headphone jack, have been mimicked by many of Apple’s competitors.

The iPhone X will sell for $999, $350 more than the basic iPhone 7. It also includes an improved camera and battery life, and facial-recognition software that will be used instead of a fingerprint reader to unlock the phone. It also has a special depth-sensing camera that can be used for augmented reality, as well as wireless charging.

The price may raise eyebrows, experts said, but Apple has proven it can sell phones.

“Apple has repeatedly shown it can persuade consumers to spend more of their disposable income on their phones,” said Ian Fogg, an analyst with IHS Markit. “There isn’t really anything like this anywhere else on the market.”

Also yesterday, Apple announced two other phones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. These phones won’t have the dramatic redesign of the X, but will include wireless charging and improved cameras. The iPhone 8 starts at $699.

The company also showed off a new Apple TV box that can stream shows in 4K resolution, and a new edition of its smartwatch, adding a version with cellular connectivity that works without connecting to an iPhone. That means Apple Watch users can listen to music, get texts and even make phone calls without bringing their phone.