The 2019 Apple event breakdown – new iPhone, entering the SVOD arms race and more
Apple released its 2019 slate of hardware and new products overnight – including a new iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad as well as launch dates for AppleTV+ and Apple Arcade.
The annual Apple event, held in the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s Cupertino campus in California, saw several hotly anticipated (and heavily leaked) unveilings.
The state of iPhone
Several notable omissions from this year’s iPhone lineup include 5G mobile functionality, a sub-display fingerprint reader and the removal of the notorious ‘notch’ – all of which analysts expect Apple to be saving for its 2020 suite instead.
The iPhone will be the only major device in the smartphone market released this year without 5G connectivity. The technology giant’s hesitation to include 5G this year almost certainly has something to do with its Qualcomm quarrel. In late June, Apple announced that it had finalised a purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem business, meaning it will be able to manufacture its own custom (and 5G ready, one assumes) iPhone modems by late 2020, according to reports.
The new iPhones
Of the highest significance were Apple’s 2019 smartphone players; three devices were introduced, the iPhone 11 (the immediate successor to the iPhone X line), the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
According to Tim Cook, the 2018 iPhone slate produced the most popular smartphone in the world – with the entire range drawing a 99% customer satisfaction rate, “the highest in the industry.”
On appearance, the iPhone 11 is essentially the same as its older brothers the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, apart from a third rear camera appearing on the latter two. All of the iPhones’ cameras are receiving serious upgrades, with front facing cameras now able capture slow-motion video and improved Apple-designed image processing across all three devices.
For the camera nerds among us, here’s the specification breakdown for the new iPhone cameras:
- iPhone 11: 26 mm lens at f/1.8 and 13 mm lens at f/2.4, and
- iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: 26 mm lens at f/1.8, 52 mm lens at f/2.0 and 13 mm lens at f/2.4.
The iPhone 11 will also arrive in an array of colourful pastel options, typical of Apple’s budget lineup.
The new iPhones will include Apple’s upgraded A13 chip and feature a new ‘Super Retina XDR’ display.
Apple encroaches on subscriptions space
Apple announced further details, including pricing and launch dates, for two of its new subscription offerings, one for video games and the other for movies and television.
AppleTV+, Apple’s entrant to the SVOD race, will see its worldwide launch on 1 November, starting at AU$7.99 per month for a family subscription. A free one-year trial subscription of AppleTV+ will also be complimentary with any purchase of an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
The service will launch with several high-profile names – including Jason Momoa, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon – leading exclusive Apple originals.
Apple Arcade, the video game subscription service including mobile, desktop and TV games, will launch on 19 September with a AU$7.99 family subscription price point. Apple revealed at the Cupertino event that more than 96 media companies and game studios have partnered with Apple Arcade, including Capcom, Konami, Cartoon Network and Sega.
Apple also revealed its Apple Watch Series 5, which – apart from software updates and a new ‘always on’ LTPO screen – is essentially a carbon copy of its predecessor, with a built-in compass.
The new model of Apple’s wearable will be available starting 20 September at AU$649. Apple will also be keeping its beloved Apple Watch Series 3 available, lowering the price point to AU$319.
Notably, the new Apple Watch and new seventh generation iPad will be made 100% from recycled aluminium – apart from the titanium versions of the Apple Watch.
As an adage to its new Apple Watch announcement, Apple also announced its launch of three new medical studies in partnership with several academic and health organisations. Little is known about the studies themselves, for the moment, but Apple plans to use health monitors in its Apple Watches – FDA approved ECG and heart rate monitors, decibel meter, gyroscope and accelerometer – to provide data points for each study.
The first study will be the ‘Apple hearing study’, analysing how daily sound exposure (measured through the Apple Watch) can impact long-term hearing health. For this study, Apple is working with the University of Michigan and the World Health Organisation.
Next is the ‘Apple women’s study’, looking at how menstrual cycles can inform screening for important conditions like infertility an osteoporosis. For this study, Apple is partnering with the NIH and Harvard School of Public Health.
The third is the ‘Apple heart and movement study’, for which Apple will partner with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to investigate how heart analysis from Apple Watch metrics can impact overall health.
Prospective participants will be able to enrol into the study via the ‘Apple Study’ app. Approved participants will be asked to perform tasks as part of the study and view their own data within the app. According to Apple, the company will not be able to access any personally identifying information as part of the study’s data.
- In-app data capture just got a lot harder – Apple WWDC highlights »
- Apple enters subscription video race with all-star content lineup »
- ‘Hey Siri, what are Marketing’s top four takeaways from this year’s WWDC?’ »
- Both Amazon and Google see advertising revenue rise – Amazon net falls short »
Image credit: Apple