Apple today unveiled its much-anticipated iPhone 7, the latest version of its iconic phone.
“It’s the best iPhone that we have ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the launch event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
As the rumors had strongly suggested, the phone has no traditional headphone jack, a controversial change that Apple said took “courage” and was done to help make the most of the space inside the device. Apple will ship EarPods that can connect with the iPhone through the Lightning charging port, as well as an adaptor that will let headphones with a 3.5 mm audio jack connect to the new devices.
Apple also revealed futuristic-looking AirPods, a wireless version of the company’s white EarPods. Sporting microphones, the new AirPods can also be used to make phone calls, and are charged through a battery in their case. They’ll cost $159 and will be available next month.
The tech giant announced two versions of the phone: the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. In a first for Apple, the larger model has a dual-lens camera system. One of the cameras is wide-angle, and the other telephoto, so the device will be able to take photos that can be zoomed in optically by a factor of two. And, when shooting with the iPhone 7 Plus, a new “portrait” mode will be able to blur the background behind the subject.
The iPhone 7 will also be water- and dust-resistant, and come in new colors: black and jet black. It’s powered by an A10 "Fusion" chip, and has a stereo speaker system. Apple said that it has the longest-lasting battery life of any iPhone.
Changes were not limited to the device’s colors and headphone jack— there’s also a new Home button, which is “force sensitive” and gives feedback through what Apple calls a “taptic engine.”
Apple has also eliminated the lowest-tier storage option in the phones, so the storage options now include 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
The new devices begin at $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus and will be available for pre-order on Friday. The new phones will be available Sept. 16, and the latest version of the phone’s operating system, iOS 10, will be available Sept. 13.
iPhone sales declined in the first two quarters of the year, compared to the same quarters in 2015, and as such Apple hopes these new devices will reinvigorate a product line first introduced in 2007.
Apple also unveiled its new Apple Watch Series 2, which is swim-proof and features built-in GPS technology. It will be available made out of aluminum, stainless steel, and now a new material: ceramic.
In partnership with Nike, Apple also launched Apple Watch Nike+, which is specially designed for runners. Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Nike+ will be priced at $369. Apple Watch Series 2 will be available Sept. 16, with Apple Watch Nike+ available in mid-October.
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