Apple iPhone 8 event: Tech giant makes final preparations for new devices

Apple’s online store is down ahead of the anticipated launch of the tech giant’s new iPhone 8 and iPhone X devices Tuesday.

“We’ll be back. We’re busy updating the Apple Store for you. Please check back soon,” explained a message posted on the Apple store Tuesday morning.

The iPhone maker’s store is always unavailable in the last few hours leading up to a product launch, as Apple prepares to unveil its latest offerings.

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Tuesday’s event, which is expected to mark the launch of three new iPhones, kicks off at 1 p.m. ET at the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The Steve Jobs Theater is located within the company’s innovative new Apple Park or ‘spaceship’ campus.

With the iPhone celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and after years of largely ‘incremental’ iPhone launches, Apple CEO Tim Cook is under pressure to unveil a headline-grabbing device at the event.

In addition to an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple is widely expected to launch a new high-end device, the iPhone X. “We believe Apple will extend its reach into the ultra-luxury smartphone market with the most expensive iPhone in the company's history (~$1,000), the iPhone ‘X’,” explained Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, in a note sent out on Monday.

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White believes that the iPhone X will offer the largest iPhone screen ever and the company’s first Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display. The iPhone X, he predicts, will have a 5.8-inch screen, larger than the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 7 Plus. “This event will also mark Apple's plunge into augmented reality (AR) with 3D sensing capability expected on the iPhone "X",” he added.

The iPhone X may also offer Face ID, a facial recognition feature that harnesses 3D sensing and infrared technology. White believes that Face ID will let users open their iPhone with their face in a secure manner and approve payments on Apple Pay.

Jackson Shaw, senior director of product management, at security specialist One Identity, agrees that Face ID will represent a good move for Apple. “Raising your iPhone to authenticate yourself is going to bring further legitimacy to biometrics-based authentication and true ease-of-use,” he said, in a statement emailed to Fox News. 

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Some reports suggest that the iPhone X could be priced as high as $1,400.

Citing a leak of final code for the iOS 11 operating system, 9to5Mac reported Saturday that Apple is planning to unveil three new iPhones at Tuesday’s event, which include the iPhone X.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers