Apple has used the Roman numeral X to mark its latest treasure, a radically redesigned iPhone rammed with new features to celebrate 10 years of the device.
"The first iPhone revolutionised a decade of technology and changed the world in the process," said CEO Tim Cook, on stage at the Steve Jobs Theatre in its new futuristic Apple Park.
"Now 10 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 of technology for the next decade."
Yes, Apple events are a masterclass in marketing. The geeky and the glamorous cheek to cheek, united in excitement as the announcements roll. Sitting underground in the new theatre, it was clear to me that even several leaks in the run-up to this event hadn't dulled the buzz.
Gone are the bezels and borders on the new iPhone X, leaving a device that's nearly all display and a good one at that. Apple calls it a Super Retina Display. It's got OLED technology for better colour reproduction and True Tone technology that lets the screen change temperature based on the environment.
Gone is the home button, instead you just swipe from the bottom to launch the home screen.
No need to scan your fingerprint, there's now Face ID. It's enabled with something called a TrueDepth Camera system at the top of the display. IR camera, floor illuminator, dot project are all it the front camera section. It also works when the phone is flat and in the dark.
Face ID will also work with Apple Pay and third party apps, and there are plenty of fun uses. Animoji, a new iMessage feature is bound to be a big hit. Emojis, including monkeys and robots, can have animated expressions to mirror the iPhone users face.
All of this works thanks to a new chip A11 Bionic with a built in neural engine which processes facial recognition in real time. Apple promises that the chances of someone unlocking your phone with their face are are one in a million.
"This is the phone we've been dreaming about for a long time," said Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.
The phone's cameras have also been revamped. Dual 12MP cameras on iPhone X. f 1.8 and 2.4 apertures with added optical image stabilisation to both cameras this time and better quad-LED flash.
Oh, and the battery life lasts two hours more than the iPhone 7 and there's wireless charging.
The phone will cost an eye watering NZ$1799 (64GB) and $2099 (256GB) and ships November 3, with pre-orders taken on October 23rd.
For those to shell out the cash for the premium iPhone, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were also announced today and looked very appealing with many of the same features. They include:
- An all new design with glass in front and back
- Silver, space grey and a new gold finish
- Made from Aerospace-grade aluminium
- Most durable glass ever in a smartphone
- Water and dust resistant
- New Retina HD displays
- Wireless charging
- And that brand new chip, the A11 Bionic
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are priced at NZ$1249 and $1449 respectively. They go on sale September 22nd, with pre-orders starting on the15th.
The three new iPhones weren't the only products unveiled today.
"The Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world," said Tim Cook before handing over to Jeff Williams Apple's Chief Operating Officer, to reveal Apple's "vision from the very beginning".
Yes, Apple Watch 3 has cellular built in. Now you can just wear your watch without carrying your iPhone, thanks to an electronic sim that's built-in. There's just a rather large catch for Kiwi fans.The cellular version won't be available in New Zealand, only the GPS. Bah!
Also announced was an update to Apple TV with the main upgrade being 4K video streaming and support for HDR.
Both are available on the 22 with pre-orders on the 15.