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Apple iPhone 14, Watch Series 8 Launched At ‘Far Out’ Event

Shane Snider

Company announces its new phones, watches and earbuds upgrades in its annual fall product announcement.

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Apple’s Far Out event Wednesday delivered much-anticipated updates to its mobile lineup, including the new iPhone 14, new Series 8 watch including the new rugged Apple Watch Ultra, and the first update to its AirPods Pro earbuds in three years.

The Cupertino, Calif. tech powerhouse introduced the new iPhone 14 and Plus and Pro models, which pack more punch into the iPhone 13’s familiar design. The 14 will have a 6.1-inch screen, where the 14 Plus will have a larger 6.7-inch screen. The company is boasting better battery life and a better camera system with low light photography enhancements.

“People love iPhone and it’s become an important part of our daily lives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his pre-recorded presentation. The company is still flying high after delivering better-than-expected Q2 earnings results in July.

The iPhone 14 surprisingly sticks with Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset (the company has typically upgraded chipsets with each new iPhone line up). But the iPhone 14 Pro will use the new A16 chip with 16 billion transistors built on a 4-nanometer process - the fastest chip ever in a smartphone.

The iPhone 14 Pro will have a peak of 2,000 nits – the highest brightness of any current smartphone. The 14 Pro also uses a new adaptive “dynamic island” to provide background notifications without interfering with running apps. Screen sizes will be offered in 6.1- and 6.7-inch options. A new machine learning-enabled camera system advances the iPhone’s camera capabilities. The phone’s main camera can capture 48-megapixel RAW images – the largest and best resolution of any iPhone camera yet. The iPhone SE will start at $429, the iPhone 14 series will start at $799 and the iPhone 14 Pro will start at $999.

Cook called the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max “the most innovative pro lineup yet.”

The other big announcement was the company’s new Apple Watch lineup – the Series 8 with the all-new Apple Watch Ultra, a larger watch that marks the company’s entry into the rugged smartwatch category. The new watches feature better battery, slimmer bezel with edge-to-edge screen, new watch faces, increased water resistance and advanced health features.

The new watches also have advanced crash detection features that the company says will save lives. The watches use artificial intelligence to detect serious crashes and notify authorities and emergency contacts of a potential serious crash.

The company’s new Apple Watch Ultra is bigger and tougher than any of its previous releases. The Ultra ups the ante with up to 36 hours of battery life on a single charge in normal mode. In low power mode, the beefy watch gets up to 60 hours of battery life. It features new diving software capabilities that will give recreational divers some of the same dive computing normally reserved for professional divers.

Apple also introduced a new affordable SE watch option. The watches will start at $249 for the SE and $399 for the series 8 models. The Ultra is priced at $799 and is available to order now.

Apple’s AirPods earbuds are the dominant products in the personal audio space, so it wasn’t a surprise that the company would bolster its AirPods Pro offering. The new Pro earbuds will feature better battery life, better noise cancelling and enhanced touch controls.

The AirPods Pro feature a new low distortion audio driver and custom amplifier that allows users to hear more detail and clarity. Spatial audio allows a custom experience that allows personalization based on head size and ear shape.

The new wearables are available to order on Sept. 9 for $249 and will be available in stores on Sept. 23.

Jason Dettbarn, CEO and founder of Miami, Fla.-based Addigy, said he was looking forward to enhanced security offerings across its iOS applictions, saying today’s event “kicks off” expectations for improvements to iOS 16 for its personal computer lineup. “Apple is committed to an unmatched level of security for business,” Dettbarn said in an email to CRN. “We think this deep focus on security for businesses will ultimately lead to further rapid adoption in business.”

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Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at ssnider@thechannelcompany.com.

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