With a video assist from Octavia Spencer, Apple execs introduced the iPhone 15, an update of their flagship product featuring improved battery life and processing power as well as a new kind of charging cord.
The tech giant rolled out the device during an annual fall product event (this year dubbed “Wonderlust”) held at its Cupertino, CA headquarters and featuring a series of green-screen-enabled video segments. Along with touting the four new iPhone models, the 90-minute event also raised the curtain on a new version of AirPods Pro as well as Series 9 of the Apple smart watch and a number of related new features.
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“Today we’re pushing what people love about the iPhone even further,” CEO Tim Cook said, adding that the 15 offers features that “will make a real difference in people’s lives.”
The new phone, which comes in two base models and two higher Pro ones, will be available for pre-order next week, starting at $799 and topping out at $1,199 for the largest Pro ($100 more than the 14 Pro).
In the most recent quarter ending June 30, which is typically weaker for iPhone, the device accounted for $39.7 billion in revenue, nearly half of the company’s total but below expectations and off 2% from the year-ago period.
The 15 is the first version of the iPhone not to have the Lightning charger, which has been in use since 2012. The handsets use USB-C chargers, which are common across all consumer electronics, including Android phones. (To help bridge the gap, Apple is offering a $29 Lightning-to-USB-C dongle.)
A more robust battery will provide 20 hours of video playback in the base model 15, a significant jump from the 16 hours on the entry-level iPhone 14.
On the Pro, a new and beefed-up A17 processor will give a boost to mobile gaming, with longtime console-only titles like Assassin’s Creed and Resident Evil Village being available for the first time on a mobile device.
The new watch offers a gesture control called “double tap,” which responds to users tapping their index figure and thumb together twice to start and end calls and perform other actions.
In a wry video bit shown during the event, Spencer played Mother Nature. She is shown quizzing Cook and other Apple executives about the company’s carbon footprint, renewable energy projects and commitment to reduce emissions. One example is Fine Woven, a new textile from recycled materials that will replace leather in Series 9 watch bands — the company’s first carbon-neutral product.
“By 2030, all of Apples devices will have net-zero climate impact,” Cook promised.
“Okay, good, see you next year. Don’t disappoint your Mother.”
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