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Apple unveils three new iPhones

It touts upgrades, offers $999 model with all-screen front

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Photographs by AP/MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ

Phil Schiller, Appleā€™s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announces features of the iPhone X on Tuesday at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif.

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- The crowd at Apple's new headquarters saw new smartphones -- including a premium version priced at $999 -- as the company commemorated its 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

Apple opened the event by playing an audio clip of Steve Jobs. Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said that it was fitting that Jobs opened the theater named after him, where the event was held.

"His greatest expression of his appreciation for humanity would not be a singular product, but rather it would be Apple itself," he said.

The bar is very high for Apple. Most of its revenue is generated through the smartphone. Cook promised that the company's new phones would make a splash by defining the future of the smartphone.

About midway through Apple's event, Apple's head of marketing, Phil Schiller, showed off the upgrades to the main iPhone line. Clad in an aluminum and glass skin that comes in black, gray and gold, the new devices are speedier with sharper screens and better battery efficiency. The phones will also accommodate wireless charging. Schiller said chargers will be made by third-party vendors and appear at partner coffee shops and retail stores, as well as in some new cars.

The new smartphones have revamped cameras that will use a feature called "portrait lighting" that will automatically optimize the lighting in photos. The cameras also have substantially improved slow-motion video recording.

Schiller also touted the smartphones' ability to do more in augmented reality -- which is expected to be a key area of growth for video games and other software apps. An app from Major League Baseball, for example, will display live stats over players when users look at the field through their iPhone screens.

Apple is bumping up the base storage of an iPhone 8 to 64 GB at a price of $699. The larger iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Both will be available for order on Friday and ship on Sept. 22.

After the iPhone 8 presentation, Cook retook the stage to offer, using Jobs' catchphrase, "one more thing" -- the iPhone X, which the company is pronouncing as "iPhone 10."

The phone, he said, was the "biggest leap since the original iPhone."

The iPhone X will start at $999 -- considerably more than the base price of previous models. It will be available for order on Oct. and ship on Nov. 3.

The iPhone X has an advanced array of cameras for facial recognition, which allows the phone to become unlocked just by looking at it. The cameras can learn a user's face and note gradual changes. And it can be used at night or day.

But Apple promised that it would not collect the data on all of those faces. The information would be kept only on the smartphone, not sent to Apple servers.

The facial recognition technology has other applications as well. Apple introduced "animoji" -- animated emoji that imitates your facial movements and lets you record animated messages through texts.

The new high-end smartphone has a 5.8-inch display that covers the entire front surface of the phone. Unlike its cheaper sibling, the iPhone X comes in gray and silver and sports what Apple calls its super retina display, which is a technology that offers higher pixel density than what has been common. Schiller said the display was much sharper than any other iPhone because it uses organic light-emitting diode display technology.

Notably, there also is no home button. Users must swipe and use gestures to close an app. Calling up Siri can now be done with a new side button.

The iPhone X boasts updated cameras as well, with the same features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as the capability to take better selfies. Battery life is two hours longer than the iPhone 7.

Like the new iPhone 8, the iPhone X can be charged wirelessly. Apple said next year, it will release a charger pad that can simultaneously recharge the iPhone 8, its new Apple Watch Series 3 and a new version of its earphones, called the AirPods.

Business on 09/13/2017

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