Apple today conducted a jam-packed keynote for the first time in their new Steve Jobs Theater, a separate space on their new Apple Park Campus, slated to officially open later this year.
Apple announced new Apple Watches, new Apple TVs, and three new iPhones. Let's dive in.
Apple Watch: Series 3 with the biggest feature of cellular LTE built right in. That means you can answer phone calls and texts (even stream Apple Music) while being completely separated from your phone. The Apple Watch S3 still gives you all-day battery life, twice as fast performance, and is still at the nice price of $329 without LTE and $399 with it. Apple touted the Watch as the #1 watch in the world. Available September 22.
Apple TV: 4K finally comes to Apple TV, but that's not all - Apple TV now supports HDR. If you don't know what HDR is, go into a Best Buy and check it out. You won't believe the difference. The new Apple TV comes with a A10X Fusion chip to deliver twice as fast processing. In addition to 4K HDR movies on the iTunes store for the price of regular HD movies, all your HD movies now get upgraded to 4K+HDR for free. Live sports and news channels are coming later this year, with Apple Music and Homekit access built in right away. Available September 22.
iPhone 8/8+: The base iPhones got a big upgrade in a number of areas, and are going to be a fantastic new edition to the iPhone line. The 8 now features a glass front and back, a True Tone display (like the iPad Pros), new stereo speakers, a new A11 Bionic chip which is 70% faster than the iPhone 7, and an updated 12-megapixel camera with a slew of new features. New portrait modes and lighting effects, new 4K and Slo-Mo video upgrades, and new hardware inside the cameras designed specifically for Augmented Reality. Oh, and the glass back not only looks nice, but it let's you wirelessly charge the phone as well. Both models start at 64GB storage standard, and the 8 will be $699 and the 8+ $799. Available on September 22.
iPhone X: The brand-new flagship phone for Apple is now the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten). The screen is the biggest difference - it's edge-to-edge and fills up the entire front of the phone, minus a cutout at the top for the True Depth Camera System. The TDCS allows you to unlock you phone with your face. That's it. No fingerprint sensor on this phone - not even a home button. You swipe up from the bottom of the screen to return home. The screen is a 5.8" Super Retina OLED, the first OLED in an iPhone. This one is the premium, expensive model, starting at $999 for the 64GB model. Available November 3.
My Quick Thoughts: Apple Watch and Apple TV updates are wonderful, especially the HD content I've invested in on Apple TV now getting an auto-upgrade to 4K. If I'm a "regular" consumer and not a nerd, I go for the iPhone 8. It's a great upgrade for what you get. If you're nursing a old iPhone right now and need a new one, iPhone 8/8+ is the way to go. You get a great screen, new colors, and a phenomenal camera. For those that say "I'm getting the X," I'll say that demand for this phone, despite the price tag, will be incredibly high. You will be extremely lucky to get one by Christmas this year. Most of us will be waiting until March to get one.
Overall, a strong keynote from Apple in my opinion. Good to see that they're pushing the envelope a bit again.