Apple has unveiled its much-anticipated iPhone X, a redesigned product of glass and stainless steel with an edge-to-edge display that Apple chief executive Tim Cook called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
It features wireless charging, an infrared camera, and hardware for facial recognition, which will replace the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The home button found on previous iPhones is also gone, and users will instead tap the device to wake it up.
The iPhone X, and the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8-plus, include Apple’s first proprietary graphics processor, which provides greater speed, improved cameras and some features for augmented reality apps.
But in an embarrassing moment for Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi, the face ID unlocking did not work on his first attempt during the on-stage presentation. [Update: unbeknown to Federighi the phone had been restarted backstage, meaning, as is standard, it first required a passcode]
In a press release, Apple said the iPhone X, priced at £999, has a “gorgeous all-glass design with a beautiful 5.8-inch Super Retina display, A11 Bionic chip, wireless charging and an improved rear camera with dual optical image stabilisation. “iPhone X delivers an innovative and secure new way for customers to unlock, authenticate and pay using Face ID, enabled by the new TrueDepth camera,” it said.
Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer said: “For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display. The iPhone X is the realisation of that vision. With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionised the mobile phone with multi-touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone — one in which the device disappears into the experience.”
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing added: “iPhone X is the future of the smartphone. It is packed with incredible new technologies, like the innovative TrueDepth camera system, beautiful Super Retina display and super fast A11 Bionic chip with neural engine.
“iPhone X enables fluid new user experiences — from unlocking your iPhone with Face ID, to playing immersive AR games, to sharing Animoji in Messages — it is the beginning of the next ten years for iPhone.”
Apple also previewed ‘AirPower’, an Apple-designed wireless charging accessory coming in 2018, which offers an ‘active charging area’ that will allow iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X users to simultaneously charge up to three devices, including Apple Watch Series 3 and a new optional wireless charging case for AirPods.
It unveiled Watch Series 3, adding built-in cellular connectivity. It comes in two models, one with GPS and cellular, and one with GPS, both featuring a 70% faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip.
Cook opened the event at the Steve Jobs Auditorium on Apple’s new campus with a tribute to the company’s co-founder and former chief executive Jobs, who died in 2011.
The Apple building itself was considered to be Jobs’ final product, and Cook spent a few minutes speaking about the design, energy-saving features and public spaces at the new campus, including a flagship Apple Store.
The theater, never before open to the public, features an expansive glass-enclosed lobby, with two massive white stone staircases leading down to the auditorium. Inside, the decor is similar to that of Apple’s stores, with hard maple flooring and tan leather seats.
Alongside the iPhone X unveiling, Apple revealed the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, featuring a new glass and aluminum design in three colours, made from “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone”, with retina HD displays and an A11 Bionic chip.
It is, says Apple, “designed for the ultimate augmented reality experience”.
An upgraded Apple TV was also announced, which will support the high resolution 4K displays and will feature more programming options as Apple steps up efforts to cut content deals and produce its own shows.