Apple's annual product roll-out has served up a refresh for the Phone and iPad, a fifth-generation Apple Watch and a November 12 launch for the Apple TV+ streaming video service, which will cost A$7.99 per month with a full year free bundled into the purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac.
Here's the rundown on a product-by-product basis.
Apple bets on cameras, new Pro model
Apple's 2019 iPhone range relies on camera enhancements and improved battery life as incremental tweaks to lure buyers ahead of a more substantial overhaul of its handsets in 2020 which is expected to include a new design, 5G connectivity, and 3D cameras for enhanced augmented reality apps.
Many of the new iPhone features were widely expected, including upgraded camera capabilities, better water-resistance and improved Face ID unlocking technology.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone Pro Max are successors to the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max lines. They look similar from the front and continue to have the more advanced organic light-emitting diode screens on the high-end models, and a liquid crystal display on the regular iPhone 11.
The new models will distinguish themselves from their predecessors with new colors and finishes as well as new photo capabilities that rival traditional cameras.
The iPhone 11 adds a second camera on the back for improved Portrait Mode, wide-angle shots, and deeper zoom without a reduction in clarity. The iPhone Pro and Pro Max gain a third back camera with new video and photo software. The phones also add Night Mode for improved pictures in the dark – a feature which Google has had on its Pixel phones for some time.
The front cameras on the new iPhones now are 12 megapixel and support wide-angle, 4K, and slow-motion image capture.
In addition to the camera features, the iPhone 11 series boosts battery life across the range. The iPhone 11 Pro will last four hours longer than the iPhone XS. The iPhone 11 Pro Max will last five hours more, while a new 18 watt charger to charge the devices more quickly.
The iPhone 11 will come in green, purple, black, white, and red, while the iPhone Pro and Pro Max will come in space grey, silver, gold, and a new green color, Apple said.
The iPhone 11 will start at $1199, with the iPhone Pro priced from $1749 and the iPhone Pro Max from $1899 or more; all three are on sale from Friday September 20, 2019.
Apple is keeping the XR and iPhone 8, with price reductions on these more affordable smartphones, and is said to be working on another low-cost iPhone – a successor to the iPhone SE – for next year.
Apple TV+ streaming starts November 1
Apple's TV+ original video subscription service will launch worldwide on November 1 at A$7.99 per month and allow subscribers to download content for offline viewing on their iPhone, iPad or MacBook laptop.
On top of a seven-day free trial, the service will be free for one year with purchases of new Apple device, with Family Sharing allowing up to six family members to use a single Apple TV+ subscription.
Apple TV+ will launch with a slew of original content but lack a large back catalog. Still, some analysts have suggested Apple TV+ could top 100 million subscribers in the next half-decade, which would make it a major challenger to Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Apple is pushing into services to generate extra revenue from its large base of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch users. Consumers have been slower to replace hardware recently due to higher prices, market saturation, economic headwinds and a lack of new, breakthrough features.
Upsizing the low-cost iPad
Apple's new entry-level iPad lands at A$529 while increasing the screen size of the tablet 10.2-inches from 9.7-inches.
The new models include the same A10 Fusion chip as last year’s model. Besides the screen change, the new model looks like its predecessor, and lacks the Face ID unlocking technology of the more-expensive iPad Pro.
An always-on Apple Watch 5
The Apple Watch 5 will go on sale on September 20, 2019, from A$649 for the GPS model and $799 in GPS+cellular.
Apart from new ceramic and titanium cases and an always-on screen the Watch changes are more muted than last year, when Apple added redesigned cases, larger screens, faster processors, and an EKG sensor with the Series 4 line.
The always-on screen includes new underlying technology for lower power consumption. The Watch has the same 18 hour battery life, Apple said. The new Watch also will add a compass sensor for improved directions in maps and a new compass app. Cellular models will also have built-in global emergency service calling.
Apple dropped the price of its Series 3 from 2017 to $319. That may increase competition with Fitbit., which sells cheaper smartwatches and other health-tracking devices.