By Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business
Apple officially launched its next-generation iPhone 13 line on Friday, with four new smartphones are hitting shelves and being shipped to customers who secured their orders earlier.
Last week, the company showcased its latest devices – the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, along with a new iPad, iPad mini, and Apple Watch – during a highly watched media event. . Shortly after iPhone pre-orders went live three days later, estimated arrival times for some models slipped to October or November. (The Apple Watch is not yet available for purchase.)
The new iPhones don’t include any design changes or groundbreaking features, at least compared to last year’s 5G announcement. But they do include better cameras, longer battery life, and faster processing. Other additions include a massive storage option for Pro models (1 terabyte), a new Portrait mode for shooting videos.
The updated iPad lineup, which is also available in stores, includes a faster processor, a new 12 MP ultra-wide camera – which uses machine learning to adjust the front camera during FaceTime video calls – and supports a True Tone feature that adjusts the screen’s brightness to ambient lighting.
The stakes are high for Apple ahead of Friday’s launch. The iPhone, in particular, continues to be a major revenue driver for the company and remains at the heart of its product ecosystem. The outings too to come Amid some uncertainty: A U.S. judge recently ruled that Apple can no longer ban app developers from directing users to payment options outside of the App Store. The company faces antitrust scrutiny from regulators in the United States and abroad, and Apple recently faced weeks of controversy over its approach to addressing child exploitation.
While it’s common for Apple shipments to be delayed during product launch cycles, shortages in the supply chain could impact how quickly they get to customers.
“This will be a real test of supply and demand for Apple,” said Ramon Llamas, director of market research firm IDC. “With the advent of the first 5G phone last year and the launch of an iPhone SE, Apple was in a great position to capitalize on upgrades. This year, the upgrade cycle may be quieter than last year, and that works in Apple’s favor if there are supply issues. “
Apple has kept its iPhone prices mostly in line with last year’s models, despite rumors that they will be more expensive than ever due to current issues with the chip supply chain. The Pro and Pro Max start at $ 999 and $ 1,099 respectively. (The iPhone Pro Max with a terabyte of storage costs $ 1,599.) The phones are available in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 mini starts at $ 699 for 128GB (more storage for its base model than ever before) and the iPhone 13 costs $ 799, starting with 128GB. Smartphones come in five new colors: pink, blue, black, white and red.
For people looking to trade in their existing iPhones and commit to a wireless plan for the next few years, the discounts are jaw-dropping – some of which include a free device. The catch, however, is that users will have to trade in relatively new devices and trade-in programs. Usually binds customers to a long contract which may include high-priced data plans.
The full-size iPad costs $ 329 for 64GB of storage, which is double the storage typically provided on an entry-level iPad. For schools, the device costs $ 299. The iPad mini starts at $ 499.
The new Apple Watch Series 7 smartwatch, which features a slimmer design with a larger screen, will be available later this fall, starting at $ 399.
“Apple said it will be released later this fall, so it’s between now and the end of December,” Llamas said. “This could be an area where there will be supply issues.”
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