Apple made the expected move to switch its newest iPhones to the more widely-used USB-C cable instead of its proprietary Lightning connector in order to comply with forthcoming European regulations, while also announcing several new watch models at its signature event.
In addition to its latest iPhone 15 phones, USB-C will now power the charging case of Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro device.
The company stated customers with its latest smartphones will also be able to charge AirPods and Apple Watches from their phones using the new port.
It previously switched to USB-C for its iPad and Mac devices.
Apple noted the USB-C cord was up to 20 times faster than USB 2, which allows users to transfer data more quickly from their phones.
The iPhone 15 line-up features the titanium-made iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, which Apple executives proclaimed are the most powerful smartphones it has made to date.
Both are powered by an A17 Pro chip, which Apple stated enabled the fastest performance in any smartphone while noting suitability for mobile gaming and improved graphics.
They feature an Action Button, which replaced the ringer switch on the left side of previous devices.
While it still operates the ringer, the button also allows users to run shortcuts, bring up accessibility features, open the camera and turn on the torch, among other potential functions.
Both Pros are equipped with Super Retina XDR displays with ProMotion and are compatible with the always-on display and new StandBy mode featured in iOS 17.
Greg Joswiak, SVP of worldwide marketing, stated during its Wunderlust event both high-end models feature Apple’s best cameras to date, due to an upgraded 48-megapixel camera designed to take better low-light photos.
They use Apple’s AI systems to take full-resolution HEIF photos and feature Super Retina XDR displays with ProMotion, 6.1 inches on the Pro and 6.7 inches for Pro Max, which are the same sizes for the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus.
Pricing for the 15 Pro starts at $999 with 128GB of storage while the Pro Max costs $1,199 with 256GB of storage.
The iPhone 15 starts at $799 for a 128GB model and the 15 Plus at $899, also for a 128GB version.
All four will be available for advance orders on 15 September, with shipping scheduled for 22 September.
Apple also announced a new satellite-based roadside assistance feature one year after rolling out a space-powered SMS messaging service.
The service is being offered on newly purchased iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 devices for free for two years in the US in partnership with AAA, which is a roadside assistance provider.
Also announced were the Watch Series 9 and the second generation of its flagship Watch Ultra, with both having the same dimensions as their predecessors.
They come with Apple’s S9 SiP chip, which an executive stated increased the GPU by 30 per cent for improved effects and longer battery life.
One of the new watch features is double tap, a one-handed gesture to control the device without touching the display.
Users tap their index fingers to their thumbs to answer a phone call or enable other functions on their watches. The feature will be available in October through a software upgrade.
The Watch Series 9 is the company’s first carbon-neutral product. Apple also used 100 per cent recycled cobalt in the battery for the first time.
Series 9 pricing starts at $399 and the Ultra 2 is $799.
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