Apple's annual September press conference kicked off on Wednesday at the Steve Jobs Theater on its circular Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.
The new 5.8-inch iPhone XS is the same size as last year's iPhone X, while the iPhone XS Max has a larger 6.5-inch screen - the largest ever on an iPhone. (For a while, we used the icky word "phablet"- for part-phone part-tablet - to describe them.) But now Apple's largest bests even Samsung's Note 9, which measures 6.4 inches. However, it does contain TrueTone Face ID technology, allowing for automatic device unlocking and Apple Pay integration. Apple says the camera along with smarter AI-based algorithms can deliver better imaging capabilities than the iPhone 8. Customers can adjust the depth of field after they take the picture. The Xr will be available in Canada starting at $1,029 according to Apple. The 6.1-inch features a bright LCD screen and comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, blue, coral and red. There's no home button on any of them - love it or hate it, Apple is putting the fingerprint reader permanently out to pasture.
Moving to the camera, both the iPhones will have two 12-MP cameras one of which will be a telephoto lens and the other will be a wide-angle lens. The device kills the 3D touch feature but added some haptic feedback, so the screen vibrates a bit in response to touch.
Apple launched the iPhone X previous year, and for the first time in more than a decade sales did not go as well as analysts had anticipated.
In other ways, the iPhone Xr matches the high-end Xs range: It has the same front-facing camera with FaceID, and uses the same A12 Bionic chip, which is faster and more power-efficient than last year's A11.
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The iPhone XR will be shipped with a standard charging adapter, a USB-to-Lightning cable and a pair of Earpods. The iPhone 8 starts at $599. Trying them just after listening to the iPhone XS Max, they don't seem to have the insane, nearly room-filling stereo separation that the Max's speakers do.
The XR is coming a little later than the XS is, with a sale date of October 19 and an arrival date of October 26. A major highlight of the new models is support for dual-SIM and dual standby (DSDS), though this is implemented with an eSIM in place of the second SIM for most of the world, while China gets support for two physical SIMs in the iPhone XS Max.
Apple also showed off an upgrade to its 3-year-old smartwatch. Apple seems confident in the Watch's bonafides as a fitness product, and -while fitness helped establish the device in the wearables market - anyone can make a fitness tracker. If the user is immobile for more than a minute after the notification, the watch can automatically call for help "and send a message along with location to emergency contacts", Apple says.
The iPhone XS and XS Max will release on September 21, with pre-orders available on September 14.
Apple also highlighted its recycling program called GiveBack.