Aiming to reignite excitement about iPhones after witnessing a decline in their sales, Apple executives took the stage at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Sept. 7 to unveil the company’s latest generation of devices.
The most highly anticipated launch of the day was the new iPhone 7, which will be priced starting at $649, according to the New York Times. The new model is the first water-resistant iPhone. It comes with wireless stereo speakers and has a longer battery life than any previous model. On average, the iPhone 7 lasts two more hours than the iPhone 6S, the company stated on their website.
A massive change with the devices that has been receiving mixed reviews is that the new iPhone 7 will do away with the headphone jack. Instead, Apple is including an adapter for older headphones to be plugged into the lightning port. New wireless earbuds called AirPods will be a leap towards a wireless future, Apple CEO Tim Cook told NBC News. The company said AirPods will hit the market in October for $159.
Additionally, the iPhone 7 Plus will have two camera lenses with the capacity to zoom without losing resolution, which is comparable to professional telephoto lens. The phone’s camera includes an optical image stabilizer, a wider lens, an all-new flash that can recognize artificial lighting, video stabilization, wide color capture and a high-speed sensor, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Storage options are changing as well. The new iPhone starts with a more generous 32GB, up from 16GB. Screen sizes remain the same as last year’s model: 4.7 inches for the iPhone 7 and 5.5 inches for the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the 4-inch iPhone SE will also remain available at lower prices.
Apple provided a preview of iOS 10, announcing that the new operating system will retire the familiar “slide to unlock” function and expand the use of Siri, according to NBC news.
Cook praised the iPhone 7’s operating system as the “world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” the New York Times reported. The new system boasts several new features, including a home management tool called Apple HomeKit and redesigned maps that allow users to book rides and reservations from within. The phone can be woken up from sleep simply by lifting it, Cook said during the launch. This new wireless operating system will be released Sept. 13.
Apple is hoping to reclaim smartphone market share from rivals like Samsung, who is currently number one worldwide for a smartphone provider due to boosted sales of its popular Galaxy S7 phones, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reported that iPhone sales were down nearly 15 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the year before, though that may be in part because consumers hold out for the new models in the fall. In addition to facing fierce competition from increasingly sophisticated Android and Galaxy phones, Apple needs to convince its current and potential users that the iPhone 7 is worth upgrading and waiting for.
Editor’s Note: Information from NBC News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal was used in this report