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Apple Introduces $749 6.1-inch iPhone Xr

14 September 2018

Looking for ways to lessen reliance on phones, which represent more than 60 per cent its revenue, Apple opened its event by announcing the new Apple Watch Series 4 with edge-to-edge displays, like its latest phones, and they are more than 30 per cent bigger than displays on current models.

Apple plans to supersize its iPhone lineup, announcing two new models with its largest screens ever: a lower-priced device with a 6.1-inch LCD display and a pricier one with a 6.5-inch display using more advanced, OLED technology, according to people familiar with the plans.

And Apple didn't stop at one iPhone this year: you'll have to choose between the Xs, the Xs Max (the Xs' bigger brother) and the confusingly named iPhone XR - a cheaper option if you don't fancy dipping into your rainy-day fund.

Compared to previous Apple events, the company didn't unveil any surprises that caught various media outlets and analysts off guard.

Apple's newest phones feature faster processors and better memory capacities than their predecessor. And it has the same A12 Bionic processor inside, so will support all the same new features. Like those, the phone doesn't have a home button; rather, you simply tap to wake it and swipe up to return to the home screen. In Australia, the 512GB iPhone XS Max costs 2,369 AUD or $1,703, a $254 difference.

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The premium iPhone XS and XS Max come with upgraded 12MP + 12MP camera and 2x optical zoom. And it says a lot about our era of digital binging that Apple will probably sell them like hot cakes.

The Apple Watch Series 4 with Global Positioning System starts at £399 while the version with Global Positioning System and cellular starts at £499.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will go on sale in Hong Kong on September 21, starting at HK$3,199 for the 40mm and HK$3,399 for the 44mm.

"Apple Watch has become an intelligent guardian for your health", chief operating officer Jeff Williams said. It can take an electrocardiogram to detect an irregular heartbeat.

"This is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers", Williams said.

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The fall detection upgrade is expected to appeal to worker safety concerns in factories or other industrial settings, as well as to elderly or disabled users. Its fall-detecting feature prompts the watch to make emergency calls if it detects that the wearer has had a fall.

As has been the case with so many smartphone innovations in the past, such as Near Field Communication (NFC) or wireless charging, Android manufacturers have been first in terms of adoption, but Apple's union of hardware and software means it has been the one to take them mainstream.

Apple stressed its devotion to data privacy, saying all health information gathered is encrypted on the smartwatch to be shared only as users see fit.

Research firm CB Insights said Apple is at a "crossroads" a decade after introducing the iPhone.

He said that while the feature will probably save some lives and prevent strokes with early detection of heart trouble, "the ratio between the benefits and the costs remains a big unknown".

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Apple Introduces $749 6.1-inch iPhone Xr