Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Tim Webb
The rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated, but the rumors of today's Apple Event were pretty spot on. Apple kicked things off with a refresh to the Apple Watch before unveiling 3 new iPhones. There were no iPads announced today, but I just got a rumor submitted to me from a pretty serious source that suggests we'll have 2 new Pro models by the end of October. If my source is correct, the new iPads will lose the home button and lighting port in favor of USB-C. We'll know if he's right on October 30th!
Apple Watch 4
As expected the Apple Watch 4 was announced today, with a 64-bit processor that they promise will be 2x faster than the previous model. The displays are between 32-35% larger than the previous models as well. Also as expected the new model includes an electrocardiogram function, for a deep look at hearth rhythms.
One thing the rumors missed was an automatic fall detection system. People who masturbate with their left hands will want to remember to take off the watch, or it may automatically call emergency services to report your rapid and repeated falls.
The new watch will arrive on September 21st for $400, or $500 if you want the cellular version for phone calls.
Apple's Phil Schiller is clearly not utilizing the fitness features of the Apple Watch. He was looking really out of shape today, and I was genuinely worried about him. He managed to bring a lot of excitement for the new iPhones though. Phil jumped right in to confirm the iPhone XS, and a new Plus sized iPhone XS Max.
Apple were uncharacteristically nerdy in their details about the new A12 Bionic. The new phone chip features a 6 core CPU (2 high-performance, 4 high-efficiency) , 4 core GPU, and 8 core Machine Learning (ML) engine. The biggest news here is actually in their manufacturing process which is now down to 7nm. For comparison, Intel's latest CPUs are still being built at 14nm transistors. The smaller transistors mean they can cram in that much more in the same space. At 6 CPU cores, 4 GPU cores, and 8 ML cores, that is 18 cores in a tiny chip!
Developers will have access to all of that in the new CoreML SDK. This could be big. Presently Machine Learning researchers need to invest in high priced graphics cards. If we get TensorFlow on iPhone this could be a huge boon to research, with so much power available as part of the price of your phone.
One thing the rumors really got wrong were the prices. These aren't cheaper at all. The XS arrives at $1,000 for 64GB, like last year's iPhone X, and the XS Max starts at $1,100. Both will be shipping September 21st.
As expected there is a (slightly) cheaper iPhone. Unlike the iPhone 5c, this is not a hugely stripped down version. In fact it has nearly all of the features of the other two phones, including the A12 Bionic chip and Face ID. It is cheaper because it has an LCD display, instead of OLED, and does not have the advanced rear camera array. The LCD display resolution isn't terrible. It is 326ppi, which is equivalent to the iPhone 8.
I think this version will appeal to a lot of people over the XS and XS Max for the variety in color finishes. I'm seriously smitten with the Red. Unfortunately it isn't a whole lot cheaper, coming in at $750 on October 26th.