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iPhone X launch expected tonight: Gulf News to report live

New versions of Apple Watch and TV also expected at event in Cupertino, California

Image Credit: Bloomberg
im Cook speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The primary expectation is that Apple will release three phones at its launch event.
Gulf News

Dubai: The internet has been crazy with the Apple rumours for the last few weeks, which usually means one thing: a new iPhone launch is imminent. In fact, it’s just hours away.

At 10am Pacific Standard Time (9pm in Dubai), the curtain will rise at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino. Gulf News will be reporting live from the event.

It’s the first time Apple has hosted a launch event at its new headquarters, commonly dubbed the “Space Ship” due to its unusual design.

Previous launches were held in either San Francisco or in nearby San Jose.

Typical of any Apple launch, the internet is full of unverified leaks, speculation and outright guesswork regarding just what Apple will reveal.

The primary expectation is that Apple will release three phones: a new top-tier iPhone, called the X, presumably in recognition of the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, and two lower-priced iPhones, which reports are currently calling the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

Pre-orders

Gulf News reported in August that pre-orders for the new iPhones are expected to start on September 15 with the devices being available on September 22 for key markets, including the UAE.

Apple has not confirmed any dates at this time. The price for the new X is expected to be $999 (Dh3,669) for the 128GB model and $1,099 for the 256GB model.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are expected to be priced similarly to the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

However, due to the materials involved in making the iPhone X, many analysts, including JP Morgan, have reported that the new phone will be available at a later date than the iPhone 8 models, possibly as late as November.

The iPhone 8 models are expected to be an upgrade of the iPhone 7 with a new A11 processors, but the X is expected to have several major upgrades.

Where's the home button?

Gone is the home button, a feature that has been on the iPhone since its 2007 launch.

The new phone is expected to use three dimensional facial recognition for everything security related, even Apple Pay.

The iPhone X is supposed to have an all-glass body. Internet denizens have debated the pros and cons of glass ad nauseam for months.

The major highlights include better network reception (previous versions of the iPhone had to put the phone’s antenna on the outside because the aluminum would block network signals) but at the cost of a more brittle and scratch-able material.

Also glass, unlike aluminum, does not conduct heat away from the phone’s processors, which has caused overheating in some Android-based phones that use glass.

Two other features to expect with the X include the possibility of wireless charging and an OLED screen.

iOS11

That updates on iOS11 will be announced on Tuesday is as close to a sure things as you can get from an Apple preview.

Apple always launched its new phones with an updated operating system, and well, iOS11, was officially announced in June. Beta testing has been running for several weeks.

At first glance, most users probably won’t notice much difference between iOS10 and iOS11. The system hasn’t received a major overhaul, but there are a lot of little changes.

Some of the things we’ve noticed:

1. Control Centre: Apple has redesigned the control setting to give you more control over the things you use most often, but as wifi and Bluetooth.

Unlike the previous control menu, with iOS11 you can use 3D Touch. That means that by pressing down on the icons, you can bring up menus that allow you to do even more.

2. Screen caps: The old screen capture method involved a lot of steps if you wanted to edit the picture you just saved. In iOS11, screen capture now gives you the ability to edit and send immediately.

3. Notification windows: With iOS11, all notifications, including your Calendar, News, and our Twitter feeds can be found in one place

However, this is only a taste of what to expect and Apple almost certainly has something up its sleeve for the launch. We’ll give you the full list of new features on Tuesday.

HomePad

Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home was announced in June with a lot of fanfare. However, Apple has hardly mentioned it since. For anyone who missed it, the HomePad is a smart home speaker powered by Siri, Apple’s digital assistant.

As a smart speaker, Apple is keeping the HomePad’s primary focus on music, giving the 18-centimetre tall, mesh covered speaker features such as the ability to automatically adapt to its surrounds to provide the best sound quality.

It appears that Apple could be gearing to official launch in the HomePad on Tuesday. Apple has previously promised a December launch.

Apple Watch 3

Apple focused a good portion of its June keynote on the new features of WatchOS, which included a plethora of new gym-oriented features, including the ability to work directly with some gym equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals.

But the rumour that has been driving Watch news over the past few days in the possibility that the latest version of the device could be LTE enabled, which means the watch could send and receive data (including phone calls) without being paired to a iPhone.

4K AppleTV

Its been two years since Apple updated the AppleTV, and in that time 4K (ultra-high definition) televisions have become extremely popular and affordable. Given the amount of 4K content that is now available, the previous version of the AppleTV was beginning to look dated. There have been no major announcements from AppleTV recently, other than the addition of Amazon Prime, so the addition of a 4K connection may be all we seen on Tuesday.

And iPhone X and two 8s but no 9s?

Number games

If it seems to you like Apple has been playing games with the numbering of its iPhones, you’re not wrong. Apple may be able to make technological wonders, but its marketing department seems to have problems counting to ten.

The numbering problem started only a year after the first iPhone was released in 2007. When Apple, never a company to miss a marketing trick, was ready to released its first update a year later, it called it the iPhone 3G. The name wasn’t meant to be sequential; it was meant to let consumers know the device was capable of using the newly available network technology.

But two years later in 2010, Apple didn’t flinch when its next iPhone update hit the market. Deciding not to overthink it, Apple just cemented the “error” by naming the third iteration of their smartphone the iPhone 4.

From that point on, Apple has released a new flagship phone every two years with a upgrade, designated as an ‘S’-model, in the year in between.

That decision always meant that come 2017, Apple should have been getting ready to release an ‘S’ upgrade to its sixth flagship phone, the iPhone 7.

However, it become apparent last year that Apple was gearing up to release a major overhaul of the iPhone for its tenth anniversary.

Everyone was expecting that phone to be named the iPhone 8, but after a leak of the iOS 11 system this week, it seems the flagship phone will be the called the iPhone X.

So does that mean Apple is skipping the iPhone 7S, 8 and 9?

Well, sort of, kinda.

Apparently, Apple has decided to ditch the ‘S’ models altogether this year. Instead, it’s called them the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple is clearing focusing on the technology, not consistent marketing.

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