Apple Inc introduced a range of new iPhone 14 models capable of sending a call for help via satellite during an emergency, as well as crash-detection ability and an adventure-focused Watch Ultra.
The iPhone 14 models will test Apple's ability to wring dollars from its relatively affluent customer base, which has kept spending in the face of rising inflation but is not immune to a weakening economy.
In the UAE< the iPhone 14 prices will start at Dhs3,399 and the iPhone Plus at Dhs3,799 and both will be available for pre-order starting September 9.
The iPhone 14 Pro prices will start at Dhs4,299, with the Pro Max model at Dhs4,699. They will be available from September 16, with preorders starting Friday.
Apple said it put together a system that will work with emergency responders during emergencies in remote areas. It also said that in some situations, users will be able to use its FindMy app to share their location via satellite when they have no other connectivity.
Globalstar said in a filing that it will be the satellite operator for Apple's emergency SOS service.
Globalstar's stock fell about 16% on Wednesday before being halted ahead of the announcement of the Apple deal. The stock has gained about 50% year to date.
Other companies are working on similar functions. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said last month it is working with T-Mobile to use its Starlink satellites to connect phones directly to the internet.
Apple's iPhone 14 Plus model will have a larger screen like Apple's iPhone Pro models but an A15 processor chip like the previous iPhone 13.
New Apple Watches
The Cupertino, California-based company also showed a trio of new Apple Watches, including a new Watch Ultra model aimed at extreme sports and diving.
The Ultra has a bigger battery to last through events like triathlons and better waterproofing and temperature resistance to operate in outdoor environments, as well as better GPS tracking for sports.
The new Watches include an upgraded budget model called the SE and a Series 8 Watch with crash detection and low-power mode for 36 hours of battery life.
The Series 8 with cellular prices will start at Dhs1,599 and the SE will start at Dhs999 with cellular. The Ultra, which includes cellular in its base model, will start at Dhs3,199 and be available from September 23.
Apple said the new Series 8 watch has a temperature sensor that will work in conjunction with its previously released cycle tracking app to retroactively detect ovulation.
The company emphasized the privacy approach of its cycle tracking. Privacy and reproductive health data has become a focus for tech companies in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended a constitutional right to abortion in the United States.
Apple said it does not have the key to decrypt health data such as cycle tracking.
But while accessories like the Apple Watch have driven incremental sales from Apple's existing user base, the iPhone remains the bedrock of its business with 52.4% of sales in its most recent fiscal year.
Apple's stock was up 0.6% more than an hour into the presentation, in line with the start of the event and lagging the S&P 500's gain of 1.5% for the session.
AirPods Pro upgraded with better audio, easier-to-find case
Apple Inc. announced the first update to its AirPods Pro earbuds since the high-end product first went on sale in October 2019, adding improved audio quality and a redesigned carrying case.
The new model, which keeps the Dhs949 price of the previous generation, offers crisper audio and the H2 wireless chip, Apple said during a presentation Wednesday. The new earbuds also include an updated carrying case with speaker holes that can make a noise to help customers find the device.
AirPods have become an increasingly critical part of Apple's Wearables, Home and Accessories category, which brought in about $8 billion in revenue last quarter. The Pro models offer active noise cancelation, giving consumers a reason to pay up for the higher-end version.
The first AirPods launched in 2016, part of an expansion into audio accessories that also included the HomePod mini speaker. The company is also working on a more advanced, larger home speaker for release next year.