Apple has launched its 5G-enabled iPhone 13 series as it wrestles with other smartphone manufacturers to increase its market share and attempts to diversify its product portfolio to attract more budget-conscious customers.
The new models – the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max – were released at Apple's ‘California Streaming' online event broadcast live from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino on Tuesday.
“These are the best iPhones we have ever created,” Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said.
For budget users, the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 models start from $699 and $799, respectively. The iPhone 13 Pro costs $999, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099.
With a 13.7-centimetre display, the iPhone 13 mini is one of the smallest and thinnest 5G smartphones in the market. The iPhone 13 comes with a 15.5cm display.
The iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max come in two screen sizes, 15.5cm and 17cm.
“iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max make up our most pro-iPhone line-up ever with the biggest advancement for our camera system, the best battery life ever in an iPhone and the fastest performance of any smartphone,” Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak said.
The iPhone 13 Pro line-up features the best camera system in iPhone history, the company claimed.
All three rear cameras on pro models come with the latest sensors and bigger lenses that are optimised to work seamlessly with the latest iOS 15 mobile operating system. They are powered by the new image signal processor for improved noise reduction and tone mapping.
The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 come with an advanced dual-camera system for improved photos and videos in low-light situations. They introduce a new cinematic mode that offers innovative tools to video storytellers.
“Our customers rely on iPhone every day, which is why we have made iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini more powerful, more capable and more fun to use,” said Mr Joswiak.
“Both phones have beautiful designs … with incredible durability, water resistance and a big jump in battery life to ensure customers can depend on their iPhone when they need it,” he added.
Apple’s new phones are powered by a new chip designed by the company - the A15 bionic.
The company’s executives called the chip the “fastest” in the smartphone industry. It uses five-nanometre technology and includes 15 billion transistors that make the new iPhones up to 50 per cent faster than other brands and enable them to perform 15.8 trillion operations per second.
Customers will be able to pre-order the new phones from Friday.
Although Apple saw a good response to its previous iPhone 12 series, the company is facing stiff competition from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo.
The technology company, which sold more than 49.2 million devices to grab a 15 per cent market share in the second quarter, was pushed to third place in the smartphone industry by Xiaomi in the three months to June 30, US research company Gartner reported.
Overall, global smartphone shipments to end users stood at 328.8 million in the second quarter, an annual increase of 10.8 per cent, despite supply constraints because of Covid-induced production disruptions and component shortages.
Apple also rolled out its latest Apple Watch Series 7, which features narrower borders that allow the display to maximise the screen area while minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself.
Powered by the latest watchOS 8 operating system, the new smartwatch offers various health and wellness tools, such as an ECG app and a blood oxygen sensor.
“[With the] largest and most advanced display, to enhanced durability and faster charging — [the Apple Watch 7] makes the world’s best smartwatch better than ever before,” Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said.
It offers about 20 per cent more screen area and thinner borders at only 1.7 millimetres – 40 per cent smaller than those on Apple Watch 6. It also offers 18-hour battery life on a single charge and 33 per cent faster charging compared with the previous series.
Apple also introduced a new iPad mini and iPad. Both devices will be in stores from Friday.
Featuring the A15 bionic chip, the new iPad mini delivers up to 80 per cent faster performance than the previous generation.