Six takeaways from Apple’s iPhone 13 launch

Company launched four new models in its 13 series and more at ‘California Streaming’ online reveal

Apple chief executive Tim Cook displays the advanced camera system on the new iPhone 13 Pro during a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino on Tuesday. Reuters
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Apple, one of the most valuable and popular tech companies in the world, launched the iPhone 13 series and other products at an online event on Tuesday.

In addition to the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, the tech giant revealed the new Apple Watch Series 7, a restyled regular iPad and an all-new iPad mini.

Here are six takeaways from 'California Streaming' (a play on the Mamas & the Papas song "California Dreamin'").

Doubling down on 5G efforts

Apple, which introduced its first 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series last October, aims to double 5G support to 200 carriers in 60 countries by the end of the year.

The customised hardware design in the latest iPhone 13 line-up features more 5G bands, allowing it to work in more places on 5G for greater coverage and performance, Apple announced.

The new phones also come equipped with a smart data mode that Apple says will save battery life by automatically shifting the iPhone to 4G when 5G speeds are not needed.

A 5G network promises internet speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually reach 10 gigabits per second — more than 100 times faster than 4G.

With a wider global installation of 5G networks expected this year, most smartphone companies are preparing to provide economical 5G-enabled devices to attract more customers.

Green apples

Apple’s new phones include antenna lines that use material made from recycled plastic water bottles. The waste bottles are chemically transformed into a stronger, high-performance material.

Apple has committed to completely removing all plastic from its packaging in the next four years. The iPhones’ latest redesigned packaging eliminates the outer plastic wrap, avoiding 600 metric tonnes of plastic waste, the company claimed.

iPads becoming more intuitive

The new operating system iPadOS15 adds new capabilities to iPads, including "Translate" features that better facilitate conversations, such as "Auto Translate" and face-to-face view, which allow users to make FaceTime videos and calls to those not on iPhones and capture photos while talking -- or listening.

The “live text” feature enables on-device intelligence to recognise text in a photo so that users can respond appropriately. For example, a snapshot of a storefront may reveal a phone number giving you the option to place a call to that establishment.

Another feature, “Focus”, allows users to filter notifications based on what they are doing, such as working, reading, exercising or playing games.

Apple Fitness+ expanding

Apple Fitness+ will come to 15 new countries by the end of this year, the Cupertino-based company has announced.

Built entirely around Apple Watch, Fitness+ will introduce guided meditation and Pilates in late September.

It is also introducing a new programme for workouts to help users prepare for winter sports featuring American athlete Ted Ligety, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion skier.

Later this year, Fitness+ will introduce group workouts with the SharePlay app, in which users can exercise with up to 32 people at once, just in case you want to sweat to the oldies with mates in other parts.

New OS on the way

Apple's new operating system for iPhones, iOS 15, will be available for download by Monday.

The new operating system brings a new, three-dimensional city-driving experience to Apple Maps, along with walking directions featuring augmented reality. Weather forecasts have been redesigned with full-screen maps and more graphical displays of data, Apple said.

Show me the money

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. All the aforementioned price tags are in US dollars.

Prices will vary, however, in other countries, including the UAE.

In the Emirates, customers can buy the iPhone 13 for $926 (Dh3,399) and the iPhone 13 mini for $817 (Dh2,999). The iPhone 13 Pro will start at $1,144 (Dh4,199) and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will be priced from $1,280 (Dh4,699).

Customers in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, the US and more than 30 other countries and regions will be able to pre-order the new phones on Friday.

Updated: September 15, 2021, 5:47 AM