CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple has kicked off a September product event at which it is expected to unveil a dramatically redesigned iPhone that could cost $1,000.
It’s the first product event Apple is holding at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. True to its secretive ways, Apple hasn’t confirmed what it will be announcing, though a financial forecast issued last month telegraphed something significant in the pipeline.
The event, opened in a darkened auditorium, with only the audience’s phones gleaming like stars, along with a sign that said “Welcome to Steve Jobs Theater.” A voiceover from Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, opened the event before CEO Tim Cook took stage.
“Not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him,” Cook said. “Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event. It’s taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness.”
The souped-up “anniversary” iPhone, which would come a decade after Jobs unveiled the first version, could also cost twice what the original iPhone did. It would set a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
WHAT A THOUSAND BUCKS WILL BUY
Apple is expected to demand $1,000 for the fanciest iPhone that it has ever made, thrusting the market into a new financial frontier that will test how much consumers are willing to pay for a device that has become an indispensable part of modern life. (Sept. 11)
Various leaks have indicated the new phone will feature a sharper display, a so-called OLED screen that will extend from edge to edge of the device, thus eliminating the exterior gap, or “bezel,” that currently surrounds most phone screens.
It may also boast facial recognition technology for unlocking the phone and wireless charging. A better camera is a safe bet, too.
All those features have been available on other smartphones that sold for less than $1,000, but Apple’s sense of design and marketing flair has a way of making them seem irresistible — and worth the extra expense.
“Apple always seems to take what others have done and do it even better,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies.
Apple’s latest Watch has built-in cellular service. The number on your phone will be the same as your iPhone. The Series 3 model will also have Apple Music available through cellular service.
“Now, you can go for a run with just your watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer and in charge of Watch development.
Apple is also adding more fitness features to the Watch, and says it is now the most used heartrate monitor in the world. Now, Apple Watch will notify users when it detects an elevated heart rate when they don’t appear to be active. It’ll also detect abnormal heart rhythms.
The Series 3 will start at $399. One without cellular goes for $329, down from $369 for the comparable model now. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $249, down from $269. The new watch comes out Sept. 22.