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New iPhones, Watch, Apple TV at September Apple Event

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The 12th of September sees Apple inaugurate its new, purpose-built theatre-- named, of course, the Steve Jobs Theatre-- with the launch of the latest iPhone models, as well as the Watch Series 3 and the Apple TV 4K.

iphone 8 splashFollowing an preamble on the state of the Apple Store by retail chief Angela Ahrendts, Tim Cook took to the stage to present the next version of the Watch. First off was the revelation the Watch is now the top watch in the world, beating even the likes of Rolex and Fossil, while customer satisfaction is no less than 97%. The company also claims the Watch is now the most used heart rate monitor in the world.

But what is really interesting is the next generation of Watch-- Watch Series 3, now with built-in cellular radio for truly bringing the Dick Tracy 2-way wrist radio dream to life. The smartwatch shares a number with the user's iPhone, streams Apple Music and pairs with with the AirPods. Powering it is a new dual-core processor promising a 70% performance boost, together with a custom W2 wifi/Bluetooth chip. Handling cellular connectivity is an electronic SIM, while the antenna is built right into the display.

Watch series 3Series 3 ships on 22 September in in 3 colours (silver, space gray and "gold aluminium") together with a selection of new bands, including the now traditional Nike and Hermes options. A ceramic version will also be available in a "gorgeous" grey colour.

The Apple TV also gets some love at the event-- as rumours suggested, the company has an Apple TV 4K, featuring 4K and HDR capability. The UI has been redesigned to handle the 4K visuals, while behind the hood are an A10X Fusion chip (the same found inside the iPad Pro) and the latest version of tvOS.

All of that said, the new iPhone is the highlight of the event. Simply dubbed the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (as opposed to rumours insisting it will be the iPhone X). It is built in "aerospace-grade" aluminium, comes in silver, space gray and gold, features stereo speakers and runs on a new chip, the 6-core A11 Bionic. The displays are 4.7- and 5.5-inch in size, and use True Tone technology to adjust colour temperature according to the surroundings.

The camera also gets improvements, as the iPhone 8 Plus gets a dual camera with dual sensors, together with a new 12MP sensor providing 83% more like, "deeper" pixels and more power efficiency. Also included is a new image signal processor (ISP) able to help with low light photography and noise reduction, while an Apple-designed video encoder promises faster video frame rates and real-time image analysis. Another capability involving the camera is augmented reality (AR), and Apple says both iPhone 8 models are custom-tuned for AR capabilities, down to the improved gyroscope and accelerometer for better motion tracking.

The iPhone 8 has a glass back, which allows for something genuinely new, at least for Apple smartphones-- wireless charging. It comes through the Qi technology, and Apple hopes to boost use of the open standard through partnerships with hardware makers such as mophie and Belkin.

iPhone XWait, did we say the iPhone X was just a rumour? Because we lied-- Apple did indeed launch the such a device, described by Tim Cook as nothing less than "the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone." An all-glass and stainless steel device, the iPhone X has an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch "Super Retina" (or 2436 x 1125) display that, as rumours also long suggested, features OLED technology. The Home button is gone, replaced with a software bar users swipe up from the bottom. Unlocking comes through facial recognition ("Face ID") powered by a "TrueDepth" camera array built into the top of the display Apple claims works even in the dark.

On the back are 12MP dual cameras with dual optical image stabilisation, better low-light zoom and a quad-LED True Tone flash for what Apple claims is two times better light uniformity. Otherwise the specifications inside the iPhone X are identical to those found in the iPhone 8, with the A11 Bionic chip powering the device and wireless charging.

The iPhone X ships from November 2017 at the premium price of no less than $999.

Go Apple