Apple laid claim to the future of the smartphone Tuesday with a 10th anniversary iPhone X, featuring facial recognition unlocking and other refinements, touting the device as the next generation of mobile computing.
The iPhone X was one of three new iPhone models unveiled at the first event at Apple’s new “spaceship” campus, as the California tech giant sought to spark fresh momentum in a global smartphone market seeing slowing growth and tougher competition.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook, speaking at the first event at the new campus theater named for late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, said the newest flagship handset is a milestone for the company a decade after the first iPhone release.
“Ten years later, it is only fitting that we are here in this place, on this day to reveal a product that will set the path for technology for the next decade,” Cook said, calling the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch (14.7-centimeter) “super retina” display that has improved resolution, and uses facial recognition to unlock the device.
– The $1,000 iPhone –
Apple upped the ante by boosting the starting price of the new handset to $999 for US customers. It will be available starting November 3 in more than 50 markets.
Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which offer more modest improvements over their predecessors and will sell later this month at starting prices of $699 and $799, respectively.
All three new handsets will be capable of wireless charging and are adapted for augmented reality with more powerful processors and cameras.
The unveiling comes with Apple seeking to recapture the magic of the first iPhone release in 2007 as it struggles to maintain market share.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategies called the new flagship iPhone X “an engineering marvel, especially when compared to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.”
Moorhead said the handset “is not just a late copy of the competition. Apple did it their way by perfecting the experience, and on their timeframe. ”
Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research called the iPhone X “a far bigger upgrade” than previous devices, but questioned whether Apple was stretching its market too thin.
The new iPhone X — pronounced 10 — “is going to be the object of desire for many users, and the challenge for Apple will be whether they’ve done enough to make the iPhone 8 range compelling,” Dawson said in a blog post.
“What Apple doesn’t want is for people to want the best but not be able to afford it and therefore hold onto their existing phones rather than buying what they consider second best.”
For the 10th anniversary model, Appledeveloped what it called an A11 Bionic chip and uses its FaceID to unlock, authenticate and pay via the Apple Pay mobile payments system.