Apple event summary: iPhone 13 is here at $799, plus a new iPad, the return of the iPad Mini, Apple Watch Series 7
Apple fans finally got their first look at iPhone 13.
On Tuesday, Apple introduced the next version of its popular smartphone, one of several device announcements made during a virtual event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Among the other devices unveiled Tuesday: a revamped budget iPad, an updated version of its iPad Mini, and the new Apple Watch Series 7 with a bigger display.
The iPhone 13 will arrive in four models: a standard version with a 6.1-inch display, a Mini model, plus Pro and Pro Max models with larger screens and better battery life.
All four devices will be available to preorder on Friday and launch in stores on Sept. 24. The iPhone 13 will start at $699 for the Mini model, all the way up to the iPhone 13 Pro Max at $1,099.
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"Our customers rely on iPhone every day, which is why we’ve made iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini more powerful, more capable, and more fun to use,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a statement.
This year's release features several subtle upgrades to the iPhone, which will remain popular due to "pent up demand" for a new Apple phone, said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.
About 250 million of the 975 million iPhones already sold have not been upgraded in more than 3.5 years, said Ives.
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iPhone 13 features
The iPhone 13 will be available in five colors: red, starlight (a whiteish shade), midnight (a blackish shade), blue and pink. The two camera lenses on the back of the smartphone have been placed diagonally.
Along with the typical upgrades to processing speed, display and battery life, the iPhone 13 adds a Cinematic Mode, which uses an automatic focus to shift between subjects in a video, similar to Portrait Mode for photos.
The new phone also means the arrival of iOS 15, which will launch as a free software update on Sept. 20. It will include updates to FaceTime, a Live Text feature where users can search text within images, and a Focus mode to manage your notifications.
A new Apple Watch
It wasn't just the iPhone enjoying the attention at Apple's event. The tech giant also unveiled Apple Watch Series 7, with a larger display and redesigned look to provide more of a wraparound effect.
Digital buttons on the watch face appear bigger to make them easier to tap, such as trying to find snooze on an alarm. The watch will also include new faces to leverage the size of the display.
The Apple Watch uses the extra screen area to add a predictive text keyboard, so users can quickly type messages by dragging their fingers across the appropriate letters or they can do it the old-fashioned way letter by letter.
Apple says the updated watch boasts an 18-hour battery life and charges 33% faster than the Series 6. It's available in multiple colors including midnight, starlight, green and red.
The Series 7 will start at $399 and launches later this fall.
Two new iPads, including a revamped Mini
Apple also rolled out updates to its iPad line, with new versions of its entry-level model starting at $329 and an overhauled iPad Mini starting at $499.
Apple says the new iPad Mini, which will feature an 8.3-inch touchscreen, will perform 80% faster than the previous model. The tablet, available Sept. 24, will include an upgrade to its cameras, support for the second-generation Apple Pencil, and support for 5G wireless networks.
The entry-level iPad will retain the same design and price but feature more storage starting at 64GB, and add a 12-megapixel front-facing camera with support for Center Stage, a feature on iPad Pro models which can automatically detect and follow who's on screen. It's available on Sept. 24.
Scroll down for live updates of Tuesday's Apple event:
Which iPhone to choose?
Here's a quick rundown of all the iPhones Apple will have available, with iPhone 13 on the list, and its starting price:
- iPhone SE: $399
- iPhone 11: $499
- iPhone 12: $599
- iPhone 13: $699
- iPhone 13 Pro: $999
The iPhone 13 Pro is not cheap
Bigger phone, bigger screens, bigger battery life and a bigger price tag. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, and the Pro Max starts at $1,099. There's also a storage option for the Pro at 1 terabyte. You can preorder all four new iPhones starting Friday. They reach stores Sept. 24.
A big camera update for iPhone 13 Pro
The camera features a brand new telephoto lens, Ultra-wide and wide lenses. Low light photos will look brighter and sharper, optical zoom will get a boost, while the system will allow for macro photography to get detailed closeups on objects. The smartphones will also feature Night Mode for taking pictures without proper lighting conditions.
Users can also personalize their cameras with photographic styles. You can use default templates like rich contrast or vibrant warm, altering the tone and warmth on a photo to create the specific style you want.
Apple showcased how the cameras work by putting them in the hands of directors including Kathryn Bigelow. And here I am wasting all this on my dog (but still worth it).
As for battery life, the 13 Pros last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro and 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
There's an iPhone 13 Pro model, too
And of course, here comes the info on the Pro model of iPhone 13.
The Pro comes in four finishes: graphite, gold, silver and sierra blue. They seem to feature a more metallic look compared to the standard models. There's still the three-camera system on the back of the phone as well.
There's also going to be an iPhone 13 Pro Max, for the Apple fans who love their big screens. Apple said it has the fastest graphics processing of any smartphone, ideal if you enjoy games on your phone.
The Pro models will have a new Super Retina XDR display, as well as ProMotion, which offers really high refresh rates and adapts depending on the activity. Translation: Scrolling and swiping through your phone will feel more fluid.
The Pro will have a 6.1-inch screen and Pro Max will have a 6.7-inch screen.
The iPhone 13 will start at $799
The iPhone 13 Mini will start at $699 while the iPhone 13 will start at $799. The tech giant is also increasing the storage capability, starting with 128 GB of storage, which is pretty impressive. Both phones top off at 512 GB.
Also interesting to note Apple hasn't said anything about a Pro or Plus model with a larger screen.
How's iPhone 13 battery life?
The big question I have, as well as every other curious smartphone owner, is how long will the battery run? It runs between 1.5-2 hours longer than last year's phones.
There's a smart data mode that will automatically shift your phone from 5G to LTE to help conserve battery life.
What is Cinematic Mode?
As expected, the iPhone 13 is adding a new mode called Cinematic Mode, which is essentially a version of Portrait Mode for use in videos.
The feature is capable of highlighting and framing the key elements in a video clip, from people or objects in the background to those who are closer to the camera.
The mode will anticipate when the focus of the clip changes. Apple said they studied cinematography used in filmmaking to help design the mode. The mode will shoot in Dolby Vision HDR as well.
The iPhone 13 has arrived
Time for the star of the show, the next iPhone. Cook just unveiled the iPhone 13.
It has a flat-edged design just like the iPhone 12, and a diagonal arrangement for the dual-camera system in the back. It will be available in five colors.
Apple is also bringing back the iPhone Mini model. The display is 28% brighter than last year's phones. The display also boasts improved power efficiency. The standard iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the Mini has a 5.4-inch screen.
The next iPhone has a brand new chip (shocker) called A15. So, big surprise, it's going to run faster and better than your old iPhone.
Apple says the new chip has 50% faster processing than its competition and 30% faster graphics processing.
Apple Fitness+ gets an update, too
The fitness app available for Apple Watch will launch in 15 more countries and include additional types of experiences such as pilates and guided meditation. There are also workouts to help users get ready for snow season activities such as skiing or snowboarding.
The Fitness+ app will also add Group Workouts using the upcoming SharePlay feature for FaceTime launching on iOS 15. It can support up to 32 people at the same time.
Apple Watch Series 7 is here at $399
Next up is the Apple Watch, the company's popular wearable. It will add new features specific to biking, including support for e-bikes and fall detection.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will boast a new display with 20% more screen area than last year's model. The shape has also been tweaked to feature softer, more rounded corners to create a more seamless wraparound effect. It's also 70% brighter indoors.
Buttons of the watch have been made larger to make them easier to find (especially if you're half asleep trying to hit snooze on an alarm). There's also a keyboard on the Apple Watch. Finally. It also has several watch faces aimed at leveraging the additional screen space.
The Apple Watch is water-resistant and is the first model with dust resistance. It also boasts an 18-hour battery life and charges 33% faster than the Series 6.
It's available in multiple colors including midnight, starlight, green and product red. Watchbands also feature a fresh variety of colors, too.
The Series 7 will start at $399. It's available later this fall. Meanwhile, the budget Series 3 will stay at $199, while the Apple Watch SE starts at $279.
The iPad Mini returns at $499
Cook said "its littlest iPad" is getting its biggest upgrade ever. It's available in four colors: purple, pink, starlight and space grey. It also boasts an 8.3-inch liquid retina display.
The top button will also double as a way to use Touch ID option as well. It's 40% faster and 80% faster with graphics processing. So, yeah, it's going to be really fast.
The iPad Mini features a USB-C port, similar to iPad Air, which they say will result in 10 times faster data transfers, and support third-party devices that also use USB-C. It will also feature 5G.
The new mini-tablet will also record in 4K and the same camera as the upgraded entry-level iPad, which means it will also support Center Stage.
It will support the second-generation Apple Pencil, and will have its own line of super -hin Smart Folio cases.
The iPad Mini starts at $499, available in both Wi-Fi and cellular models. It's available for preorder Tuesday, and launches next week.
Apple unveils new iPad at $329
Apple plans to roll out a new version of its low-cost iPad model. Apple says the new model will provide 20% faster computer and graphics processing, as well as a stronger neural engine to make services such as Live Text operate more quickly.
The front-facing camera is now a 12MP Ultra Wide camera and features Center Stage, which makes video calls more engaging by automatically detecting people. It's currently available on Pro models of iPad.
It maintains a similar design, which allows it to support most third-party peripherals such as the first-generation Apple Pencil and keyboards.
The iPad will also stick with the same price at $329 but will add 64GB of storage to start, a major upgrade. It will launch next week.
New shows on Apple TV
Cook introduces the audience to new series coming this fall to the tech giant's streaming TV service. Several big names popping up, including Jon Stewart, a new season of The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston coming this month, and the science-fiction show called "Invasion," a show called "The Shrink Next Door" starring Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell.
The Apple event has started
We've officially begun with a musical interlude that appears to take place across different parts of California, performing the song "California Soul."
Tim Cook now jumps on stage to sing the praises of California. "We're proud to call California our home," he said.
Where can I watch the Apple event?
Along with streaming the event on Apple's website, you can also watch it through YouTube.
Remember, you can also stay on this page and follow the latest news once the event begins at 1 p.m. EDT.
Apple Store: 'Be right back'
As expected prior to any Apple event, the company's online store is down since we're going to see new products later Tuesday.
"Be right back," reads the message on Apple's store. "We're making updates to the Apple store. Check back soon."
A new Apple Watch and AirPods, too?
Apple typically doesn't only talk iPhone when it hosts (physically or virtually) its September events. We're likely going to see a new version of the Apple Watch as well. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the upgraded Apple Watch Series 7 will sport a new design, larger screens and a faster processor.
Meanwhile, 9to5Mac reports Apple could also introduce a fresh version of its AirPods. The last time Apple rolled out new AirPods was in 2019, said the report.
Beware the iPhone 13 scams
As buzz rises over the likely unveiling of the iPhone 13, so too are the number of scams linked to Apple's event. Research firm Kaspersky said they have seen intensified scamming activity ahead of the event.
The schemes often involve fake offers such as snagging the next iPhone before release or getting other deals on products like AirPods. People who sign up never get the device, and hackers get a hold of their personal information.
“Apple presentations have always been a popular lure for scammers to roll out malicious activity,” said Tatyana Shcherbakova, security expert at Kaspersky, in a statement. “For several years now, we’ve seen how fraudsters use the buzz around new iPhone release and start spreading malicious features."
Among tips Kaspersky offers to protect yourself: Verify messages are from reliable sources, don't click on links in suspicious emails, and be skeptical about offers that appear too good to be true.
Epic ruling: Changes for the App Store?
It's likely Apple will address the recent decision in Epic Game's lawsuit filed against the iPhone maker. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to let developers use payment options beyond the App Store, which would circumvent Apple's 30% commission on most app transactions.
Epic Games has said it is appealing the judge's decision rejecting Epic's allegations that Apple ran a monopoly.
By mid-December, Apple must build a framework that would allow developers to steer payments outside of the App Store and Apple's iOS, said Gene Munster, a managing partner with Loup Ventures.
But "it won't be until next year that developers can do steering A/B testing," Munster said on Twitter. " Apple will probably make further changes in the next 5 years, which will collectively yield an App Store that is a favorable asset from an investor's standpoint."
– Mike Snider
'Pent up demand' for a new iPhone
In advance of today's event, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives laid out a synopsis of Apple's position, noting that the company "remains in the midst of its strongest overall product cycle in roughly a decade."
The new line of iPhones, expected to be called the iPhone 13, will be the second model to include 5G wireless connectivity. Apple appears to be boosting production of the new phones beyond that of the iPhone 12, Ives said. His analysis suggests Apple's initial production of about 90 million units surpasses that of the initial iPhone 12 production of 80 million.
The reasoning? "This 5G driven product cycle will extend into 2022 and should also benefit from a post-vaccine consumer 'reopening environment,' Ives said.
Beyond that, there is "pent up demand" for new iPhones among current customers because about 250 million of the 975 million iPhones already sold have not been upgraded in more than 3.5 years, he said.
The new wave of iPhones is expected to include "an eye-popping 1 terabyte storage option," twice the highest storage capacity in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Ives expects.
– Mike Snider
►iOS 15 is arriving soon:Here's what we know about the iPhone's upcoming update
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.