San Francisco: Apple Inc. unveiled the iPhone 13 and a new iPad mini on Tuesday, which expands 5G connectivity and showcases faster chips and sharper cameras without increasing the price of the phone.
The Cupertino, California-based company hasn’t announced any blockbuster features or products, but analysts expect customers hanging on older models like the iPhone X will be eager to upgrade. In order to encourage trade-ins, the participating mobile phone providers are offering incentives before the end of the year to make the new phones available to some customers free of charge.
The iPhone 13 will have a new chip called A15 Bionic that enables features like automatic text translation. The phone also has a better display, longer battery life, and a cinematic mode to automatically change focus when recording video. Apple said the iPhone 13 will have custom 5G antennas and wireless components for higher speeds and will come in five colors.
The phone will start at $ 699, and participating wireless carriers are offering up to $ 700 off qualifying trade-ins. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $ 999 and the Pro Max starts at $ 1,099, with trade-in offers of up to $ 1,000. All three models will be available on September 24th.
Prices are unchanged from last year, but some wireless carriers like AT&T Inc will offer the devices at no extra charge if customers trade in a previous model and sign up for an installment plan.
Ben Bajarin, Head of Consumer Technologies at Creative Strategies, said he expected these aggressive subsidy and trade-in policies to increase in order to keep Apple and wireless carriers customers going.
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“You don’t have to pay a deposit and keep paying what you paid,” Bajarin said. “This offering is unique to Apple and it is a strength they must have to keep these sales cycles going for them and the carriers.”
The iPhone is Apple’s main product, but Apple has launched a web of service and other products that keep customers locked in a system they enjoy – and would find expensive to leave.
The Series 7 smartwatch will have a larger display and faster charging. It starts at $ 399 and will be available later this fall.
The company also updated its iPad Mini with 5G connectivity and a redesigned design that makes it look like the higher-end iPad Air and Pro models. Bob O’Donnell, head of TECHnalysis Research, said the tiny tablet was Apple’s most surprising announcement of the day and could attract customers who want a device with 5G that can handle more powerful apps than a phone.
“I don’t think it will replace any other device like we’ve seen Apple position some of the larger iPads as PC replacements,” said O’Donnell.
Apple has also updated its base iPad model with a new camera for working and studying from home. The base iPad starts at $ 329 and the Mini starts at $ 499. Both will be available next week.
Apple shares were down 1.2%, a decline more than a slight downturn in the broader markets.
“It doesn’t seem to have announced anything revolutionary, but of course, as always, they have announced enough improvements to at least generate some excitement among consumers,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments family investment office.
Apple’s biggest launch of the year comes as some of the gloss has fallen from its inventory as business practices like collecting commissions from software developers for in-app payments have come under government scrutiny.
Apple shares rose around 11.6% year-to-date at the close of trading on Tuesday, trailing the Nasdaq Composite Index, which was up 16.7% over the same period.
Kim Forrest, founder and chief investment officer of Bokeh Capital, said she wasn’t concerned about the lack of zippy, unexpected products as Apple’s upgrades would keep customers. “I think that once the consumer has the Apple chip in their head, it’s very difficult to remove,” she said.
The Apple Watch has become a cornerstone of the $ 30.6 billion accessory segment, which grew 25% in Apple’s last fiscal year, despite a slight decline in iPhone sales. Analysts generally believe that Apple users who buy more than one product – like an Apple Watch and an iPhone – are more likely to stick with the brand and spend money on the company’s apps and services.
Apple focused on fitness features like improving bike workout recording and dust protection while hiking. The watch is closely tied to Apple Fitness +, a paid service that offers guided workouts with Apple instructors. The company added Pilates- and ski-oriented workouts, as well as a group workout feature that allows users to train together. The company has also bundled three months of free service with its watch devices.
The shares of exercise bike and online exercise company Peloton were down about 1.6%.