APPLE'S latest smartphone is finally official – it's called the iPhone XS.
The premium blower was unveiled during a special iPhone launch event at Apple's California HQ on Wednesday evening.
Apple's new smartphones were revealed on Wednesday evening at a special press event
AP:Associated Press The bigger iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen, the largest on any Apple smartphone to date
iPhone XS revealed – what is it?
It's the flagship model for 2018, replacing (and borrowing its design from) last year's popular iPhone X.
As expected, it features Face ID facial recognition technology – and comes in two sizes.
There's a 5.8-inch model, and a bigger 6.5-inch version too. The latter is called the iPhone XS Max, and has the biggest screen ever featured on an iPhone.
Tim Cook described the pair as "by far the most advanced iPhone we have ever created".
Reuters The new iPhones come in three colour options – gold, silver and grey
iPhone XS specs and features – what's new?
To that end, Apple has created a brand new processor the A12 for the iPhone XS, which should run up to 50% faster than last year's iPhone chip.
This is possible because Apple has built its new chip on a 7nm manufacturing process – which means the transistors on the chip are just 7 nanometres apart.
Transistors are tiny electronic switches that allow computing to happen. The more transistors, the more computing you can get done.
For last year's A11 processor, the transistors were 10 nanometres apart – but this distance has been reduced to 7 nanometres. That means Apple is able to squeeze more transistors into the same amount of space, boosting computing power and energy efficiency.
Like last year, the new iPhones have premium OLED screens, which support high-quality video formats like HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
iPhone: Big vs Small
How iPhone sizes have changed over the years
- iPhone (2007) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 3G (2008) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 3GS (2009) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 4 (2010) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 4S (2011) – 3.5 inches
- iPhone 5 (2012) – 4 inches
- iPhone 5S (2013) – 4 inches
- iPhone 5C (2013) – 4 inches
- iPhone 6 (2014) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 6+ (2014) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone 6S (2015) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 6S+ (2015) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone SE (2016) – 4 inches
- iPhone 7 (2016) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 7+ (2016) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone 8 (2017) – 4.7 inches
- iPhone 8+ (2017) – 5.5 inches
- iPhone X (2017) – 5.8 inches
- iPhone XS (2018) – 5.8 inches
- iPhone XS Max (2018) – 6.5 inches
Reuters Apple's all-screen designs mean larger displays can be fit into smaller phone bodies
Apple has improved the water resistance for its new iPhones, and says Face ID facial recognition will now work even faster.
And as expected, Apple also added Dual SIM support for the new phones – meaning you can use two SIMs (and by extension, two phone numbers) at once. This is great for travellers, who can keep their UK SIM but also use cheaper local SIM cards at their destinations.
iPhone XS software – new iOS 12 update
Apple is also kitting its iPhone XS out with the latest iOS 12 software update.
This includes a new feature called Siri Shorcuts, that lets you carry out multiple tasks in a single command.
For instance, you could ask Siri to set a timer and tell you about the weather in one single query.
You'll also be able to link this system up to non-Apple apps, like smart home thermostats or music services – previously impossible with Siri.
Apple iPhone Siri shortcuts
So what else does iOS 12 offer?
There are shared AR experiences, so you can play augmented reality games (think Pokémon Go) with friends. You'll both be able to see the same virtual objects in the real world on different iPhones.
Apple has also added Memoji, which are animated icons that look like you. They're mapped to your facial movements, so you can even make FaceTime calls as your Memoji avatar.
The Photos app now has a For You tab that surfaces your favourite moments in one place, combining your Memories and iCloud Shared Albums.
There are a few new features to help you use your phone less, too. Screen Time lets you track how much time you spend on your phone, and in apps. Improved Do Not Disturb lets you shut off all notifications in the night automatically, and hides them from you in the morning. And Grouped Notifications lets you get rid of loads of pop-ups in one go.
Apple has also added a new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature to its Safari web browser. This will block social media 'Like' or 'Share' buttons and comment widgets that track you across the web, usually without your permission.
Getty Images – Getty Apple's new smartphones will be available to pre-order from Friday
iPhone XS – the early verdict
Here's an early take from CCS Insight analyst and Apple expert Ben Wood…
The iPhone X S Max is undoubtedly the star of the show. It builds on the success of the iPhone X and offers one of the biggest displays on the market, but in a design that doesn't look as though you have a giant 6.5-inch screen in your hand.
Introducing dual SIMs in all markets is a bold move by Apple and something that will give mobile operators a lot to think about. Having pioneered the technology on the iPad and Watch, it was only a matter of time before Apple brought it to the iPhone. The potential for new business models is limited while Apple continues to offer a physical SIM card slot alongside the e-SIM capability, but if it eventually decides to get rid of the physical SIM it will have significant implications for how customers buy airtime in the future.
Apple's advantage of being able to offer hardware, software and services has never been more visible, particularly in areas such as machine learning and augmented reality. It can do things that rivals that make hardware but have to buy chips from third parties and get software from Google struggle to match.
Apple will face some inevitable criticism that these products offer only small improvements on prior successes. However, the fact that Apple has sold almost 2 billion iOS devices to date is testament to the success of the iPhone recipe since 2007.
At the launch of the iPhone X, Tim Cook declared the new device was a platform that would form the basis for hardware, software and service innovation over the coming years. Although the devices unveiled this week are an iteration of what came before, Apple is staying true to its vision.
The belated introduction of a larger screen in the iPhone 6 Plus resulted in a surge in demand from Apple fans. The iPhone X S Max fulfils the widespread expectation of a larger display on an iPhone X and will prompt a similar flood of upgrades like the one in 2014.
The iPhone X S Max tightens Apple's grip on the high-end smartphone segment, but more importantly represents a new premium vehicle for Apple's rapidly growing services business.
iPhone XS camera – a super snapper
Apple has also significantly upgraded the camera system for the new iPhone XS.
On the back of the iPhone XS, there's a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera paired up with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, working in a dual-snapper system.
The wide-angle camera sensor now has a wider f/1.8 aperture however, which should improve image quality – by allowing more light to be drawn in.
"This is an amazing amount of power," said Apple's Phil Schiller, who said the camera's image processor is capable of doing a trillion operations at once for every photo you take.
iPhone XS release date and price – how much does it cost?
The iPhone XS will be available to pre-order from Friday, with a release date set for September 21.
Pricing is through the roof – here's how much you'll pay:
- iPhone XS (64GB) – £999
- iPhone XS (256GB) – £1,149
- iPhone XS (512GB) – £1,349
- iPhone XS Max (64GB) – £1,099
- iPhone XS Max (256GB) – £1,249
- iPhone XS Max (512GB) – £1,449
What do you think of the new iPhone? Let us know in the comments!