September 14, 2021 12:38pm


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During a virtual product presentation, Apple today unveiled the iPhone 13, which has longer battery life and an improved camera, including “cinematic mode.”

The phone’s camera is designed to be more effective at capturing night scenes, capturing about 50% more light than the previous model. The goal, the company said, is to record “videos of people, pets, and objects with a beautiful depth effect with automatic focus changes, so anyone can capture cinema-style moments.”

In addition to the iPhone, the company unveiled its seventh-generation Apple Watch and new iPads, and an expansion of its fitness streaming service. Apple Fitness+ will also now offer guided meditation.

Pre-sales begin Friday for the new iPhone, which has a proprietary chip and a battery that the company says can last up to 90 minutes longer than the iPhone 12 battery. The chip is also billed as delivering faster operational speeds and faster neural/machine learning technology. The base price of the iPhone 13 will be $799, though discounts through carriers and for trade-ins can bring it lower. The iPhone Pro starts at $999.

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Due to Covid-19 safety protocols, the presentation was pre-recorded and streamed online. It has been two years since a live audience attended an Apple unveiling in person at the company’s Cupertino, CA home base.

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Even with a live audience, product events under CEO Tim Cook have a different feel from the classic “just one more thing” stagecraft of the company’s late co-founder Steve Jobs. While Jobs pulled off a series of stunners, notably the introduction of the iPod and iPhone, Cook has always been known for his strength as a steady operational executive.

The tech giant’s growing services business — everything from cloud storage to music to video streaming — has become a priority under Cook. That shift positioned Apple well to weather the coronavirus pandemic without too much reliance on the more volatile hardware business. Nevertheless, the iPhone alone still accounted for nearly half of the company’s $81.4 billion in total revenue for the quarter ending June 30.

The company’s product unveiling followed a ruling by a federal judge in a legal battle with Epic Games over the “steering” of consumers to Apple’s App Store. The company takes 30% of the revenue from all apps downloaded via its store, with the so-called “Apple tax” causing consternation among app and game developers. Epic, which makes games like Fortnite, called the store policy monopolistic. The judge partly agreed and ordered Apple to loosen some restrictions on the App Store, but the company had already begun to incorporate many of the changes she requested.