Apple Watch 5, new iPad, but no AR Glasses: What Apple did and didn’t announce at its iPhone event

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 12 Sep 2019

The company's new flagship phones are putting a heavy emphasis on photography and video capture, complete with new lenses and new software features like night mode. — Bloomberg

LOS ANGELES: In addition to introducing three new iPhone models and revealing key details about its video and game subscription services, Apple also announced a few other products at its phone event Sept 10.

But just as notable were the things that were absent from Apple's keynote presentation, despite many rumours about possible announcements.

All the things Apple did announce:

The new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The company's new flagship phones are putting a heavy emphasis on photography and video capture, complete with new lenses and new software features like night mode.

A new Apple Watch. Version 5 of the wearable features an always-on display, doing away with the need to lift the watch in order to take a glance at the time, and any notifications. Versions of the Watch that include cellular connectivity also now allow consumers to call emergency services in over 150 countries, and the new version of Watch OS comes with a dedicated app store for Watch apps.

Apple Arcade. The company's game subscription service will launch on Sept 19, offer access to over 100 exclusive games, and cost just US$4.99 (RM21) per month.

A new iPad. The latest entry-level tablet is compatible with the Apple Pencil, the company's touch-sensitive stylus, and features a 10.2in retina display. It will be available for sale starting Sept 20, and cost US$329 (RM1,373) and up, depending on storage options.

Apple TV Plus. The company's long-awaited video subscription service will launch on Nov 1, and cost just US$4.99 (RM19.90) per month.

Here are some of the things Apple didn't announce:

A new Apple TV streaming box. It's been two years since Apple last updated its Apple TV streaming device, which hasn't been selling as well as competing devices from Roku and Amazon. However, despite unveiling a new video service, Apple didn't mention any pending updates for the TV device. In many ways, the company is less reliant on Apple TV than it used to be: On Sept 10, Apple announced plans to bring Apple TV Plus to TVs and streaming devices made by competitors like Amazon, Samsung, Vizio, Sony and Roku.

A 5G iPhone. Samsung was first to announce a dedicated 5G version of its flagship phone earlier this year. But without robust coverage for the next-generation wireless standard, Apple apparently decided to sit this one out for at least one more year.

A Homepod Mini. Apple's smart speaker hasn't been selling nearly as well as competing – and much more affordable – devices from competitors like Amazon and Google. There have been rumours that Apple may introduce a more affordable version of the Homepod, but any such device was absent from Tuesday's media event.

A Tile competitor. Code snippets found in various Apple apps suggested that Apple may be working on a smart tag, similar to products like Tile and Trackr, which help people locate items with their smartphones. That tidbit was apparently lost on Apple CEO Tim Cook, who didn't mention such a product once Tuesday.

Augmented reality (AR) glasses. Apple executives have long been bullish about the prospects of AR, and reports have suggested that Apple may start selling its very own AR headset as early as 2020. Ahead of Tuesday's event, some observers had speculated that it may offer a first sneak peek at the technology.

In typical Apple fashion, the company instead decided to keep everything AR hardware-related under wraps. In fact, executives didn't even mention cellphone-based AR once. – Variety/Reuters

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