Apple unveils iPhone 7
but some still waiting for iPhone 8
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[September 08, 2016]
By Julia Love and Alexandria Sage
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc
unveiled an iPhone 7 with high-resolution cameras and no headphone jack
at its annual launch event Wednesday, though the biggest surprise was
the debut of a three-decade-old Nintendo game franchise, Super Mario
Bros, on the smartphone.
While shares of Apple barely budged, Nintendo's U.S.-listed shares
jumped 29 pct on investors' hopes that Super Mario would be another
mobile gaming hit for the Japanese company akin to the wildly popular
Much of the presentation headed by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was
devoted to technical details of photography, wireless earphones, games
from Nintendo, and a new version of Apple watch - with fitness features.
The biggest iPhone technical improvements all had leaked, and Apple
itself spoiled the surprise by sending out tweets of some details before
Cook spoke. The company then deleted the messages.
Apple has reported declines in iPhone sales for the last two quarters,
which raised the stakes for the iPhone 7. Some consumers and analysts
are considering waiting until 2017.
“Just gonna wait on iPhone 8 cuz it’s the 10th anniversary of iPhone,”
Tweeted @LewBruh near the end of the event. “Ya know they gonna do
But Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments LLC in
Minneapolis, said the new phone encouraged him that Apple was in good
shape for a new sales cycle.
"I think the iPhone 7, just from a replacement basis, will be a
successful launch," he said.
The world's best-known technology company said the iPhone 7 would have
one, zooming 12-megapixel camera. Starting at $649, it is the same price
as the 6S predecessor. The larger 7 'Plus' edition, starting at $769,
would feature two cameras, including a telephoto lens.
Apple also removed the analog headphone jack from both new models, as
was widely expected. The new headphones supplied by Apple with the phone
will plug into the same port as the recharging cord, making it
incompatible with most wired headphones without an adaptor. Apple
includes the adapter.
The phones will also work with Apple's new wireless headphones, called
Air Pods, available in late October at a price of $159.
The disappearance of the headphone jack “will probably annoy a certain
amount of people” but they would likely get over it, Binger said.
Apple described dropping the jack as an act of courage as it moved
toward a wireless future with the optional Air Pods. Getting rid of the
jack also increased room for stereo speakers, and Apple sharpened the
technology on most features, from the camera to a pressure-sensitive
home button to a boost in memory.
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The Apple iPhone7 and AirPods are displayed during an Apple media
event in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 7, 2016.
The new phone will start shipping in major markets, including the United States
and China, on Sept. 16.
Bob O'Donnell of research firm TECHnalysis said Apple's new glossy black finish
could be more popular than any tech feature, reflecting the slowdown in major
tech innovations for smartphones.
"While the camera improvements for the iPhone 7 Plus are nice, they are
incremental for most and the lack of headphone jacks could offset that for
others," he said.
Apple typically gives its main product, which accounts for more than half of its
revenue, a big makeover every other year and the last major redesign was the
iPhone 6 in 2014. Many are expecting a three-year cycle this time, culminating
in a major redesign for 2017 to be called iPhone 8.
Apple said its Apple Watch Series 2, with a swim-proof casing, will be available
in more than 25 countries starting on Sept. 16.
"I predict Watch sales will improve dramatically," said Tech analyst Patrick
Moorhead. "Most of the current Watch owners are early adopters and the next wave
could be 10 times the size of that market."
Apple also launched a new version of the device called the Apple Watch Nike+, in
partnership with the athletic goods manufacturer Nike Inc, featuring GPS so
athletes can track their runs.
Shares of Fitbit Inc, which makes activity-tracking bands, closed down 2 percent
on the emergence of such a high-profile competitor.
(Reporting by Julia Love and Alexandria Sage; Additional reporting by Rodrigo
Campos and Amy Tennery; Writing by Bill Rigby and Peter Henderson; Editing by
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