Apple to show off another round of iPhones
Apple is set to unveil its latest iPhones on Tuesday at an annual event aimed at drumming up interest and sales of its flagship moneymaker. In past years, Apple’s new iPhones have been a bit faster, bigger and pricier than their predecessors. Customers and investors will be watching on Tuesday to see whether Apple has something else up its sleeve, but expectations for something groundbreaking are low.
Apple is expected to debut three iPhones that look much like last year’s models, except for an extra camera lens on the back, which will produce better photos, according to recent news reports. The phones are also likely to have faster processors and more battery life.
How much they will cost is less clear. For the past two years, Apple has priced some new iPhones at $1,000 or more. That has helped depress sales and has forced Apple to cut prices in China, according to analysts.
Apple is expected to provide more details on several of its new services. Apple announced a subscription video-streaming service, Apple TV Plus, in March, with an expected start by year’s end. The company might say more about what exactly the service will include and how much it will cost.
Apple has also said it plans to introduce a subscription gaming service, Apple Arcade, but details have been sparse. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans for Tuesday.
In consumer tech, boring can be good
Historically, most iPhones have had an “S” cycle. Apple uses the letter in its iPhone branding to signify that a new model is an incremental improvement from the last one.
For example, in 2009, the iPhone 3GS was a faster version of the iPhone 3G from 2008. In 2011, the iPhone 4S was a minor update from 2010’s iPhone 4. This year’s iPhones will be incremental updates of last year’s models, focusing on enhancements in camera technology.
On paper, incremental updates sound like a snoozer. Yet they are generally the safest bet for average consumers who just want tech that works well. That’s because the S generations typically address flaws seen in older generations while introducing improvements in areas like speed and durability. In other words, if you’ve held off on upgrading your iPhone until now, you will probably be rewarded with a mature piece of tech.
On the flip side, if you are an early adopter of cutting-edge technology, S updates are usually a cue to wait another year or two before upgrading. Analysts say Apple is expected to make more significant changes to its handsets in the coming years, introducing compatibility with so-called 5G cellular networks and eventually making iPhones with foldable screens.