Apple lifts lid on the $1000 iPhone X, shows off its shiny new $5bn HQ

JOHANNESBURG — When Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone in 2007, few would have realised the impact the device would have on the global mobile phone market. Ten years late, the iPhone is still regarded as the premier smartphone brand, but it’s facing increasing competition from the likes of South Korea’s Samsung and even a more low-cost Chinese device makers Huawei and Xiaomi. It’s no surprise then that Apple pulled out all the stops in unveiling its new iPhone X, which comes at a steep $1000 price-point but which promises to be the best phone in the world. It’s also significant that Tim Cook unveiled the latest device at the company’s brand new $5bn headquarters in Cupertino. Apple has been much-criticised for not introducing another world-changing device like the iPhone. But the reality is that Apple has become brilliant at upgrading its devices in incremental steps and increasingly locking fanboys and girls into its ecosystem. – Gareth van Zyl 

By Alex Webb and Mark Gurman

(Bloomberg) – Apple unveiled its most important new iPhone for years to take on growing competition from Samsung Electronics, Google and a host of Chinese smartphone makers.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook showed off the iPhone X with an edge-to-edge screen during an event at the company’s new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday. Cook pronounced the name “ten,” but it’s written as “X.” The device, coming a decade after the original model, is Apple’s first major redesign since 2014 and represents a significant upgrade to the iPhone 7 line.

An attendee displays an Apple Inc. iPhone X for a photograph during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Apple Inc. unveiled its most important new iPhone for years to take on growing competition from Samsung Electronics Co., Google and a host of Chinese smartphone makers. The device, coming a decade after the original model, is Apple’s first major redesign since 2014 and represents a significant upgrade to the iPhone 7 line. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The device starts at $999 and comes in 64 GB and 256 GB storage versions. Pre-orders start on Oct. 27 and the phone will be available beginning Nov. 3, the company said. Apple shares fell 0.8 percent to $160.18 after the announcement.

Apple shares have gained about 40 percent this year on expectations the new phone will reignite sales growth after a rare revenue decline last year. The iPhone accounts for almost two-thirds of total sales, and it’s a hub for most of Apple’s other products and services.

The iPhone X’s almost $1,000 price is potentially a psychological threshold for consumers that Apple will try to overcome with augmented reality features and other new technology.

“With expected innovations around AR, wireless charging, viewable screen size, OLED, and more, the next iPhone is clearly poised for its largest upgrade cycle yet,” Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities USA Inc., wrote in a note to investors ahead of the event.

Here’s what analysts are saying about Apple’s new products

By Julie Verhage and Jeran Wittenstein

(Bloomberg) — Apple unveiled the most highly anticipated new iPhone in years on Tuesday, and with the tech giant’s shares already up 40 percent in 2017, the device had to live up to high expectations.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and other executives took to the stage at Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, California, to show off multiple iPhones, an LTE-enabled Watch, and an upgraded Apple TV streaming video box.

While the company’s shares finished down 0.4 percent after the presentations ended, Wall Street remains mostly optimistic. Here’s a wrap of what analysts are saying.

Piper Jaffray Cos., Michael Olson

“This being the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, expectations were for the company to deliver a device with a relatively more robust set of upgraded features; we believe Apple generally met these lofty expectations. Most notably, we would point to the change in form factor (edge-to-edge, glass OLED screen) and 3D sensing (enabling facial recognition) as the key upgrades.”

“We recommend owning Apple due to potential for a strong iPhone upgrade cycle and a favorable trajectory for services revenue.” Maintained overweight rating and $190 price target.

Drexel Hamilton, Brian White

“Apple’s stock will not only benefit from the upcoming iPhone cycle, but also the company’s capital distribution initiative, attractive valuation and potential new innovations. As such, we do not believe Apple’s run will end with today’s iPhone event, but still has attractive upside potential.” Maintained buy rating with $208 price target.

Loup Ventures, Gene Munster

“The iPhone X has advanced 3D-sensing, display, camera, and augmented reality technologies that have never been available in consumer devices. These technologies solidify the platform on which Apple will retain and grow its user base for the next decade.”

“We were hoping to see advanced AR sensors on both the front and the rear of the new device, but the new, advanced sensors are primarily relegated to the iPhone X’s front.”

“IPhone X will ship on November 3, roughly six weeks after we had previously expected,” he said. “The ship date likely won’t have a material impact on the number of units sold, but will push some unit sales into the March quarter.”

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