iPhone Xr in white, black and blue.
iPhone Xr in white, black and blue.
Image: Supplied

Tim Cook took to the stage on Wednesday night to give Apple fans the news that the company had just sold its two-billionth Apple product.

The Apple CEO says 98% of iPhone users loved last year’s X Phones, despite what reviewers said – in fact loved them to the point that they made Apple $130bn (R1.9trillion) in revenue this year alone.

The company that became the first to exceed $1 trillion in value had social media on fire last night with its unveiling of the bigger and better Apple Watch 4 and three new iPhones of the X variety. However, my attitude could be summed up in a tweet by @kidnoble: “So funny how every year they say ‘It’s the most advanced iPhone we’ve ever created!’ I mean … I would hope so. It’s new.”

APPLE WATCH 4

The watch’s screen has grown by a third and shunk its bezel, all the better for seeing fitness stats, calendar info and sports scores.

Talking about fitness, the watch now has an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitoring capability – so it has your back and your heart. It also monitors and can tell if you fall, giving you the option of making an emergency call. (Looks like the canny Cook is going after a slice of pensioner and mixed martial arts money with this one.)

The Apple watch 4.
The Apple watch 4.
Image: Supplied

Although South Africa never got the in-calling option for version 3, it is comforting to know that in theory Watch 4 will now be twice as loud, thus making calls, walkie-talkie functionality and Siri all the more accessible.

There are 1.31-inch or 1.54-inch display size options which will set you back $399, or $499 for cellular, both prices without tax. But with our tempestuous relationship with the dollar this week it’s perhaps best you don’t do the currency conversions yet and rather wait for the landing.

- Apple Watch Series 4 to launch at iStore on 28 September 2018. Pre-orders open from 21 September 2018.

IPHONE XS AND XS MAX

The big one has finally arrived. No, the Xs Max is neither an energy drink nor a sanitary pad, it’s the iPhone with the biggest screen ever. 

Still flexing the same 6.5 inches as the old iPhone 8+ the Max has an upgraded OLED screen and practically no bezel. The “normal” Xs sits at a nice-to-handle 5.8 inches.

iPhone Xs.
iPhone Xs.
Image: Supplied

Once again Apple swears that the screens are made from the strongest glass ever made for any cellphone but, once again, our local Apple resellers will give you screen insurance and screen repair if you upgrade in-store … making me not believe Tim 100%.

Apple has also upped the anti on their newest processing chip, the A12 bionic, which  has “up to 50% faster graphics performance, up to 15% faster performance cores, and up to 50% lower power usage in efficiency cores”. Whether the battery will last past midday remains to be seen, but you can charge it faster than ever on an airpower mat that has yet to be released one year later.

iPhone Xs.
iPhone Xs.
Image: Supplied

Better camera software, same camera specs. Yup, you still get the same 12 megapixel wide-angle and telephoto lens with the same 1.8 aperture. But there are new secondary frames, a faster sensor, and the powerful A12 Bionic chip that promises more highlight and shadow detail to your photos and less noise in your photos at night.

iPhone Xs camera specs.
iPhone Xs camera specs.
Image: Supplied

Sure, you can tweak the depth of field now but you could do that on the Samsung Note8 a year ago.

I will happily concede that iPhone X’s photos are already amazing but their constant mini-tweaking is not as groundbreaking as it could be.

The notch it still there in front, housing the many, many sensors for face ID which is still around.

Apple have finally made it over to 512GB storage so those who have the cash to back it up will finally not have to delete chunks of their lives or pay all their savings to the cloud.

iPhone Xs Screens.
iPhone Xs Screens.
Image: Supplied

Talking about chunks of money, after the world was up in arms last year at the $1,000 price tag and the phone still in staggering numbers, Apple decided on a $999 plus tax starting price for the Xs and $1,099 for the Xs Max – going all the way to $1,449 for the 512GB variety.

IPHONE XR

If you don’t want to take out a small loan for a phone that will be outdated in a year or overtaken by Huawei or Samsung in six months, then you can always opt for Apple’s “more affordable” Xr. The biggest bonus besides the price is the fun colours, white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red. The super lush Xs gold is absent.

iPhone Xr phone colours black, coral and red.
iPhone Xr phone colours black, coral and red.
Image: Supplied

It’s a midsize phone, fitting squarely between the 8 and the 8plus, retaining the LED screen of yore with the added name of “Liquid retina” to make you feel a bit fancier with 326 pixels per inch.

To continue the trend of the same same but downgraded, you get all the software camera upgrades but lose a camera lens. You also get to keep the A12 chip but don’t have the 512GB space option.

All of this will set you back $749 plus tax for the basic 64GB version with the 256GB creeping up on the Xs at $899. Rumour has it that even when Apple does launch internationally on October 26 you can expect numbers o be limited at first, so best you preorder on October 19 if you want a phone that is more expensive than the average (and better) android price equivalent.

- You can start preordering the XS handsets from September 15 (Saturday) and can expect the XS to hit our shores on September 28.

- Local prices are not yet confirmed.

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