A tricked-out iPhone XS Max costs more than a MacBook

A tricked-out iPhone XS Max costs more than a MacBook

A tricked-out iPhone XS Max costs more than a MacBook

Apple officially announced its 2018 iPhone line-up at a press event in Cupertino, Calif. Wednesday: The company is replacing last year's iPhone X with a new model dubbed the iPhone Xs, which comes with a bigger-sized Xs Max variant.

The phones largely ditch the looks and heritage of the iPhone 8, instead building on last year's iPhone X in terms of looks and features.

All the three new iPhones share most of the same core features.

Only the more expensive phones get all the latest tech, including the eSIM support that will come with an update to iOS 12 later this year. The iPhone Xs screen is 5.8 inches.

For one, The Verge noted, they are both available in gold, something iPhone loyalists have been waiting for.

But this time around each new model takes inspiration from the iPhone X, which means edge-to-edge screens and no home button. Apple is calling this "Super Retina". The phone, which costs more than a basic Apple laptop ($1449 in its maxed-out Max configuration), is in many ways becoming a replacement for a laptop - minus the keyboard.

While you can't see it per se, Apple upgraded the phones' durability over their predecessors with an IP68 water resistance rating. The new 12 megapixel cameras have bigger sensors and an improved HDR mode.

Apple is a believer in augmented reality technology, and brought on stage NBA Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash to demonstrate why seeing digital images overlaid on the real world is a big deal. There are the expected upgrades to the screen, camera and other key components, but perhaps the most intriguing to the telecoms industry is the imminent support for eSIM, which removes the need to swap out a physical SIM when you want to switch providers, thus significantly facilitating the process.

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While online sentiment was mixed, an obvious key focus was the high price tag - also a target of criticism around the launch of the iPhone X past year. A big part of the absurdly high price tag of the R18,000 iPhone X that launched a year ago was the OLED screen. It can handle 5 trillion operations each second. Another notable addition: Both the XS and XS Max support a dual-SIM card system, enabling multiple phone numbers and easier worldwide travel.

The XS model will set you back $1,629 for the 64GB model and $2,199 for the 512GB.

The XS Max, the largest iPhone to date and one of the biggest on the market, has a 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) screen, and will start selling at $1,099.

Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch is available for pre-order on September 14, and will ship on September 21.

If you're using a 4.7-inch iPhone 7 or older, would you consider getting the iPhone XR? Additionally, there are three storage options for each: 64 GB, 256 GB, and - for the first time in an iPhone - 512 GB.

On the surface, the iPhone XR feels like an iPhone X, at least from the front.

Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams discussed the company's health technology features that it was embedding in its new Apple Watches. It shares numerous same features as the Xs - including the processor, Face ID and no home button.

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