Apple has new phone, as does Huawei

2023-09-13 11:22:37China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Apple's new phone launch Tuesday came on the heels of one by Huawei Technologies, which one analyst said could put pressure on iPhone sales in China and other regions.

Apple announced during its new product launch event "Wonderlust" in Cupertino, California, that its new line of iPhone 15 and Apple Watch will come to market Sept 22, about two weeks after China's Huawei Technologies quietly launched its Mate 60 series.

Huawei's new line, which includes the Mate 60, Mate 60 Pro and Mate 60 Pro , was called by some industry insiders as the "Chinese iPhone 15 Pro" and has met a lot of consumer enthusiasm.

Huawei announced Tuesday that it has raised the second-half shipment target for its Mate 60 series smartphone by 20 percent, according to China's Securities Times. It has been reported that Huawei expects new smartphone shipments for 2023 to reach at least 40 million units.

MarketWatch reported that the Mate 60 series marked a new milestone for China's domestic chipmaking industry for mass market consumer device semiconductors. The Mate 60 Pro also has 5G functionality for faster connection speeds.

"We believe that Huawei has already been making a comeback in the China domestic smartphone market (initially with 4G models) and this announcement could help Huawei gain further market share domestically," JP Morgan analyst Gokul Hariharan wrote in a note on Tuesday, according to MarketWatch.

"This is likely to halt iPhone market-share gains in China and could put some downward pressure on iPhone 15 units post product launch this week," Hariharan said.

Apple's stock fell about 3 percent on Tuesday, the day it launched its new product.

During the launch, Apple said its new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will all come with USB-C chargers. Apple will begin to ship its AirPods also with USB-C this fall. That means customers can finally use a single cable to charge the MacBook, AirPod and iPhone.

Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak said that the 15 Pro and Pro Max have Apple's best cameras yet. The iPhone 15's camera sensor is moving up to a 48-megapixel one, up from the 12-megapixel on iPhone 14. There's also a feature to automatically detect portrait mode without the need to manually make the switch anymore. Users can later pick a focal point in the picture also.

The camera has a 13mm to 120mm optical zoom range and five times zoom for macro photos. It can also shoot video directly to an external drive. The AI-assisted camera can take better low-light photos and capture less lens flare.

The Pro version is the first phone with 10 gbps transfer speeds, which will make moving large files such as photos and videos much easier.

The bodies of the new iPhones 15 Pro and Pro Max are made of titanium like the ones used in Mars rovers, Apple announced. The new phones also feature the Action Button, with which one can customize the silent/sound button to launch a single action such as the camera.

Apple also launched the Watch Series 9, which comes with the latest and much revamped smartwatch operating system OS.

The new watches feature a double-tap gesture that the wearer, by tapping the thumb and index finger, can answer the phone, pause or play music, as well as launch some other basic functions.

That feature was previously available through Assistive Touch, and now it will become part of the software feature with its October updates. Its high-end wearable Apple Watch Ultra 2 features on-device Siri processing and more precise location tracking. Siri will offer English and Mandarin first, and other languages will be available later.

Apple also announced that it has partnered with AAA (American Automobile Association) to provide satellite-powered roadside assistance to its newest iPhone 15.

The service will be free for current AAA members. It also will be available to non-AAA members at a price not yet disclosed. It's an expansion of the Emergency SOS via satellite feature launched with the iPhone 14 last year.

The service will allow iPhone users to text a request for assistance for various roadside emergencies, including being locked out, running out of fuel, a flat tire, et cetera. The messages will be sent to AAA even outside of cell phone service range. The service will be free for two years with purchase of an iPhone 15.

Apple also teased that the Pro iPhones will be the best to play games, and a series of games including Resident Evil, Assassin's Creed Mirage, The Division Resurgence and other games will be available for the iPhone 15 Pro later this year and in early 2024.

The Apple Watch Series 9 will start at $399, and Ultra 2 will start at $799.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 plus will start at $799 and $899, respectively. The more advanced iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will start at $999 and $1,199, respectively. Pre-order of the products starts Friday.

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