Apple unveils latest iPhones, gadgets at its launch event

Apple unveiled four new iPhones, a new Apple Watch and new iPads on Tuesday during a virtual media event held from California.

The new smartphones — the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max — don’t include any groundbreaking design changes or features, at least compared to last year’s 5G announcement. There was no portless iPhone and no under-display touch ID. Neither was there Apple’s once classic line: “one more thing.”

Instead, the event marked a return to basics for Apple with predictable improvements that included better cameras, longer-lasting battery and faster processing on its devices. Still, there were some pleasant new additions, including a jaw dropping storage option for the Pro models and a new Portrait mode for shooting videos. And, contrary to some rumors, Apple made upgrades without raising the base price of its various models.

The stakes were high for Apple (AAPL) heading into the event. The iPhone continues to be a major revenue driver for the company and remains central to its ecosystem of products. The event also comes amid some uncertainty: A US judge ruled last week that Apple can no longer prohibit app developers from directing users to payment options outside the App Store. The company is facing antitrust scrutiny from regulators in the US and abroad. And Apple recently confronted weeks of controversy for its approach to combating child exploitation.

On Tuesday, Apple attempted to move past that. Here’s a closer look at what was announced:

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The higher-end iPhone Pro line was arguably the highlight of Apple’s event, at least among the iPhones. The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max feature Apple’s new, powerful A15 Bionic chip, which Apple said is the “fastest CPU in any smartphone.” It will give the iPhone improved machine learning capabilities, such as real-time video analysis and the ability to analyze text in photo.

The Pro devices pack a five-core CPU with 50% faster graphics — an upgrade that will appeal to many gamers — as well as a bright Super Retna XDR display with a faster refresh rate, an all-day battery life and an option for one terabyte of storage, doubling the prior maximum storage capacity.

The camera system got a solid refresh, too. It comes with a new 77 mm telephoto lens with 3 times optical zoom, as well as new wide and ultrawide cameras.

The Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1,099, respectively. (The iPhone Pro Max with one terabyte of storage costs $1,599.) The phones come in graphite, gold, silver and sierra blue. The entire new iPhone line will start shipping on Friday, September 24.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 and 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini come with the same A15 Bionic chip as the Pro line. It also has a dual-camera system, which is arranged diagonally, and features longer-lasting batteries. Apple said the iPhone 13 will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13 mini will go 1.5 hours longer on a single charge.

Other updates include a more efficient display, a new 5G chip, and a tool called Cinematic Mode, which is like the popular Portrait mode feature but for videos.

The iPhone 13 mini will start at $699 for 128 GB (more storage for its base model than ever before) and the iPhone 13 will cost $799, starting with 128 GB. The smartphones come in five new colors: pink, blue, black, white and red.

iPad and iPad mini

In somewhat of a surprise, Apple showed off updates to its iPad and iPad mini line. Under the hood, the 10.2-inch iPad features a powerful A13 chip with 20% faster performance than the previous model. Apple says it’s now 3 times faster than a Chromebook.

The updated iPad comes with a new 12MP ultrawide camera with Center Stage, which uses machine learning to adjust the front-facing camera during FaceTime video calls, and more accessory support that works with the first-generation Apple Pencil. It also supports a True

Tone feature that adjusts the screen’s color temperature to ambient lighting.

The 8.3-inch iPad mini now comes with smaller bezels, more rounded corners, upgraded cameras on the front and back, Apple’s Liquid retina display, USB-C support, magnetic support for Apple Pencil, an updated speaker system, and new colors, such as pink and purple.

The full-size iPad costs $329 for 64GB storage — double the storage that typically ships on an entry-level iPad. For schools, the device costs $299. Pre-orders start Tuesday and shipping begins next week. The iPad mini starts at $499.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 7, a slimmer device with a wider screen than its predecessor.

The new watch has a display that is 20% larger than the Series 6. It can display 50% more text and also has a full keyboard that you can tap or swipe to type out text messages.