Wow, what a week! For Apple fans, the announcement of three new iPhone Xs — the XS, XS Max and XR — is basically the Super Bowl and the lottery wrapped into one. We’ll take you through the ins and outs of Apple’s three new iPhone X sequels and everything else announced at the Sept. 12 launch event in a nutshell. Which iPhone XS model was the first to sell out during preorders? And a quick preview of all the new features coming to your iPhone with the iOS 12 release on Monday. Here’s a look at what you may have missed in one of the busiest iPhone news weeks of the year.
Three big iPhones and a redesigned Apple Watch
After much debate about the names, Apple revealed an iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the two sequels to the original 10th-anniversary iPhone. As most of the rumors had predicted, these two new models looked much like the previous iPhone X with the addition of a gold color option and an increase in screen size to 6.5 inches on the Max model.
Because it’s an S cycle, most of the upgrades were incremental improvements on existing features: better sound quality, better camera sensor, a more powerful A12 Bionic processor, faster FaceID, a dual sim option and a 512GB storage option. The base price of the XS is $999 while the XS Max starts at $1,099.
But the most important handset news of the day was a cheaper version of the iPhone X called the iPhone XR. It has the same basic design as the other phones, but with some key differences. For starters it comes in six different color options: red, blue, yellow, coral, white and black. It also has a 6.1-inch LCD screen with lower pixel density than the other two, an aluminum frame instead of stainless steel and a single rear-facing camera.
But it has the same A12 processor, dual SIM option and even a portrait mode for the camera that uses software to achieve that blurred background effect previously reserved for the dual-camera iPhones. And the best thing about this phone is that it’s $250 cheaper than the XS despite having a larger screen.
Apple also announced a redesigned Apple Watch along with the phones. The Series 4 watches have larger screens, a better speaker and microphone, new watchfaces and an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) feature that watches over your heart (pun intended).
The iPhone XS Max preorders sell out
Preorders for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the Apple Watch Series 4 kicked off just after midnight on Sept. 14, giving us an early glimpse at which models are in high demand. The first one to have a shipment delay in the US was the most expensive iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage (US$1,449) designed for AT&T and Verizon with expected delays of one to two weeks past the initial Sept. 21 arrival date.
This is still a lot better than years past when certain iPhone models have completely sold out within 10 minutes of preorders. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that this was the best-selling model; it often depends on how much inventory they had of each iPhone model in the first place.
Preorders for the iPhone XR are a little later, though. They begin on Oct. 19, with the phone hitting stores on Oct. 26.
iOS 12 is coming Sept. 17 — get ready!
Whether or not you’re getting a new iPhone, there will be new features coming to your existing iPhone. The iOS 12 update will be available to download onto your mobile devices starting Sept. 17 so make sure your iPhone is prepped and ready to go.
The biggest thing to look forward to in iOS 12 is an improvement in overall performance across all devices, including older iPhones. We’re also getting screentime controls to monitor and set limits on the amount of time you’re spending staring at your phone, with screentime allowance for parents. If you have an iPhone X or beyond, you’ll also get a new set of Animoji, with a Memoji avatar option that you can customize to look like you (or not). iOS 12 will also bring more augmented-reality features with ARKit 2. This includes multiplayer support in games and a new Measure app that lets you take live measurements by just pointing the camera.