Apple unveils new iphone: The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Inc, speaks about the iPhone 7 during a Apple media event in San Francisco, California, USA September 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)

Apple today released the long-awaited iPhone 7, the latest version of the iconic phone.

“It is the best iPhone we’ve ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the launch at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

If the rumors had strongly suggested, the phone does not have a traditional headphone jack, a controversial change that Apple said has “courage” and was done to help make the most of the space inside the device. Apple will ship EarPods that can connect to the iPhone via the Lightning charging port, as well as an adapter to allow the headphones with a 3.5 mm audio jack to connect with the new devices.

Apple also showed futuristic AirPods, a wireless version of the company’s white EarPods. Sporting microphones, the new AirPods can also be used to make calls, and be charged by means of a battery in their case. They cost $159 and will be available next month.

The tech giant announced two versions of the phone: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. In a first for Apple, the larger model has a dual-lens camera system. One of the cameras is the wide angle and the other telephoto, so the device will be able to take photos that can be zoomed optically by a factor of two. And when shooting with the iPhone 7 Plus, a new “portrait” mode will be able to blur the background behind the subject.

The iPhone 7 will also be water and dust resistant, and comes in new colors: black and jet black. It is powered by a A10 “Fusion” chip, and has a stereo speaker system. Apple said that it is the longest battery life of an iPhone.

Changes were not limited to the device the colors and headphone jack— there is also a new Home button, that a “force sensitive” and provides feedback by means of what Apple calls a “taptic engine.”

Apple has also eliminated the lowest tier storage option in the phone, so the storage options are 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 gb.

The new devices start at $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus and will be available for pre-order on Friday. The new phones will be available in Sept. 16, and the latest version of the phone and the operating system iOS 10, will be available in Sept. 13.

iPhone sales declined in the first two quarters of the year, compared to the same quarters in 2015, and as such, Apple is hoping with these new devices to bring new life into a product line first introduced in 2007.

Apple unveiled its new Apple Watch Series 2, which is swim-proof and has a built-in GPS technology. It will be available are made of aluminum, stainless steel, and now a new material: ceramics.

In cooperation with Nike, Apple also launched Apple Watch of Nike+, which is specially designed for runners. Apple-Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch, the Nike+ will be priced at $369. Apple-Watch-Series 2 will be available in Sept. 16, with Apple Watch of Nike+ is available in October.

Follow Rob Koster on Twitter: @robverger

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