MacInTouch Amazon link...

Apple Sept. 2019 announcements

Channels
Apple, News

Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple has scheduled its latest marketing/announcement event for September 10.
Bloomberg said:
Apple Announces Sept. 10 Launch Event to Unveil the Latest iPhones
The launch event will take place on Sept. 10 in the Steve Jobs Theater at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to an invitation Apple sent out. The tag line for the event is “by innovation only.” The company said it will livestream the announcement, which begins at 10 a.m. local time, on its website. The centerpiece will be the next iPhones, while the company also typically unveils new Apple Watches alongside the flagship device.

Apple Readies Camera-Focused Pro iPhones, New iPads, Larger MacBook Pro
Apple Inc. is readying a clutch of new hardware for the coming weeks and months, including “Pro” iPhones, upgrades to iPads and its largest laptop in years.
Here's a YouTube live feed of the event:

 


Disappointed that the iPhone 11 has wide and super-wide camera lenses instead of wide and zoom. That smells of classic market segmentation right there. I'm also not happy that even the iPhone 11 Pro still only starts at 64GB, so you're already in for an extra $150 over the base price.
 


Here are the system requirements for the iPhone 11 models and new iPads, and also likely for iOS 13 in general, I'd think:
Apple said:
iPhone 11
Syncing to a Mac or PC requires:
  • macOS Catalina 10.15 using the Finder
  • macOS El Capitan 10.11.6 through macOS Mojave 10.14.6 using iTunes 12.8 or later
  • Windows 7 or later using iTunes 12.10 or later
Apple said:
iPad
Syncing to a Mac or PC requires:
  • macOS Catalina 10.15 using the Finder
  • macOS El Capitan 10.11.6 through macOS Mojave 10.14.6 using iTunes 12.8 or later
  • Windows 7 or later using iTunes 12.10 or later
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's an article about the Apple Watch Series 5's LTPO technology, which was introduced in the Apple Watch Series 4 and touted for saving energy/battery but didn't have an "always on" feature in the Series 4.
IHS Markit said:
Apple may introduce LTPO TFT backplanes for iPhones to prolong battery life
... In our analysis, we believe this is because Apple in the long term may want to have more control over components of the flexible OLED.
There are several reasons for Apple to introduce LTPO:
  • To be more closely involved in flexible OLED component cost and technology
  • To reduce power consumption of Apple products
  • To achieve high electron mobility for higher resolution of its displays
  • To better manage its display supply chain and that of its partner-display manufacturers
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
So, you can buy an Apple Watch Series 3... or the new Series 5. No option for the Series 4 anymore? What gives!?
They're still available at the moment at Amazon (which is where I got mine after a frustrating Apple Store experience):

Apple also eliminated its iPhone XS models, while keeping the older iPhone 8 and iPhone XR available. I'm guessing it's a strategy to keep prices high for the latest models by avoiding any competition from the most recent versions.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a little more about iPhone 11 cameras:
DPReview said:
Apple debuts iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro with ultra-wide camera
... All three phones offer a main 12MP 'wide' camera with a 26mm equivalent F1.8 6-element lens and optical image stabilization. It's a new sensor, and Apple claims it offers '100% focus pixels', which suggests a dual pixel sensor with split photodiodes.

The iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Max all offer a second 12MP 'ultra wide' camera with a 13mm equivalent F2.4 5-element lens, which provides a dramatic wide 120 degree field of view. A new feature uses the ultra-wide camera to show you what's beyond the frame when using the main camera, helping you decide whether to switch to the wider field of view. Portrait mode is now available with the wider 26mm field of view, since a depth map can be generated using the main and ultra-wide cameras, and portrait relighting brings a new 'High-Key Light Mono' for high contrast black-and-white portraits that mimic studio lighting.

The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max continue to offer the telephoto camera of previous generations. This is also a 12MP sensor paired with a faster F2.0 lens with optical image stabilization.
Apple's so-called "telephoto" camera appears to be just 52mm (equivalent) vs. 13mm and 26mm (equivalent) focal lengths for the other two cameras. (The iPhone 7 has a 28mm equivalent camera with the iPhone SE at 29mm.)
 


So, you can buy an Apple Watch Series 3... or the new Series 5. No option for the Series 4 anymore? What gives!?
Two things:

1. It is pretty likely that Apple would like to sell more watches. It is highly doubtful they could have moved the Series 4 to "last year's" status and also hit the $199 price point ($299 for the cellular option, which is still less than the Series 5).

While the Apple Watch is currently the best-selling smart watch, Android WearOS hasn't done well, but others are hanging in there. The Apple Watch is still mainly in a silo (only pairs up with an iOS device with limited ability to operate independently), so there is only a subset of the market they can sell into (a large one, but still a subset). To have a more viable App Store, they need more systems to deploy to.

2. The gap between the Series 4 and 5 isn't very large — "always on" screen, a compass, and more storage. There is a decent chance the Series 4 would eat into Series 5 sales for those for whom the watch is "fast enough", didn't lack the "always on", and were not going to load tons of apps or music onto the watch. The S5 probably is focused on power saving; it won't create a performance gap.

Engadget's tagline on their first look is:
That isn't the only one with that sentiment.

There have been more than a few discount sales of the Series 4 over the last 2-3 months. The inventory isn't going to last a very long time. After that, don't have a choice between 4 and 5. (Also a add-on effect is that the gap between 5 and 3 (also 2 or 1) is bigger than 3 vs. 4 – so an easier upsell.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a little more about iPhone 11 cameras...
And some related marketing from Apple:
Apple said:
iPhone 11

... With iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, a new Wide camera sensor works with intelligent software and A13 Bionic to let you do what was never possible on iPhone: get beautiful, detailed images in drastically lower light.

Night mode comes on automatically when needed — say, in a candlelit restaurant. When you tap the shutter, the camera takes multiple images while optical image stabilization steadies the lens.

Then the camera software goes to work. It aligns images to correct for movement. It discards the sections with too much blur and fuses sharper ones. It adjusts contrast so everything stays in balance. It fine‑tunes colors so they look natural. Then it intelligently de‑noises and enhances details to produce the final image.

... Shooting 4K video at 60 fps in extended dynamic range, for instance, is like a firehose of information hitting the video encoder at once. Processing it would be a challenge for most chips. But A13 rips right through it.

Think of video as a series of frames. Thanks to incredibly fast camera sensors, iPhone 11 is able to produce 120 frames per second, alternating between standard exposure and short exposure frames.

The image signal processor and video encoders analyze each of those frames in the moment to capture as much detail as possible. To take it even further, the Neural Engine uses real‑time machine learning to optimize the different components of the scene. For example, it might relight the person in the foreground, while reducing noise and enhancing color in the sky. It all happens instantly and automatically.
 


Disappointed that the iPhone 11 has wide and super-wide camera lenses instead of wide and zoom. That smells of classic market segmentation right there.
I think they covered the motivation in the presentation. Most people are taking pictures of other people in their shots. For one example, Apple showed how you could use ultrawide when you can't back up to compose a person+context shot....

The iPhone 11 is also priced less than the XR. The Wide and Telephoto cameras are optically stabilized (which probably costs more). The ultrawide isn't, so ultrawide probably has lower costs.
I'm also not happy that even the iPhone 11 Pro still only starts at 64GB, so you're already in for an extra $150 over the base price.
It is annoying, but any cost reductions Apple is getting on storage are probably being spent elsewhere in the system. The A13 probably costs more to make. The cameras are better (and more costly), screen better (and more costly). As long as Apple is throwing lots of new, expensive hardware components at the next iteration, the storage capacity will probably stay about the same.
 


Apple TV+: one-year free trial with iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV purchase. $4.99 x12 = $59.88. That times 100,000,000 would be about $6B in "free" service. There have been rumors that Apple was going to spend $6B on AppleTV development (content buys). I'm kind of curious whether a chunk of that is "buying" their own content from themselves. Not every single device sold is going to lead to a Apple TV+ sign up, but they are definitely going to be 'buying' some market share if they leave the 'promotion' on for a long time.

Why does the iPhone 11 Pro only have 64 GB of baseline storage? Paying for Apple TV+ is part of that, too.
 


One thing that was positive news for me (and other hold-outs) is the price drop on the iPhone 8. $549 for the 8 Plus - unlocked, 64GB (less if I were to trade in my 6S Plus, but I think I will either get a new battery in the 6S Plus and resell or keep as spare/music/remote).
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Will these phones do HDR?
It's a feature, highlighting Apple's A.I. processing...
Apple said:
iPhone 11
Next‑generation Smart HDR.
Thanks to machine learning, Smart HDR is more intelligent than ever. It recognizes people and treats them differently from the rest of the shot. So faces have beautiful highlights, shadows, and natural‑looking skin tones. And that stunning sunset in the background still looks gorgeous.
 


Why does the iPhone 11 Pro only have 64 GB of baseline storage? Paying for Apple TV+ is part of that, too.
That configuration works for enterprise customers, who mostly don't want a lot of material on the device anyway, and for people like me, who use their phones in areas of high connectivity. (I spend a lot of time in areas of no connectivity at all but don't want my phone in such places anyway.)
 


Apple's so-called "telephoto" camera appears to be just 52mm (equivalent) vs. 13mm and 26mm (equivalent) focal lengths for the other two cameras. (The iPhone 7 has a 28mm equivalent camera with the iPhone SE at 29mm.)
Every iPhone I've ever used has been cursed by a camera lens that records too-wide a field of view. I was eager to replace my iPhone 7 Plus (no face recognition, decreasing battery life) with the Xr replacement, thinking its second camera would be the "mild" telephoto (52 mm equivalent is pretty damn "mild"), but instead, they add a second ultra-wide lens. I don't spend a lot of time taking pictures of the sky at night, although I guess now I could do so to find the constellations. Don't people take far more pictures of people they know than pictures of places that they could more easily obtain from an enormous number of online sources? The absence of that portrait lens and true optical background blur in the least expensive iPhone 11 is a huge mistake, I think.
 


I think they covered the motivation in the presentation. Most people are taking pictures of other people in their shots. For one example, Apple showed how you could use ultrawide when you can't back up to compose a person+context shot....

The iPhone 11 is also priced less than the XR. The Wide and Telephoto cameras are optically stabilized (which probably costs more). The ultrawide isn't, so ultrawide probably has lower costs.
The number of iPhone photographs of people in gorgeous places in my iPhoto and Photos databases that suffer from the camera being too wide-angle exceeds the number where I'm disappointed not to have been able to include more of the surroundings by probably an order of magnitude. Of course, I'm an "n" of 1, but we already have others on this forum making the same observation as I. Of course, if it's not about the camera capabilities but about how to put those 3 ugly bumps on the back of the case at the lowest possible cost, then Apple's motivation makes sense (to the company, but not to many of its customers!)
 


The number of iPhone photographs of people in gorgeous places in my iPhoto and Photos databases that suffer from the camera being too wide-angle exceeds the number where I'm disappointed not to have been able to include more of the surroundings by probably an order of magnitude.
Right. The ultra-wide is nice for artistic "pro photography" type shots, but most of the photos I see from other people are awful cropped/zoomed photos of their kid on a ball field, on the beach, or on stage. Or if they're not cropped, there's tons of extraneous background. Of course it's much easier to create a wide-angle lens when you're depth-constrained, compared to a telephoto.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple's so-called "telephoto" camera appears to be just 52mm (equivalent) vs. 13mm and 26mm (equivalent) focal lengths for the other two cameras. (The iPhone 7 has a 28mm equivalent camera with the iPhone SE at 29mm.)
Apple's use of "telephoto" in its iPhone marketing for a 52mm (equivalent) lens is grossly misleading, given how radically different it is from any normal and common use of the term.
Adorama Learning Center said:
Wide-Angle vs. Telephoto
... The term “telephoto” is also a general term to describe lenses with focal lengths that create a narrow field of view beyond 80mm, but they are divided into three categories:
  • Short Telephoto – Ranges from 85mm to 135mm and are great for everyday use as they are compact and lightweight.
  • Medium Telephoto – Bigger, longer, and heavier as they offer focal lengths between 135mm to 300mm.
  • Super Telephoto – With focal lengths going beyond 300mm, this type of telephoto lens offers telescope-like magnification and are too heavy for handheld shooting.
 



Apple's latest ad for the iPhone pro touts its breakage-resistance and even purports to show a drop test.

I need to upgrade my iPhone 6s, so think I'll get a new iPhone. Can I dispense with a case? That would be a nice, simplifying improvement.
 



I've had a bunch of cameras over the years, and the one with which I had the most fun was the HTC RE, a little stick that looks similar to an asthma inhaler. It had an ultra-wide-angle lens, pretty good resolution from the the 16MP cell phone sensor, and was the final word in point and shoot. On the back of the little device is a single shutter button. No viewfinding capacity at all, unless connected by app to a phone.

The HTC app on phones offered one-click keystone adjustment that worked well. Once the image was transferred to phone or computer, it could be further manipulated. It was almost impossible to take an RE image that was out of focus; up close and personal with a cat face made for amusing pics. Distant horizons for shareable memories.

So much tech fades so fast, and HTC didn't have much sales success with the RE, even after price reductions. HTC stopped supporting the RE, and it became impossible to connect it to a phone to control or retrieve images.

After that, I bought an LG V30 Android, in part because of its wide angle lens. Passed that on to my son in law and replaced it with the LG G8, also with a (better) wide-angle lens. For a couple of years, Android phones have been offering wide-angle lenses, and Apple is just now following the leaders.

For those upset about "no telephoto" vs. "wide angle," there's "Moment" and other attachable lenses. But in terms of designing a phone that can slide into a pocket, it's surely more feasible to add fixed-focus wide-angle that can be "flat" than a telephoto I think must be "thick."

That said, there's also this about the new iPhones, something we discussed about the "hole-y" design of the pending Mac Pro, and I have to say I noticed the effect on first viewing an image:
CNN said:
New iPhone's 'trypophobic' design disturbs people with a fear of holes
According to research from the University of Essex, "the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with those of dangerous organisms."
 



You could... but it might not be so "simplifying" if you drop it on pavement or a pebble. (It might be nice, also, to have a little protection against putting those lenses down directly against dirty/abrasive surfaces.)
Thanks, Ric. You're saying all their break-resistance is simply advertising? Say it ain't so!

More seriously, yeah, these have been my concern. And it's true the case isn't so terrible — I go for the minimal ones (best was the "bumper" on my iPhone 4S). I guess, despite the sexy video (who knows how many phones they went through to get that shot?), I'll use a case of some sort.

Also: I wish they would get rid of that stupid camera bump. It seems to have become a design fetish. It seems to imply that everyone needs to use a case.

My kid had an interesting experience with his iPhone 8: he carried it around for six months without problem but apparently had shattered the glass back. As soon as he took it out of its case, it stopped working. And while a screen replacement would have been $30, the back was an absurd $100. (Fortunately Amex covered that.)
 


You could... but it might not be so "simplifying" if you drop it on pavement or a pebble. (It might be nice, also, to have a little protection against putting those lenses down directly against dirty/abrasive surfaces.)
I agree that a case adds significant protection against damages from dropped phones. However, I doubt that the cameras' sapphire lens covers needs any help against dirty/abrasive surfaces. Dirt and other abrasives (other than diamonds or other sapphire) are unlikely to harm it at all, but that lens cover can crack on falls (unlikely, but far more likely than ever getting scratched).
 


... While the Apple Watch is currently the best-selling smart watch, Android WearOS hasn't done well, but others are hanging in there. The Apple Watch is still mainly in a silo (only pairs up with an iOS device with limited ability to operate independently), so there is only a subset of the market they can sell into (a large one, but still a subset). To have a more viable App Store, they need more systems to deploy to....
My brother upgraded to the Series 4 and gave me his Series 3 - lovely gift. But here I am with a Samsung phone, so no soup for me! I gave the watch to my wife (who has an iPhone SE), but she hasn't yet taken to it yet. Lyman's silo comment is on point.
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts