CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — Amid much fanfare, Apple unveiled its new gadgets and services Tuesday at the tech company’s fall product launch.
The company showed off its latest iPhones Tuesday at a product showcase at Apple HQ in Cupertino.
But the buzz surrounding its best-selling products has waned, as have sales, in the absence of compelling new features.
iPhone shipments are down 25 percent so far this year, according to the research firm IDC, putting more pressure on Apple to generate revenue from services such as music streaming, product repairs, revenue sharing from apps and ad commissions from making Google the default search engine. Revenue from services rose 14 percent to nearly $23 billion during the first half of this year.
The iPhone slump has prompted Apple to look for revenue growth from services such as video streaming and gaming.
Topping the reveal was the new Apple Arcade video game subscription service where monthly fees give the family access to games. The service will allow subscribers to play more than 100 games selected by Apple and exclusive to the service.
It will cost $5 per month for the whole family.
Apple TV Plus, launching in November, has the same price point. It will exclusively host original content, some of which was teased Tuesday.
Like Netflix and similar services from Amazon and Hulu, Apple has been doling out billions of dollars for original programs featuring stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The first shows will be available Nov. 1 with more originals added every month. It will be available in 100 countries at launch.
“An entire service that only has that original content, at that high quality, at $4.99, that’s actually a game changer for the entire streaming industry,” said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies.
The new iPad boasts a bigger and better screen, while the new Apple Watch will have a display that’s always on and a battery life of 18 hours.
But the centerpiece of the presentation was the new iPhone 11 Pro that touts the highest quality video in a smart phone and a triple camera system, combining a telephoto, wide, and ultra wide lens. The combined result is a 4X optical zoom range. The 11 Pro also features “Night Mode” for dimly lit scenes. The new A13 Bionic chip also enables the recording of multiple, simultaneous video streams at once.
“When you ask consumers what they’re looking for in new devices, it’s always better battery life, better camera,” said CNet editor Shara Tibken. “Apple has lagged the Pixel and some of its competitors in terms of taking those really crisp photos, like in a dimly lit bar or outside. They just haven’t been able to match up to what we’ve seen from some of these other phones. I think that’s something that people are really going to like.”
The new iPhone 11 will cost $699, the 11 Pro is $999, and the 11 Pro Max is $1099.