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Apple Special Event 2018 Live Blog

Today is iPhone day! Apple will finally reveal its highly anticipated products we’ve all been waiting for this year. Although the hype is not as fever-pitched as last year’s iPhone X unveiling, this conference, named “Gather Round” this time, is still arguably the biggest event in the tech world.

As usual, CEO Tim Cook will be leading the event that will commence at 10 AM PDT today in Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Aside from the unveiling of three new iPhones (reportedly named iPhone XS, XS Max, and the XR), we’re expecting a lineup of new products, too, including the Apple Watch Series 4, a MacBook refresh, 2nd-gen AirPods and maybe a redesigned iPad Pro.

We’re live blogging all of the action, so you’ll have updates as soon as they happen.

Note: While you’re reading this liveblog, you can also watch Apple’s official video stream on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using Safari on iOS 10 or later, a Mac using Safari on macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, or a PC using Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. 


11:47: And it’s a wrap! Tim bids farewell. All in all, a run-of-the-mill, if not underwhelming, Apple event in my opinion. But hey, new iPhones.

11:46: Hmm, although the lack of iPad Pro and MacBook updates is expected, it’s surprising that there are no new AirPods nor the long overdue AirPower reveal.

11:45: macOS Mojave drops on September 24.

11:44: HomePod and the tvOS 12 gets Dolby Atmos support on September 17.

11:43: Tim Cook is back with quick updates on the HomePod (multi-timer support, Yawn.)

11:41: Price cuts on the iPhone 7 ($499) and iPhone 8 ($599) starting today.

11:41: iPhone XS (64, 256, 512GB) starts at $999. XS Max starts at $1,099.
Preorders start on Friday. Ships September 21. Comes in Space Gray, Silver and Gold.

11:40: XR will come in three storage sizes (64, 128, 256GB). Starts at $749. Preorders start on October 19th, ships on October 26.

11:35: The obligatory Jony Ive iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR video is up.

11:35: 3D Touch is noticeably absent in the XR’s spec sheet.

11:34: The XR’s battery life is 90 minutes more than the iPhone 8 Plus.

11:32: Single rear 12mp wide-angle camera system. XR can do portrait mode with just a single lens. Adjustable depth-of-field post-processing is also available on the XR.

11:31: OK, comes with the new A12 Bionic chip too. That’s good.

11:30: Same Face ID tech as the iPhone X.

11:28: Yep, it has a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge LCD screen called the “Liquid Retina” display. 326 ppi, 1792 x 828 resolution.

11:27: XR is made with aluminum and it comes in six different colors: black, white, red, yellow, coral, and blue.

11:26: Schiller is wrapping up the XS unveiling. The iPhone XR is up next.

11:24 Apple’s new GiveBack program: Apple will buy your old gadgets or recycle them for free if they’re not usable.

11:23: iPhone XS’s logic board is made with recycled tin. Apple is also reducing the use of traditional plastics.

11:21: Apple’s environmental VP, Lisa Jackson, is now onstage. She says Apple now runs on 100 percent renewable energy.

11:19: iPhone XS unveiling is wrapping up. All the updates are expected. No earth-shattering revelations this time.


11:17: Faster LTE and Dual Sims with eSIM technology.

11:16: iPhone XS has 30 minutes more battery life than the X, The XS Max, an hour longer.

11:15: Schiller is now showing off the iPhone XS’s low-light video capabilities.

11:13: Now this is useful. You can edit your photo’s Bokeh depth of field with post-processing similar to the old Lytro camera.

11:10: Of course, obligatory iPhone XS photo samples. Apple’s sample pictures always look beautiful, as usual. Hard to pull off in real life though.

11:08: iPhone XS’s new Bionic A12 chip has an updated image signal processor with Neural Engine features plus new “Smart HDR” processing.

11:06: Finally, Schiller is back onstage for camera updates. XS models have a 12 MP wide angle and 12 MP telephoto camera lenses.


11:02: Third app is a cool retro arcade game AR simulator.

10:59: Next up, Steve Nash on stage for a new basketball shooting AR training app called Homecourt!

10:57: Bethesda’s new Elder Scroll’s iOS game, Blades. It really looks like a console game.

10:55: Next up, developers talking about the iPhone’s graphical capabilities.

10:53: Expected updates on Augmented Reality, Siri and Memojis.

10:50: Apple’s senior director of iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance, is now onstage demonstrating the iPhone XS’s new graphical prowess and features.

10:46: A12 Bionic is crazy powerful with a 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, a Neural Engine and two performance CPU cores. Its CPU runs 15 percent faster than A11, and the GPU runs 50 percent faster.

10:45: iPhone XS chips now have a new 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip.

10:45: Face ID on the XS models is faster than the X.

10:44: Wider stereo sound on the XS models.

10:42: iPhone XS Max unveiled as well. Biggest iPhone ever.

10:41: Upgraded IP68 water and dust proofing, Super Retina OLED displays and stainless steel body for the XS models.

10:40: As expected, Phil Schiller is now introducing the iPhone XS.


10:39: iPhone XS video montage up.

10:38: Cook says they’re taking the iPhone to the next level.

10:37: As usual, a recap of the iPhone X, “the number one smartphone in the world.”

10:36: That’s it for the Apple Watch. Next up, iPhones!

10:35: Hmm, another Apple Watch video. Lots of promo videos today.

10:34: Series 4 pre-orders start this Friday and ship September 21. Series 3 price drops start after the event.

10:33: Series 4 prices start at $399 with GPS. $499 for cellular. Series 3 will start at $279.

10:31: All in all, these are all great incremental updates for the Apple Watch. Still waiting for the sugar level sensors though.

10:29: Obligatory Series 4 Jony Ive video montage is up.

10:27: Series 4 has improved all-day battery life and Bluetooth 5.0.


10:26: The Apple Watch Series 4’s EKG features have FDA clearance. It’s the first consumer product that offers EKG measurements!

10:24: The president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Ivor Benjamin, is now onstage.

10:22: So with the Series 4’s new electrodes, you can take your EKG measurements anytime, anywhere, instead of going to a clinic. Now that’s a game-changer!

10:20: Three new heart-monitor features: low heart-rate, heart rhythm and EKG measurements!

10:18: Series 4’s updated accelerometers and gyroscopes can detect falls! With its ability to call emergency services, this can be a life-saver!

10:16: Series 4 is run by a new 64-bit S4 chip.

10:16: The back of the Series 4 is made of black ceramic and sapphire crystal.

10:15: Digital Crown now has haptic feedback. The Series 4 speaker is also 50 percent louder and the mic was repositioned.

10:14: The Breathe watch face looks cool.

10:13: Jeff called it the “ultimate fitness watch.”

10:12: Apple Watch Series 4 has been re-engineered and redesigned with smaller bezels and a larger screen.

10:11: Apple Watch Series 4 video is playing. What updates are in store for us?

10:09: Jeff Williams now talking about the Apple Watch.

10:08: Apple Watch is the number one watch in the world!

10:07: It sounds like it will be all about iPhones and the Apple Watch today. They’re starting with the Apple Watch updates.

10:06: As usual, Cook is talking about the state of iOS. 2 billion iOS devices shipped!

10:05: Tim Cook is on stage.

10:03 And the secret package has… the event’s clicker. haha

10:01: Hmm, interesting. A Mission Impossible style skit kicks it off.

10:00: Event starts with a virtual tour of the Steve Jobs Theater.

9:55: Yep. Imagine Dragons is up next. 5 minutes to go before the event starts.

9:52: Connection by OneRepublic is on. Sounds like Tim Cook’s playlist.

9:48: Seventh Heaven from Beck is playing.

9:47: Apple’s Live Stream is up.

9:31: Credible reports are also saying that Apple is going to remove 3D Touch from the iPhone XR model.

9:28: Here’s bad news for headphone jack holdovers. Rumors are also saying that Apple will stop including the Lightning headphone adapter dongle in this year’s iPhones.

9:22: The iPhone XS Max is interesting. With its massive edge-to-edge 6.5-inch OLED screen, the biggest iPhone screen yet, will it be too big for a lot of people? The current iPhone X has a good balance between screen size and pocketability but some people still find it too large for their tastes.

9:14: Maybe a circular entry-level HomePod (similar to the Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini)  will also make its debut? That makes a lot of sense for Apple.

9:06: The “Gather Round” logo also looks like a camera lens, a top view of a circular Mac Pro, the Steve Jobs Theater or maybe it’s a hint about a circular Apple Watch! What do you think?

9:01: You know what will be great? Apple surprises us with an in-display fingerprint scanner! One can only dream. The “Gather Round” logo looks a bit like a Home button, don’t you think?

8:52: On the software side, except for the exact date of its general public release, we shouldn’t expect any big new announcements for iOS 12 since it has been covered extensively during this year’s WWDC.

8:48: Other than that, the only significant upgrades on the S models I’m expecting are processor and camera upgrades.

8:41: Reports are also saying that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will come in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB options, while the iPhone XR will come in 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB. Wow, 512GB! My first iPhone, the 3G, had a paltry 8GB.

8:36: I wonder if the different color schemes will force more people to get the more expensive OLED-display XS models than the LCD-display XR since space gray, silver, and gold are Apple’s traditional iPhone “prestige” colors.

8:31: Leaks also suggest that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models will come in three colors: space gray, silver, and gold, while the cheaper iPhone XR will come in 6: black, white, red, yellow, coral, and blue. Hmmm, same strategy with the iPhone “C” models.

8:25: Leaks are also suggesting that the new Apple Watches are a bit bigger than the prior generations — instead of 38mm and 42mm models, they will be replaced with 40 mm and 44 mm, respectively.

8:22: And as usual, Tim Cook is up early. Was this photo taken with the new iPhone XS?

8:15: Although the new bezel-less iPad Pro might make an appearance, I think it’s unlikely. Why have another game-changing device share the limelight with the new iPhones? I may be wrong, but the new iPad Pro will likely make its debut in a separate event later this year.

8:11: I’m not too keen on the new iPhone names, though. iPhone “XS”? Especially with the price points, it sounds appropriately “excessive.”

8:08: Speaking of AirPods, rumors are saying that the 2nd-gen AirPods with a “smaller quartz component” will be unveiled, as well.

8:05: Will the AirPower finally make its debut? I certainly hope so! The AirPower is supposed to be a charging mat that can wirelessly juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously.

8:03: I also want to see where Apple is taking the new Apple Watch Series 4. I hope the new sugar level sensors will make their debut. That will be game-changing.

8:01: Aside from the new iPhones, I’m curious about what they’re going to do with the entry-level MacBooks. A MacBook Air update is long overdue.

7:55: What should we expect from today’s event? Here are my predictions.

7:48: Good morning, everyone! Are you still wondering what the new iPhones will look like? Here is a leaked image of the new iPhones. App background

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