Apple unveils iPhone X, loses home button

September 13, 2017

Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, shows new Apple Watch products.

Apple has rolled out a new version of the Apple Watch, marking the first introduction at the company's biggest product launch in years, which was expected to showcase a completely redesigned top-of-the-line iPhone.

Chief Executive Tim Cook opened the event at the Steve Jobs Auditorium on Tuesday at Apple's new campus with a tribute to co-founder and former CEO Jobs, who died in 2011.

The first major product announcement came from Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who revealed an Apple Watch that includes built-in cellular. Previous version of the watch had required customer to carry a phone for internet access.

Gene Munster, an analyst with Loup Ventures, believes sales of the watch could double or even triple because of the new connectivity. The cellular watch will cost $US399 ($A496).

Apple did not provide sales figures for its watches, but Cook said sales had risen 50 per cent from the year before and that the Apple Watch was now the best-selling watch in the world.

Apple's new high-end phone, expected to be called the iPhone X, could silence critics who say the company has lost its innovation edge.

Apple also introduced two other phones and an upgraded Apple TV at the event on Tuesday.

Shares of Apple, which had been trading slightly lower before the event kicked off, reversed course and were last up about one per cent.

The new high-end phone is expected to feature an edge-to-edge display with richer colors and facial recognition to unlock the device without a fingerprint reader or physical home button.

The two other models, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, update the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

The phones will likely boast a steep price tag. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi predicts the top-end model will cost $US899, though other analysts expect it to top $US1,000. That compares to a top base price of $US769 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Much of that added cost is driven by more expensive parts, like a higher-resolution display, 3D sensors and more memory capacity.

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