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Apple unveils iPhone 14 with emergency satellite messaging, Ultra Watch

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Sept. 7 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) introduced a range of new iPhone 14 models capable of sending a satellite emergency call during an emergency, as well as crash detection and an adventure-focused Ultra Watch.

The iPhone 14 models will test Apple’s ability to extract dollars from its relatively affluent customer base, who have continued to spend despite rising inflation, but are not immune to a weakening economy.

The iPhone 14 starts at $799 and the iPhone Plus at $899 and both will be available for pre-order starting September 9.

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Apple said it has put together a system that will work with emergency services during emergencies in remote areas. It also said that in some situations, users can use the FindMy app to share their location via satellite when they have no other connection.

Globalstar said in a filing that it will be the satellite operator for Apple’s emergency SOS service. Shares of Globalstar fell about 16% on Wednesday before shutting down ahead of the Apple deal announcement. The stock is up about 50% so far.

Other companies are working on similar features. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said last month it is working with T-Mobile (TMUS.O) to use its Starlink satellites to connect phones directly to the Internet.

Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus model will have a larger screen like Apple’s iPhone Pro models, but an A15 processor chip like the previous iPhone 13.

The Cupertino, California-based company also showcased a trio of new Apple Watches, including a new Watch Ultra model aimed at extreme sports and diving.

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The Ultra has a larger battery for events like triathlons and better water resistance and temperature resistance for use in outdoor environments, as well as better GPS tracking for sports.

The new watches include an upgraded budget model called the SE and a Series 8 Watch with crash detection and a power save mode for 36 hours of battery life.

The Series 8 with cellular starts at $499 and the SE starts at $299 with cellular. The Ultra, which includes cellular in its base model, starts at $799 and will be available September 23.

Apple said the new Series 8 watch will have a temperature sensor that will work in conjunction with the previously released cycle tracking app to retroactively detect ovulation. The company emphasized the privacy approach to its bike tracking. Data on privacy and reproductive health have become a focus for tech companies in the wake of a US Supreme Court decision that overturned a constitutional right to abortion in the United States.

Apple said it doesn’t have the key to decrypt health data, such as bike tracking.

But while accessories like the Apple Watch have boosted sales from Apple’s existing user base, the iPhone remains the foundation of its business with 52.4% of sales in its most recent fiscal year.

Apple’s stock rose 0.6% more than an hour after the presentation, in line with the start of the event, and trailed the S&P 500’s 1.5% gain for the session.

Some analysts think Apple could preview a mixed-reality headset on Wednesday. The device is expected to have cameras that can see the wearer from the outside world as they overlay digital objects over the physical world. Analysts expect the device to go on sale next year at the earliest.

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An early preview would be rare for Apple, which keeps its product plans a secret until just before devices hit the market. A rival headset called Project Cambria is in the works from Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), which is spending billions of dollars on the project.

But to have compelling apps for a new headset, Apple may need to give developers time to familiarize themselves with them. “Developing for a new and radically different type of platform will take people a lot more time,” O’Donnell said.

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Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Henderson and Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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