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Next iPhone model unveiled by Apple; small upgrades seen

by The Associated Press | September 15, 2021 at 2:17 a.m.
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the new iPad Mini is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Apple on Tuesday unveiled its next iPhone lineup, showing off a model that offers twice the storage available in earlier versions and making other modest upgrades to last year's editions that proved to be a big hit among consumers.

As has been the case since Apple's late co-founder unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, Apple executives talked reverently about the latest model in the pre-recorded video event streamed Tuesday, even though it isn't dramatically different from the version Apple released nearly a year ago.

Like last year's model, the new iPhone 13 will come in four different designs, with prices starting from $700 to $1,100. They're scheduled to be in stores Sept. 24.

"It's an incremental upgrade," said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen. "Some of the new features are impressive, but most of them are not noticeable or practical for most users."

One of the most notable changes in the iPhone 13 will be an option for a full terabyte of storage -- that's 1,000 gigabytes -- on the device, up from its previous maximum of 512 gigabytes. That's enough storage to accommodate roughly 250,000 photos, or about 500 hours of high-definition video.

Apple is also promising better cameras on the iPhone 13, including an improved ultrawide lens, a cinematic-like video feature and technology for better nighttime pictures. As usual, the latest iPhones are supposed to have longer-lasting batteries, too.

"We keep making the iPhone more capable," Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said.

These kinds of incremental upgrades have become routine for Apple and other device-makers in recent years as the pace of smartphone innovation has slowed, even while prices for some phones have climbed above $1,000. That trend has prompted more consumers to hold on to their older smartphones for longer periods.

But the release of last year's iPhone 12 unleashed one of Apple's biggest sales spurts since 2014, possibly because the pandemic helped make homebound people realize it was time to get a newer and better model than what they had been using.

Apple's shares dipped 1% Tuesday in a sign that investors weren't excited by what they saw in the new iPhones.

Seen on a screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the new iPad Mini is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on a screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the new iPad Mini is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad mini during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad mini during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A portion of the new iPhone 13 Pro smartphone is seen on a device display in La Habra, Calif., during its introduction in a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A portion of the new iPhone 13 Pro smartphone is seen on a device display in La Habra, Calif., during its introduction in a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., new Apple Watch Series 7 models are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., new Apple Watch Series 7 models are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPhone 13 smartphones during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPhone 13 smartphones during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., new iPhone 13 smartphones are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., new iPhone 13 smartphones are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the Apple Watch Series 7 is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the Apple Watch Series 7 is introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the new iPhone 13 Pro smartphones are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Seen on the screen of a device in La Habra, Calif., the new iPhone 13 Pro smartphones are introduced during a virtual event held to announce new Apple products Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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