'Slofies,' 'Frogger' and iPad ads: What you should know about Apple's iPhone event
Like clockwork, Apple released its next iPhone, watch and iPad at its yearly gadget demonstration Tuesday, and it also finally put a price on Apple TV Plus at $4.99 a month.
CEO Tim Cook took the stage at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., to announce the new products. “We have a huge morning planned for you with some truly big announcements,” Cook said, starting off the event. “So I’m going to dispense with my usual updates and get right into it.”
The event included a look at Apple’s new gaming subscription service and a sneak peek of its Fifth Avenue store retail renovations.
One update that is expected to affect the ad world is Apple’s new operating software for the iPad, which could change how ads are priced when served on websites viewed on iPads.
Here is a look at all the Apple happenings:
First up was Apple Arcade. For $4.99 a month, Apple says there will be 100 games available. Apple is competing with other video game subscription services like Google Stadia (no price announced) and Snapchat’s new free mobile game hub.
One of the titles coming to Apple is “Frogger in Toy Town,” by Konami. It’s an update to the classic ’80s arcade game with better graphics but basically the same premise—navigate from one place to another while avoiding obstacles.
The service launches Sept. 19.
The Apple Watch Series 5 might just save lives. That seemed to be the message from Apple as it promoted the next-generation watch’s health functions over its fashion. Although there were fashionable accessories with new Hermés bands, the main thrust of the marketing was heart monitors and the ability to call emergency services in crisis situations overseas.
Viewers chiming in on Twitter had some fun with the “saves lives” messaging.
As far as functions, the new watch had a longer screen life, so the display remains active for 18 hours a day. And there’s a compass. The watches start at $399 and go on sale with the rest of the new gadgets on Sept. 20.
The starting price for the new iPhone costs $50 less than the last version. The iPhone 11 will start at $699 while the iPhone X was $749.
The next-generation phone comes with upgrades to the camera, including “night mode,” which enhances photos taken in dark lighting. Also, the new camera takes “slofies.” That’s right, slow-motion selfies.
There also were two more advanced phones, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, $999 and $1,099, respectively.
Apple showed off the seventh-generation iPad, starting at $329. One of the biggest changes coming to the iPad is the software, as it now has its own special operating system, instead of using the same one as the iPhone.
The new operating system could have ramifications for publishers, according to Alexian Chiavegato, VP of marketing at Marfeel, an ad tech platform used by publishers. There is a quirk to how ads will be priced thanks to Apple’s tweak, Chiavegato says. Now, when a publisher serves an ad to its website viewed on the iPad, the ad space will cost the same as if it were shown on desktop, Chiavegato says. The ads on iPad used to be valued the same as ads served on mobile devices. For many publishers, ads can have vastly different values depending on the device.
“It’s good news if your ad prices are better on desktop. That means the traffic coming from the iPad is going to be of better value,” Chiavegato says. “But if it’s the opposite for your site, then it’s not going to be good for you.”
Apple TV Plus
Apple long-awaited TV subscription service will cost $4.99 a month, the company said on Tuesday. However, viewers get a year free if they buy a new iPhone, iPad, MacBook or Apple TV device.
The TV service gives viewers ad-free access to a host of new shows coming from Apple. One of the shows dropped a trailer on Tuesday, Jason Momoa’s post-apocalyptic fantasy series called “See.”
The service is set to debut in November.
Apple also showed off its renovated store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Apple plans to open the store just in time for the new iPhone to go on sale Sept. 20.
The store is now Apple’s largest in the world, according to the company.