Every September for the past decade, Apple convenes media from around the world for a marketing event that celebrates the creative achievements behind its latest iPhone. It has exaggerated the brightness of the phone’s exterior, the notch around its cameras, and the power of its processor.
But this year, Apple’s elite designers and engineers have bent their creative process and marketing extravagance to the design demands of European regulators, who passed a rule Making USB-C charging mandatory for all electronic devices,
On Wednesday, Apple revealed that its latest product line, the iPhone 15, will ditch the company’s proprietary Lightning port in favor of a European-mandated USB-C port. The company’s latest iPhones have a charging plug that is slightly larger and rounder than its predecessor but capable of faster charging.
The purpose of this rule was to reduce electronic waste and save customers money by making one port compatible with different devices. Although Apple opposed the change, warning that government orders could stifle innovation, it would make it possible to use the same USB-C cord that powers a Mac to charge an iPhone.
Apart from the iPhone, the company unveiled its wireless earbuds, AirPods Pro, with a USB-C charging case.
The change reflects how regulators are changing Apple’s business. Apple has established itself as the primary gatekeeper for more than a billion iPhone users worldwide by creating proprietary hardware and services. To reach those customers, app developers have given the company a cut of up to 30 percent of their sales, and accessory companies have paid a fee to manufacture cords with Lightning ports.
But amid growing concerns about the power of tech companies over the global economy, governments have passed regulations and issued warnings that are forcing Apple to open up. In Europe, a new antitrust law will require Apple to allow the sale of iPhone apps outside its App Store. In the United States, regulators are investigating the company’s practices to prevent others Using iPhone Tap-to-Pay Capacity. And in China, there Government is strict on employees’ iPhone use at work.
Government challenges are plaguing Apple at the same time it is trying to reposition its business. The decline in iPad and Mac sales has led to the longest decline since 2016. iPhone purchases, which account for more than half of total revenue, are slowing. And the sale of apps and services may be curbed by government regulations.
“Apple is a victim of its own success, and everyone is going after bigger goals in tech,” said Mike Frazier, president of Bedell Frazier Investment Counseling, an investment firm in Walnut Creek, California.
In addition to the USB-C port, Apple also announced other improvements with the iPhone 15, including better cameras and smaller borders around the screen. Its two high-end Pro models, whose prices start at $999, feature lightweight titanium bodies and processors made from a cutting-edge manufacturing process, which the company says significantly increases performance. It replaces the mute switch on previous models with a new button that can be pressed to use the phone’s camera or start audio recording.
High-end phones also have the ability to record three-dimensional video, which could be seen in an augmented reality headset expected to be released by Apple next year.
Apple has increased the price of the company’s top model iPhone Pro Max by 9 percent to $1,099. The larger phone has the lineup’s most sophisticated camera with a five-times optical zoom, which contributed to the iPhone lineup’s first price increase in five years.
The iPhone 15 base models, priced at $799 and $899, adopt many of the features available on last year’s iPhone Pro models, including last year’s processor and Dynamic Island, a tool bar at the top of the screen. The entire iPhone lineup offers wireless charging.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Gene Munster, managing partner of Deepwater Asset Management, a Minneapolis-based investment and research firm. “But for the average person with a three- to four-year-old phone, that’s enough to upgrade.”
Apple complemented the new iPhone lineup with an update to its Apple Watch offering. An updated processor and software developments allow those wearing its latest watch, the Series 9, to answer phone calls by tapping their thumb and index finger together twice. It described the watch as its first carbon-neutral product and said it is made with 100 percent clean energy, carbon offsets and smaller packaging to cut emissions associated with shipping the product.
The Apple Watch Ultra, aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, has a brighter screen and greater altitudinal range. It also offers new capabilities for cyclists who want to connect it to other performance measuring devices.
Apple unveiled products in the Steve Jobs Theater, a 1,000-seat underground auditorium on the company’s campus in Cupertino, California. The venue was packed with journalists and staff. Millions of people tuned in online to watch the infomercials created by Apple for its new products.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook used the iPhone event to remind customers about its new augmented reality headset, which it unveiled in June, ahead of its release next year.
But even after the headset’s release next year, the iPhone will still drive Apple’s business. The company sells more than 200 million iPhones annually, raking in around $200 billion.
However, sales of its flagship devices have declined slightly this year iPhone has increased its dominance of smartphone market. It has increased its percentage in the total smartphones sold worldwide. In the United States, the device now accounts for more than 50 percent of smartphones sold, up from 41 percent in 2018, according to technology firm Counterpoint Research.