Technology

Apple launches iPhone 14 with satellite connection, new security features

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The new iPhone 14 is displayed alongside the new Apple Watch 8 Series and new AirPod Pros during a launch event for new products at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, on September 7, 2022. - Apple unveiled several new products including a new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, three Apple watches, and new AirPod Pros during the event. AFP PHOTO | BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL

Apple on Wednesday launched updated iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods with no major design and price changes.

The new products have features that the American-based company hopes will appeal to buyers interested in new devices.

Top of the new features includes the ability to connect to satellite and car crash detection.

The company introduced new features with steady prices in response to the economic challenges facing consumers around the globe that are making people hold onto their devices longer.  

In the face of soaring inflation, it is becoming difficult for phone manufacturers to convince device owners to upgrade.

To avoid the price hikes, which traditionally have been the case with new products, Apple is focusing on safety upgrades rather than flashy new technical specs with the exception of a new adventure-focused watch.

Prices of the high-end iPhone 14s are the same as last year's iPhone 13 models. But Apple dropped its cheapest option, the iPhone Mini, meaning its lowest-priced model now costs Sh12,000 ($100) more than last year.

The iPhone 14 will start at Sh96,119 ($799) and the iPhone 14 Plus at Sh108,149 ($899) and be available for preorder starting Sept. 9. The iPhone Pro will cost $999 and the iPhone Pro Max Sh132,209 ($1,099) and be available September 16.

iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are not very different from the models they are designed to replace. The new phones have the same processors as previous versions which means they perform about the same.

The new iPhone can detect a car accident and alert first responders. It will also come with a feature to send emergency alerts by way of satellites.

Users will be able to send share their location when in remote places via satellite using the Find My app.

The feature will first be available in the Americas before launching in other markets later. It'll be free for two years before users start paying.

Apple's new phone will also come without a physical slot for SIM card, meaning users will set-up using a digital eSIM.

The iPhone lineup that generates half of Apple's sales got tweaks to cameras and battery life, though only the iPhone Pro lineup got an upgrade to a completely new processor chip.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max

Apple has made the most visible changes to the lineup of its high-end iPhones. The front-facing cameras now have a pill-shaped cut into the screen from a notch cutout.

The new Pros' screens are bright in the sun and slightly dim when not in use. The cameras now have 48 megapixels sensor, a big upgrade from the 12-megapixels sensor.

Apple watches

The new Apple watches have car crash detection and temperature sensors. Apple said Wednesday that the new watches will enable users to track among other things fertility and menstrual cycle.

The car detection sensors will help wearers call for help faster in case of car accidents. The device will cost about Sh48,000 ($399).

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