Apple announced its next-generation smartphone in a promoted tweet shared at the beginning of its annual press event on Wednesday.
The device, which is available for pre-order on Friday Sept. 16, is water resistant.
The event started with Apple (AAPL, Tech30) CEO Tim Cook doing a little Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon. Apple recently bought a Carpool Karaoke TV series exclusively for Apple Music that will debut next year. In the video, Tim and James Corden sang “Sweet Home Alabama” (Cook is an Alabama native). Pharrell hoped in the back seat for backup, because why not.
As usual, Tim Cook started with a little light bragging. He recapped some of Apple’s more impressive sounding numbers. Apple Music has more than 17 million subscribers. There were 140 billion downloads from the App Store this past year, a 106% jump from the previous year.
Here’s a look at other announcements so far —
A new, waterproof Apple Watch: It might look the same on the outside, but Apple introduced a waterproof Apple Watch that is 50% faster and has a brighter display. It also has built in GPS. This is the first hardware update since the watch was launched last year. The new version is clumsily named Apple Watch Series 2.
The device is waterproof up to 50 meters deep. To make it waterproof, Apple changed the speaker design so after a swim, surf, or bubble bath session, it can expel any water automatically. The GPS doesn’t sever all ties with the iPhone, but does give the Apple Watch a slightly longer leash.
There’s a new white ceramic option, which makes it look like a little iPod on your wrist. A trio of new leather Hermes bands might appeal to fashionistas. Apple is also teaming up with Nike (NKE) on a special edition, the Apple Watch Nike+, specifically for motivating and tracking runners.
The Apple Watch Series 2, which will be available in late October, will start at $369. The original watch is still available, but now has the faster processor and costs $269 and up. Current Apple Watch owners can pretend they have a new watch on September 13, when the new watchOS is released.
Super Mario on iOS: There’s a brand new Super Mario game coming to iOS later this year. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto came on stage to demo Super Mario Run, which can be played with one hand and comes with a battle mode. You can play against players around the world. It’s not an Apple Car, but it was a huge crowd pleaser.
Pokemon Go comes to the Apple Watch: Pokemon Go is coming to the Apple Watch, a natural fit for the augmented reality game and fitness wearable. The game has been downloaded more that 500 million times since it was launched, according to John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic. Its players have walked more than 4.6 billion kilometers. The game will be available on the Apple Watch later this year.
iWork gets collaborative: The suite of work programs is adding real-time online collaboration, a la Google Docs and Microsoft Office. It works across Macs, iPads, iPhones and web versions of iWork apps.
Still to come —
Fresh iPhones: Cook is expected to formally announce two new iPhones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and remove the traditional headphone jack. Other rumored changes include waterproofing and dual cameras for the Plus.
Jack controversy: The removal of the audio jack might make it easier to waterproof the iPhone, but will make all existing wired headphones obsolete, unless people buy a Lightning adapter.
New software: Apple previewed major updates for all its operating systems — iOS 10 for the iPhone and macSierra for Mac computers — this summer at its developer conference. Now, the company is going to recap what’s new and share final release dates. iOS 10 is the most exciting update, which has a ton of major feature additions for messaging, Siri and photos.