The base model, the iPhone 15, will be sold from $800, the same price as the iPhone 14 presented a year ago. (Photo: Getty Images)
San Francisco — Apple has finally given in: the Californian giant has integrated the universal charging port known as “USB-C” into its new range of iPhones presented on Tuesday, a year before being obliged to do so by a European law that it fought for a long time.
“USB-C has become the universally accepted standard,” recognized Kaiann Drance, a vice-president of the Californian group, during the annual marketing event organized three months before the end-of-year holidays.
The universal port is not the kind of technological innovation Apple likes to promote, but Brussels has required electronics makers to equip all new smartphones, tablets and cameras with a USB-C port by the end of 2024.
“Now the same cable can charge your Mac (computer), iPad (tablet), iPhone, and even your second generation AirPods pro (wireless earbuds),” added Kaiann Drance. “If the battery in your AirPods is too low, or that of your Apple Watch (watch), you can charge them directly from your iPhone”.
The leaders of the Apple brand unveiled four new iPhones on Tuesday with, like every year, brighter screens, more sophisticated lenses and more advanced computer chips.
The base model, the iPhone 15, will be sold from $800, the same price as the iPhone 14 presented a year ago. The most expensive professional model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, will cost at least $1,200, or $100 more than its equivalent in the previous range.
Integrating the USB-C port more widely represents a small revolution for Apple’s ecosystem of products and services, which is difficult to integrate with other systems. Even if some of the brand’s computers already included this socket.
Two years ago, when the European text was under discussion, the American group tried to oppose it by arguing that its “Lightning” technology already equipped more than a billion devices around the world and that the new regulation would “stifle innovation”, or even “harm consumers”.
For the European Union, on the contrary, it is about making their lives easier and reducing the quantity of electronic waste created as chargers become obsolete.
“The common charger is common sense, and it is within reach,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton welcomed Tuesday in a statement sent to AFP. The measure is expected to save European consumers 250 million euros each year.
During the presentation called this year “Wonderlust”, a portmanteau that combines “want to travel” and “wonder”, Apple executives mainly reviewed the new technical characteristics of their devices, after a disappointing quarter for iPhone sales.
The iPhone 15, for example, has “a ceramic shell that is water and dust resistant,” praised Kaiann Drance. “It retains its value longer than any other smartphone,” she said.
From April to June, for the third quarter in a row, Apple recorded a decline in its turnover year-on-year (-1.4%), to $81.8 billion.
The reason for this is a 2.4% decline in sales for its flagship product, the iPhone.
The new handset “will give Apple new momentum as the holiday season approaches,” Dan Ives of Wedbush responded Tuesday.
According to the analyst, the brand can count on its base of loyal users who are ready to buy a newer model. “We estimate that about 25% of the 1.2 billion people who have iPhones have not updated their handset in 4 years,” he noted.
He further believes that the price increase of the professional range is justified by “the more advanced technology, the new A17 chip and the better battery.”
The first half of the presentation was devoted to new watches, including the Apple Watch Series 9, the group’s “first carbon neutral product”, according to Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment at of the society.
Starting at $400 later this month, it performs tasks faster than previous models and allows the user to answer calls or play music simply by tapping their index finger against their thumb twice right now.
“It’s going to become one of those magical everyday experiences,” promised Jeff Williams, the Cupertino company’s director of operations.