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Analysts anticipate Apple’s iPhone launch will pay off big

CUPERTINO, USA – Apple unveiled three new iPhones on Wednesday in a bid to bolster its spot in the premium smartphone market, along with an upgraded smartwatch that takes electrocardiograms and detects falls.

The California tech giant said it would begin selling its 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max later this month, keeping the starting price of the company’s top-end model at $999 but bumping the entry price for the version with the larger screen.

Apple also announced a new iPhone XR starting at $749, available in October, with a 6.1-inch display to broaden its pool of buyers.

The phones are updates to last year’s iPhone X (“10”), which marks the 10th anniversary of the smartphone — stretching the screen while keeping the overall handset size at or near that of previous models.

The new iPhones have more powerful processors and cameras, and a dual-SIM card feature for top-of-the-line devices. Home buttons were replaced with screen swipes, taps and facial recognition capabilities.

“We are going to take iPhone X to the next level,” chief executive Tim Cook said.

While the iPhone has made Apple the world’s most valuable company, worth more than $1-trillion, it has slipped to third place among smartphone makers as Chinese-based Huawei has grabbed the number two spot behind Samsung.

Apple also introduced a fourth generation of the Apple Watch with a major redesign — and a series of features designed to improve its performance as a medical and health device.

The watch, sold in the United States from $399 and up, will be available in stores on September 21.

“Apple Watch has become an intelligent guardian for your health,” chief operating officer Jeff Williams said.

The smartwatches are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor can take an electrocardiogram.

“This is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers,” Williams said.

“Now you can take an ECG any time, anywhere, right from the wrist.”

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