It’s the first half of September, so you know that means Apple has a slate of new hardware and features to keep us itching for that next upgrade.
Apple’s new tech
Wednesday, the California-based company revealed new models of its Apple Watch and iPhone products, including multiple new phone sizes and a watch with a built in electrocardiogram measurement ability. That’ll come in handy when you get to the prices.
Confirming some pretty accurate leaks, three new iPhone models were unveiled at this year’s keynote. Hosted at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the company’s still-shiny-and-new Apple Park, the attending audience and folks watching online were introduced to the 5.8-inch organic LED (OLED) screen-bearing iPhone Xs, the 6.5-inch Xs Max, as well as a new line of colorful, more affordable options in the 6.1-inch LCD screen iPhone Xr.
The camera technology included in each was highlighted, with Apple executives like Phil Schiller showing off better photo quality and augmented reality (AR) applications (still mostly gaming).
A differentiating feature between the Xs and Xr lines is that the Xr will only have one camera included instead of two like the Xs line. The Xr will also have six different case colors to choose from.
What agents are excited about
Tiffany Kjellander, CEO and president of New Jersey-based Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate PorchLight Properties, wasn’t surprised by Wednesday’s news because much of it was online a couple days beforehand, but she does find the new naming scheme a bit unwieldy.
Though, she said in an email, she was still excited for the new camera feature of being able to edit the depth of field effect — or how much the background of a photo is out of focus compared to the foreground.
The new phones will come with a six-core A12 bionic computer chip that is specifically designed to handle heavy-duty machine learning processing. Meaning the latest phones understand what’s happening around them to an even higher degree, enabling the demo of an app which can track activities like practicing a basketball free throw.
Some potential real estate applications like virtual room staging and an unending tape measure right in your phone, have been highlighted by Inman before.
David Weitzel, a real estate broker with RE/MAX North in Buffalo, New York, thinks the tech still needs improvements and wider adoption before it really takes off. But, he says, he does use the Sun Seeker 3D app to show how the sunshine will interact with rooms on the fly during a showing — even if it’s cloudy.
A completely new feature that might be of interest to professionals who frequently travel is a dual SIM and eSIM ability of the Xs line of phones. This means the high-end line of Xs phone can support having two cellular connections without taking the SIM card out. This has been a popular feature in other companies’ phones, and its addition to the iPhone is a common request.
This feature has caught eye of Kjellander and Weitzel who were interested in the idea of having both personal and work numbers on the same device.
But, in an email to Inman, Weitzel added that his decision to upgrade generally comes from how recent his last equipment change was. He thinks those with the previous iteration of the phone won’t have much need to go to the new devices.
Weitzel also said he was hoping for additional hardware news from the event.
“I was hoping for an iPad Pro refresh, there are rumors that [it] may occur in October, but these are the same rumors that said they would this week,” he said. While there are still a few tasks the iPad Pro has yet to fill, “it, along with my phone, are with me at all times for work. As a Mac user, I may forgo a Macbook Pro in the future in exchange for the iMac and iPad Pro.”
Due to the ever-increasing digital adoption of real estate processes, Weitzel sees tablets as the most convenient portable computer option.
Apple Watch’s new life-saving features
Additionally, viewers were treated to the first sight of the redesigned Apple Watch Series 4. With a 30 percent larger display as well as better speakers and microphone, the new watch is a hefty upgrade over its predecessors, but that doesn’t begin to cover the new health features.
One new watch ability, which received an impressed round of applause, was its ability to monitor electrocardiogram signals, or ECG. That means it can track the electrical signals of the heart.
According to Apple, the watch is the only over the counter ECG measurement system. The Series 4 can also detect heart irregularities and call emergency services when its gyroscope and accelerometer detect if a person falls.
Team leader of the Philadelphia Home Collective at Compass, Kristin McFeely, told Inman that the movement toward a clientele with an interest in healthy living translates directly to their homebuying habits.
“Older folks may feel more comfortable staying in their existing homes because this kind of technology makes them feel safer,” McFeely said in an email. “I think it also shows a trend toward people being more health-conscious, which, as Realtors, we should pay attention to as home gyms, pools, etc., become features more consumers may be looking for.”
Now with all these new toys, combined with the fact that Apple had broken the $1,000 price barrier with last year’s iPhone X, these new models were not expected to be cheap.
The biggest and baddest option, the iPhone Xs Max, will be available in three storage options of: 64, 256 and a new 512 gigabyte option. Without a cellphone plan, those will set you back $1,099, $1,249, and $1,449 respectively.
The 5.8-inch Xs will have the same storage options for $999, $1,149 and $1,349. The two Xs phones will be available for pre-order Sept. 14 and for purchase Sept. 21.
The iPhone Xr is where things get interesting. It will be available later with pre-orders open on Oct. 19 and for purchase Oct. 26. It will have 64, 128 and 256 gigabyte options at $749, $799 and $899 price points.