For more Septembers than we can remember, we’ve waited excitedly for news of the latest iPhone release. 2022’s “Far Out” event at Apple’s Cupertino campus certainly didn’t disappoint, with four new smartphones, two watches and an updated set of headphones announced to a gathering of excited journalists.
The iPhone 14 Lineup
The first news from the event is what Apple didn’t announce. If you were still clinging to the hope that the company would release an updated iPhone mini, your dreams have been dashed. The model failed to sell in significant volumes and has officially been dumped from the lineup, though support for existing models will continue for years.
Instead, the iPhone lineup consists of four new models (if we discount the existing iPhone SE). There’s the entry-level iPhone 14, a new iPhone 14 with a bigger display, called the iPhone 14 Max, and two high-end models in the same form factors: The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Both Max Models feature 6.7-inch screens, whereas the standard sizes stick to a 6.1-inch display. Besides the chassis sizes, the Max models of both the entry-level and Pro phones are essentially the same as their smaller counterparts.
So what’s the difference between the Pro and regular models of the iPhone 14?
The base model sticks to the same format as last year’s device, even using the same a15 processor from the iPhone 13, albeit getting a slight bump in specs as it uses the chip from last year’s pro model.
Overall, it has to be said that there seems to be little reason for iPhone 13 owners to upgrade to the new model. There’s a slightly wider aperture to the camera, a slight boost to RAM, and that’s about it. Indeed, if you used the iPhone 13 and 14 side by side, you’d be very hard-pressed to work out which was which.
Of course, the iPhone 14 Max does bring a larger screen to the party and offers Apple fans the option to get a big display without shelling out for the Pro Max — though all told, the entry-level phones aren’t as exciting as we’d hoped.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are where Apple has invested most of its energy this year. Despite looking very similar to the outgoing models, there are a couple of awesome upgrades that are worth noting:
The big news is that the infamous notch that houses the front camera and Face ID sensor has been shrunk down to a pill-shaped lozenge. The new shape is called the “Dynamic Island”, and can change shape, expanding to incorporate different functions such as music control or navigation, or perform background tasks while using other apps.
There’s also always-on support for the display, a massive boost to the primary camera, which climbs from 12 to 48 megapixels, and better low-light performance as well as 8K video recording.
So what will the new models cost when they’re available to order? The iPhone 14 costs $799 and will be available on September 16th. The iPhone 14 Plus is $899 and will be available on October 7th. The iPhone 14 Pro is $999, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is $1,099 and will be on sale by September 14th.
New Apple Watches
Aside from a range of new straps, the big news for Apple Watch fans is the announcement of the Ultra, an adventure-focused model aimed squarely at the likes of Garmin. The Apple Watch Ultra gets a huge 49mm titanium case, 36 hours of battery life (and up to 60 in extended power mode), and an action button to switch what you’re tracking with a quick press.
The Series 8 watches start at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular version, while the Ultra model will set enthusiasts back a whopping $799.
Second-Gen AirPods Pro
This year’s Apple launch event also sees the Cupertino company boost the specs of its AirPod Pro wireless headphones. Apple claims the new H2 chip inside the buds helps with noise cancellation and offers a jump in sound quality. Battery life is now improved at 6+ hours, and new touch controls allow volume changes with a finger swipe.
Overall, the event was both exciting and underwhelming. The Pro iPhone models offer genuine groundbreaking improvements, yet the rest of Apple’s lineup appears to be an exercise in recession proofing as we await an economic downturn.
World’s Largest Metaverse Developer Opens Dubai Office
LandVault, the largest metaverse creator, is expanding its presence into the MENA region.
LandVault, the world’s largest metaverse developer, will expand operations to Dubai later this month as part of an ongoing strategy to boost its presence in the MENA region. The company aims to help local businesses gain a foothold in the expanding web 3.0 universe and sees exciting opportunities to bolster its client portfolio.
So far, metaverse developer LandVault has lived up to its name, creating and curating over 100 square feet of virtual space for a diverse range of organizations, including the nearby Yas Marina Circuit, Aldar, Mastercard, Standard Chartered, World of Women, Hershey’s, and many more.
The Dubai government’s Metaverse Strategy is one of the key reasons LandVault has been inspired to move to the region, as leaders plan to transform the Emirate into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies by 2030. Eventually, it’s hoped that in excess of 1,000 companies in the blockchain and web 3.0 spaces will be inspired to set up entities in the region, creating around 40,000 new jobs in the process.
“We are excited to open our office in Dubai and to be a part of the vibrant tech community in the UAE. The MENA region is a key market for us, and we believe that our presence in Dubai will allow us to assist the region and explore new opportunities. We are also excited about the potential for the metaverse in the real estate industry in the UAE. We look forward to working with developers and real estate companies to showcase their properties in a new and innovative way,” says Sam Huber, CEO of LandVault.
Alongside developing the metaverse from its new Dubai office, LandVault will also deploy its technology to assist the UAE’s real estate sector. Developers will soon be able to showcase their projects in a way that was never previously possible, reaching a much wider audience with immersive and interactive property tours and even virtual showrooms.