SAN FRANCISCO (AP): The Latest on Apple’s San Francisco product event (all times local):
With people storing more photos and video on their phones, Apple is joining rival phone makers in making the starter model 32 gigabytes, rather than 16 gigabytes before. The main iPhone is still priced at $650. The larger Plus model is increasing to $770, instead of $750.
Apple is doubling storage in higher-priced models, too _ to 128 and 256 gigabytes.
The new phones will ship Sept. 16, with orders to start this Friday.
The new phones are getting faster processors, water resistance, better cameras and more colorful screens, while losing a traditional headphone jack in favor of wireless headphones and those that use the Lightning charging port. Apple also says the iPhone 7 will have better battery life _ about one or two hours more from recent models.
Older iPhones will get price reductions, and last year’s models are also getting double the storage.
Meanwhile, Apple says its new wireless headphones will ship in late October for $160.
The video game character Mario is coming to iPhones. CEO Tim Cook said the popular Japanese game had been missing until now.
Shigeru Miyamoto, described as the “Father of Mario” from Nintendo, said through a translator that “Super Mario Runs” is designed to be played one-handed – while holding a handle on the subway, eating a hamburger or eating an apple.
Miyamoto didn’t announce the price, but said the game will sell for a fixed price, so you won’t have to keep ponying up as you advance through the game.
Nintendo has long resisted bringing Mario to mobile phones, instead relying on the character to bolster demand for its own hand-held DS gaming systems.
The event in San Francisco on Wednesday started with video showing TV host James Corden driving to the event and bantering with Cook about how he ought to wear a suit made of apples. As Cook walked on stage, he puts on the funny glasses from the ride, then shook his head and threw them offstage.
Eyes are on Apple on Wednesday as the company prepares to unveil expected new iPhones and other products at an event in San Francisco starting at 1 p.m. EDT.
Analysts say the new iPhones could help Apple recover modestly from a recent dip in sales. But with few expected dramatic changes from previous models, Apple watchers aren’t expecting the kind of big spikes in consumer demand that the company saw two years ago, when it introduced larger screens.
Apple sold nearly 92 million iPhones during the first six months of this year, about 15 percent fewer than the same period last year. This year marks the first time that Apple has seen such declines. Industry analysts say it’s because last fall’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus didn’t contain many new features or improvements.
Investors are hoping for a bigger boost in sales next year. Wall Street analysts say reports from Apple’s Asian manufacturers and suppliers indicate the company has decided to wait a year before introducing a major overhaul of the phone in 2017. That will be the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.