Apple Unveils Next Generation of iPhones
Apple's latest iPhones will come in a bevy of colors and two distinct designs, one made of plastic and the other that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" and reads your fingerprint.
Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models, available on Sept. 20, during an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The move comes as rival phones from Samsung and other manufacturers are challenging Apple's hold on the smartphone market.
The lower-cost iPhone 5C will be available in five colors — green, blue, yellow, pink and white. CEO Tim Cook calls it "more fun and colorful" than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for a 16 gigabyte model and $199 for a 32 gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract. The phone is expected to help Apple boost sales in China and other areas where people don't have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in the U.S. and Europe.
The second phone, the 5S, is "the most forward-looking phone we have ever created," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and "space gray" and run a new chip, the A7 that is up to twice as fast as the A6.
Schiller said the new phone can run more health and fitness applications. These apps have become increasingly popular as more people use them to track exercise routines, calorie intake and even sleep patterns.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has larger pixels, which helps capture more light. The phone also has a two-tone flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colors in the room or a person's skin color — something Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.
The camera, called iSight, has "auto image stabilization," which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video.
The 5S also includes "Touch ID," which reads fingerprints at a "detailed level," Schiller said. He said it is "fun and easy" to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
Tying the fingerprint scanner to payments could also open new revenue channels for Apple.
Both models will be on sale on Sept. 20 in the U.S., Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and U.K. Apple said this is the first time that a new phone has been available right away in China — a sign of the growing importance of that market to the company. People will be able to order the 5C in advance on Sept. 13.
For buyers entering a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, the phone will cost $199 for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 32 and $399 for 64.
Apple also said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download on Sept. 18.
Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple Inc., said at an event at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters that "downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all new device."
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Apple also says it expects to ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month. Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts that iOS 7 will become the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Investors seemed unimpressed. Apple's stock price fell $3.17 to $503.10 during the event, which also featured Elvis Costello. The singer performed a new song from a record coming out next week.
More Business News
Last Update on March 27, 2015 17:24 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter and economists are looking for an even weaker showing in the first quarter as severe winter weather takes a toll on the economy.
But the slowdown is expected to be short-lived. Stronger growth is expected for the rest of the year as a recovering job market supports healthy gains in consumer spending.
The Commerce Department says the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the October-December period, an estimate that was unchanged from a month ago. The economy had surged at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter.
The final look at fourth quarter GDP found consumer spending was stronger than previously estimated but business restocking was weaker.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bad weather and rising gasoline prices pushed U.S. consumer sentiment a bit lower in March.
The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index slipped to 93 this month from 95.4 in February. Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, notes that despite the monthly drop, consumer optimism was the highest in a decade for the first three months of 2015.
Sentiment dropped most this month among low-income households, which are especially sensitive to high utility bills in the winter. Confidence rose for mid- and high-income households. Curtin predicted that an improving job market would boost consumer spending the rest of the year.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Europe's aviation safety agency is recommending that airlines across the continent always have two people in the cockpit of a flying aircraft.
European airlines, including the Lufthansa Group that includes Germanwings, have been making commitments to implement the measure after it emerged that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 had apparently locked himself in the cockpit to crash the plane.
U.S. airlines revamped their policies regarding staffing in the cockpit following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But the procedure is not standard in Europe or Canada.
The European Aviation Safety Agency's executive director, Patrick Ky, says "while we are still mourning the victims, all our efforts focus on improving the safety and security of passengers and crews."
The president of the German pilots union Cockpit tells The Associated Press that his organization would support measures requiring two people in the cockpit at all times during flights, but he cautions that such a move wouldn't solve all security problems.
UNITED STATES-ASIAN BANK BLUES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. resistance to a Chinese-led Asian regional bank is leaving it isolated among its Asian and European allies.
That's giving some heft to China's frequent complaints that Washington wants to contain its rise as a world power.
One of America's closest friends in Asia, South Korea, announced Thursday it will join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The institution is intended to help finance construction of roads and other infrastructure.
The U.S. has expressed concern that the new bank will allow looser lending standards, undercutting the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, where the U.S. and Japan have the most clout.
But since Britain broke with Washington two weeks ago, other major European economies have signed up for the Chinese-led bank. Australia also appears poised to join.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's alternate minister for international economic relations says his government is prepared for a "rupture" with the country's creditors if its current bailout negotiations don't go well.
Euclid Tsakalotos said Friday the government would not be negotiating properly if it didn't envisage a rupture with its partners, although he would not say what exactly a rupture might entail.
Greece's government is in talks with its creditors -- eurozone nations, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- to unlock urgently needed funds from the country's bailout. It must present a list of reforms by early next week, which it hopes will lead to the disbursement.
Tsakalotos, speaking on private Star TV, said the government was intentionally creating ambiguity with its partners regarding its intentions as a negotiating tactic.
SILICON VALLEY-SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jurors deciding the outcome of a much-watched gender discrimination lawsuit against a prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm are set to enter their third day of deliberations.
The jury of six men and six women are due back in San Francisco Superior Court on Friday in Ellen Pao's lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Pao says the firm discriminated against her because she was a woman and then retaliated by denying her a promotion and firing her when she complained about gender bias.
Kleiner Perkins denies the allegations and says Pao had a history of conflicts with colleagues that contributed to the decision to let her go.
The case has put a spotlight on gender imbalance and working conditions for women in Silicon Valley.
ARCTIC OIL DRILLING
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. oil storage facilities are filling up and the price of oil has collapsed, but an Energy Department advisory council says the U.S. should push now to exploit the trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil.
The U.S. has drastically cut imports in recent years and transformed itself into the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas by tapping huge reserves in shale rock formations. But the National Petroleum Council's study predicts that the shale boom won't last much beyond the next decade.
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson chaired the committee that drafted the study. He says oil companies need to start probing the Artic because it takes decades of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market.
Geologists estimate the Arctic holds about a quarter of the world's undiscovered conventional oil and gas deposits. But environmental advocates say the Arctic ecosystem is too fragile to risk a spill.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is operating without a permanent leader. Its chairman has been forced to resign, following accusations of mismanagement.
A White House official says Rafael Moure-Eraso (rah-fah-YEL' moh-RAY' eh-RAH'-soh) stepped down Thursday at the administration's request. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
The National Safety Council says the independent federal agency under Moure-Eraso repeatedly fell under scrutiny for board departures, delayed investigations and other issues. Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had accused Moure-Eraso of violating his oath of office and the law. Committee members had requested his resignation.
The board is responsible for investigating chemical accidents. Its members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
President Barack Obama has nominated Vanessa Sutherland to succeed Moure-Eraso.
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