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Apple unveils new iPhone and smartwatch with a focus on fitness

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The new fitness-focused smartwatch is aimed at triathletes, distance runners, and backcountry enthusiasts.


The new iPhone 14 is displayed alongside the new Apple Watch 8 Series and new AirPod Pros during a launch event for new products at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, on September 7, 2022. Brittany Hosea/Getty Images

By Tripp Mickle and Brian X. Chen, New York Times Service

September 7, 2022 | 6:28 PM

At its annual marketing event Wednesday, Apple unveiled its iPhone 14 with satellite phone capabilities that can be used in emergency situations. But sharing the spotlight is a product that has slowly developed a strong following: the Apple Watch.

The wearable computer, originally released in 2015, still accounts for a tiny sliver of the company’s revenue. But it has helped Apple build a fortress around the iPhone, deepening customer loyalty to the company’s most important device.

On Wednesday, Apple expanded on this strategy with an array of new watches. It unveiled a new fitness-focused smartwatch aimed at triathletes, distance runners and backcountry enthusiasts.

The Apple Watch Ultra, a rugged $800 model with a larger screen and improved durability, thrusts the company into a corner of the smartwatch market dominated by Garmin.

The new Apple Watch Ultras. – Brittany Hosea/Getty Images

The new watch features an “action” button to make it easier to use while wearing gloves, bigger speakers for calls in windy conditions and a bigger battery that offers 36 hours on a single charge.

In addition, Apple released an update for its traditional watch, the Series 8, which costs $400. It includes a sensor to track body temperature changes.

Apple also lowered the price of its entry-level watch, the Apple Watch SE, which debuted in 2020 for $280. The new version, priced at $250 lacks some features found on the more expensive models.

The company coupled its smartwatch release with an update to its line of wireless earbuds, known as AirPods. It introduced a new generation of its AirPods Pro line, priced at $250, with new features, including the ability to turn the volume up and down with the swipe of a finger. It also offers improved noise cancellation, the company said.

For Apple, the smartwatches and AirPods are dwarfed in importance by the iPhone, which accounts for more than half the company’s total sales. But the devices have helped Apple deepen customer loyalty.

Apple unveiled the products at the Steve Jobs Theater on its campus in Cupertino, California, the first time it has held a product event there since 2019.

Apple saved its biggest design changes for the iPhone 14 Pro, which costs $999, the same as last year’s flagship phone. The new phone features a new processor, the A16, that supports an improved camera with a larger sensor for improved photos.

An attendee holds a new iPhone Pro. – Brittany Hosea/Getty Images

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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