Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on Sept 12

Apple said on Thursday it will host an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in the company’s Cupertino, California, campus, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPhone models. (AFP)
Updated 30 August 2018
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Apple expected to unveil new iPhone models on Sept 12

  • Analysts believe Apple plans to release three new smartphones this year, including one with a larger display than previous models
  • Analysts also expect Apple to release an iPhone with a edge-to-edge display similar to the iPhone X but using less-costly LCD screen technology

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple said on Thursday it will host an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in the company’s Cupertino, California, campus, where it is widely expected to unveil new iPhone models.
Analysts believe Apple plans to release three new smartphones this year, including one with a larger display than previous models. Analysts also expect Apple to release an iPhone with a edge-to-edge display similar to the iPhone X but using less-costly LCD screen technology.
Apple’s event invitation made heavy use of the color gold, fueling speculation on social media that the company plans to launch a gold-colored successor to the iPhone X, which was made available only in silver and gray last year.
Documents filed at the US Federal Communications Commission unsealed earlier this year showed Apple had sought approval for a gold version of its iPhone X, but it never released the color.
A few hours after Apple’s announcement, 9to5Mac, a technology news website, posted photographs of two gold iPhone models stacked on top each other, with a larger-screened model on the bottom. Both models resemble the current iPhone X.
The site said the new flagship model will be called the iPhone XS and that Apple also plans to release a new version of the Apple Watch with a larger display by reducing the edges around it.
9to5Mac told Reuters the photographs were not mockups and represented Apple’s actual planned products but declined to say how it had obtained them. Apple did not respond to requests for comment about the authenticity of the photos.
Apple shares were up 2.2 percent at an all-time high of $227.97.
Apple has for years released its new phone models in the second week of September, and often updates other product lines such as the Apple Watch at the event. The company has already given base-model iPads and some MacBook laptops an update this year.
Apple typically starts selling new iPhones a few weeks after launching them, in time for the holiday shopping season. The iPhone X, priced at $999 and up, has helped Apple beat Wall Street sales expectations.
Investor Warrant Buffett, speaking on Thursday to CNBC, said the iPhone is “enormously underpriced” even when it costs $1,000, given how indispensable it has become for so many people.


‘Substantial progress’ made on major China trade deal that excludes US

Updated 14 November 2018
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‘Substantial progress’ made on major China trade deal that excludes US

SINGAPORE: Substantial progress has been made on hammering out a China-backed trade deal, Singapore’s leader said Wednesday, driving ahead the world’s largest commercial pact which the United States is excluded from.
World leaders gathered in the tropical city state this week for a summit where a massive Beijing-backed agreement covering half the world’s population has dominated discussions.
Diplomats have been trying to nail down details as Beijing entices its neighbors to join a commercial alliance seen as an antidote to President Donald Trump’s “America First” protectionist trade policy.
The US has imposed tariffs on roughly half of what it imports from China, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own levies.
Beijing’s leaders have recast themselves as the defenders of global commerce — with the United States under Trump relegated to the sidelines.
China, Japan and India are among 16 Asia-Pacific countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“Substantial progress has been made this year to advance the RCEP negotiations,” Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Wednesday evening, adding talks were now “at the final stage.”
“With the strong momentum generated this year, I am pleased to note that the RCEP negotiations are poised for conclusion in 2019,” he added.
But he cautioned any further delays could risk “losing credibility” for a deal — which has already taken six years to negotiate.
This week’s meetings are the biggest in a series of annual gatherings organized by regional bloc the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), and are attended by 20 leaders.
RCEP was given extra impetus after US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the rival Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in early 2017.
That deal was spearheaded by his predecessor Barack Obama and aimed to bind fast-growing Asian powers into an American-backed order to counter China.
The TPP is still alive even without Washington — and will come into effect in December — but RCEP, if realized, will be the world’s biggest trade deal.
However, the Beijing-backed pact is much less ambitious than the TPP in areas such as employment and environmental protection.
Beijing had hoped to have the meat of the deal done by the end of this year, but the timetable has now slipped to 2019.
However, this has not stopped Chinese leaders from basking in the progress already made.
During a meeting with Southeast Asia leaders, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he was hopeful talks would “break through the ceiling” and take regional trade “to new heights.”
Trump is not at the Singapore summit, nor will he attend a subsequent gathering of world leaders in Papua New Guinea at the end of the week, having sent Vice President Mike Pence instead.
National Security Adviser John Bolton, however, told reporters in Singapore that the president’s no-show should not be seen as a lack of commitment toward the region.
He blamed a “schedule crunch” after a particularly frenetic few weeks that included the midterm elections, attending the World War I armistice commemorations in France and preparing for the G20 in Argentina later this month.
There are still major sticking points in RCEP talks — with regional rival India particularly nervous about giving Chinese companies greater access to its markets, and wealthier nations wanting to see more progress on labor reforms.
Disagreements on intellectual property rights, goods tariffs and financial services are also on a long list of issues that still need to be concluded.
Also, the spectre of possible leadership changes with several general elections scheduled early next year — India, Thailand and Indonesia — have also complicated the timeline for a deal.
Aaron Connelly, an expert on Southeast Asian politics at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the fact that RCEP negotiations were not concluded at this year’s ASEAN could indicate China has some way to go to convince neighbors to sign up.
“It’s interesting that when Beijing is at its most vulnerable on trade, with US tariffs biting, they weren’t willing to concede enough to their neighbors in terms of market access to get a deal done,” he told AFP.
At the same time, trade ministers across Asia Pacific have sounded a largely positive tone this week, saying they expect the pact to be agreed sooner rather than later.
“The future lies in RCEP,” Indian trade minister Suresh Prabhu told reporters earlier in the week.