AS IT HAPPENED: Apple launches new iPhone, Apple Watch models

Updated 13 September 2018

AS IT HAPPENED: Apple launches new iPhone, Apple Watch models

CUPERTINO: 19:45 - And there we have it. Tim Cook brings an end to the launch of the brand new iPhone models and Apple Watch. Don't forget, those of you in Saudi Arabia and the UAE will start receiving yours from Sept. 21, with Oman and Bahrain getting shipments a week later.

19:30 - We have a "New Phone Alert"... Apple has announced its third new iPhone - the iPhone XR. It is made from aerospace grade aluminium, and has more durable glass. It will come in six colours - white, black, blue, coral, yellow, red. It has a fantastic-looking LCD display too...

19:25 - Good news for business/leisure iPhone fans - the iPhone XS has dual-Sim capability. This will mean you can use two phone numbers on the same iPhone at the same time. 

This dual-Sim capability will require support from carriers - which Apple says it is working on...

19:15 - Now for the important part - for most of us, anyway - what is the camera like? The new dual camera system on the iPhoneXS has a 12 mega-pixel-wide-angle and 12 mega-pixel telephoto camera, with an improved True Tone flash. The photos do look beautiful, in fairness...

19:05 - We are now being treated to gaming and sporting sides of the new iPhone. All very impressive technical detail and lovely images. Three players took to the stage to play an arcade shooter game at the same time, from three different phones.

Apple have got these product launches nailed down, that's for sure. It is addictive viewing, I can tell you...

18:55 - The important, behind-the-scenes changes to this phone are led by the inclusion of the A12 bionic chip. Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will have them. 

It is 50 per cent more energy efficient and faster than previous processor, with apps loading 30 percent faster. The A12 Bionic chip has an 8-core design - allowing it to run more advanced machine learning. Apple calls this a "breakthrough" and says performance is "unmatched."

18:50 - Apple’s facial recognition system, Face ID, is now even faster than ever before. All you have to do is look at your phone to unlock the device, and view notifications. Apple confirms it is the most powerful facial recognition system in any smartphone on the market.

18:45 - Now, we're on to the 5.8 inch and 6.5 inch, 3.3 million-pixel iPhone XS...a man called Phil is letting us know all we need to know about the "most beautiful phone Apple has ever created."

The screen is almost edgeless, and both the front and back are made from durable glass.  It comes in three finishes of gold, silver and space grey, and they are all protected with IP68, meaning they’re water resistant and dust proof.

18:40 - So, to summarise, the key features of the Apple Watch Series 4 include: Larger display, 2x faster performance, louder speaker, fall detection, can take ECGs and 18-hour battery life...and will be available in the UAE on September 21 on Etisalat...

18:30 - Best news for normal consumers like you and me, is that the battery life of the Apple Watch Series 4 will be 18 hours, with GPS life around about 6 hours - "perfect for marathons or long bike rides" we are told...

18:20 - The back of the Apple Watch is made from black ceramic and sapphire crystal, and allowed radio waves to pass through the front and back - improving cellular reception. It can even tell when you have had a fall or when your heart-rate is too low. The first ECG product to be available to consumers over-the-counter. Believe it or not... 

18:15 - Apple Watch Series 4 is revealed, a bigger screen with minimal changes to the case size. More information, in more detail on a redesigned watch-face. Speakers have been improved, meaning you can hear "Siri even louder" and "phonecalls evern clearer."

Apple are really plugging the "health and fitness" angle so far...

18:10 - Tim Cook reveals, in a very enthusiastic opening monologue, that Apple is about to shift its two billionth device. Impressive stuff. Stick with us through the back-slapping, we will be revealing product details soon...

18:05 - Tim Cook arrives on stage, and we're ready to go...

18:00 - We are currently being treated to a Mission Impossible-themed pre-event video. Very amusing...

Apple are ready to launch their newest iPhone models at their Cupertino headquarters. Follow us live for all the latest updates...


Russia’s Rostec doing brisk arms trades despite sanctions

Updated 21 November 2018

Russia’s Rostec doing brisk arms trades despite sanctions

  • Arms giant Rostec is seeing strong demand for its advanced anti-missile systems
  • Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014, the world’s second-largest arms exporter has been hit by several rounds of sanctions by Washington and EU

MOSCOW: Arms giant Rostec is seeing strong demand for its advanced anti-missile systems despite international sanctions against the Russian defense sector, chief executive Sergei Chemezov told AFP in an interview.
Chemezov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, is nonetheless also charting a course to increase sales of Rostec’s non-military products.
Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014, the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the United States has been hit by several rounds of sanctions by Washington and the European Union (EU). Rostec and Chemezov himself have been specifically targeted.
“The sanctions are beneficial to US companies competing with us,” the chief executive noted in an interview conducted via email.
“At the same time, we are well aware of the negative attitude of many foreign companies, of our traditional foreign partners, to the sanctions.”
An economist by training, Chemezov built a career in the import-export trade and met Putin when both were in Dresden, Eastern Germany, in the 1980s.
Chemezov worked for an industrial group, Putin for the KGB.
Now the head of the country’s state-owned arms giant, Chemezov points to the S-400 air defense systems as an example of foreign demand for Rostec products despite the sanctions.
In late October, India agreed to a deal for multiple batteries worth more than $5 billion despite warnings from Washington.
“Currently, S-400 contracts are being implemented with Turkey and China,” Chemezov added.
“We cannot yet tell about future plans, however, despite the active propaganda of the United States against Russian armaments, there is demand for the S-400, and it is big.”
According to Bloomberg, an S-400 battery costs between $475-$625 million, compared with $550-$700 million for a US-made Patriot system, and boasts greater range and interception capabilities, and a faster set-up time.
The Rostec chief said the group was doing all it could to minimize the sanction’s impact and argued that they were also detrimental to the US and EU.
Rosoboronexport, the Rostec unit charged with selling arms abroad, has outstanding orders worth more than $50 billion, he said.

Rostec was created in 2007 to transform the arms industry inherited from the Soviet Union.
It comprised more than 400 businesses, many of which were in ruins, and was saddled with 630 billion rubles in debt, roughly equivalent to $9.6 billion today.
The group now oversees more than 700 businesses, from arms manufacturers to camera and plane makers. Total sales in 2017 were 1.6 trillion rubles, or a little more than $22.8 billion.
While Rostec is modernizing its military production, it also aims to make civilian products account for 50 percent of total output by 2025, compared with 28 percent at present.
“If we want to continue our sustainable development and remain adequately competitive, we must focus on civilian products,” Chemezov said.
“We are well aware that supplies of arms have boundaries and limits.”

The group has also successfully opened some subsidiaries to private investors and presents Kalashnikov, maker of the renowned AK-47 assault rifle, as an example.
Now 75-percent controlled by private investors, once-ailing Kalashnikov has rebounded and recently announced 1,700 new hires to manage increased exports.
“The concern nowadays is a manufacturer of not only small arms, but also unmanned aerial vehicles, fast boats, electric motorcycles, other hi-tech civilian products,” Chemezov noted.
Rostec might now allow investors to buy into the optical-electronic systems group Shvabe as well.
Shvabe recently attracted attention with news it would reboot manufacturing of the iconic Soviet camera Zenit in partnership with the German firm Leica.
In aviation, Rostec is taking over UAC, which groups leading Russian manufacturers of military and civilian aircraft, including Antonov, Tupolev and Sukhoi.
“We are ready to compete with Boeing and Airbus for the global aviation market,” Chemezov said.
The group’s efforts should propel Rostec among the world’s 10 biggest industrial corporations in terms of revenue, he said.