Middle East Apple fans will not have long to wait for new iPhone models

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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
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Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone (AFP)
Updated 13 September 2018
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Middle East Apple fans will not have long to wait for new iPhone models

  • Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on the new iPhone
  • As befits the hype, glitz and glamor of an Apple launch, the company revealed the details of its new smartphone models

CUPERTINO, California: Apple aficionados in the Middle East will not have long to wait before they get their hands on what the company are calling the “most beautiful and advanced” iPhones.
As befits the hype, glitz and glamor of an Apple launch, the company revealed the details of its new smartphone models and a new smartwatch in Cupertino on Wednesday.
And technology-lovers will only have a few days to wait before they can pre-order the latest incarnations of the world’s most popular phone, with orders being taken from Sept. 14 and shipping for Saudi Arabia and the UAE starting on Sept. 21. iPhone addicts in Oman and Bahrain will have a week longer to wait, with the iPhones arriving in the two countries a week later on Sept. 28.
At the launch, Tim Cook confirmed the names of the new models — which had been leaked earlier in the day — as iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, as well as revealing release dates for global regions.
The major changes from previous models will be greater gearing toward internal upgrades rather than design changes, with all models improved with the fitting of the advanced A12 chip.
The new piece of kit is 50 percent more energy-efficient and faster than the previous processor, with apps loading 30 percent faster, too.
The A12 Bionic chip has an 8-core design — allowing it to run more advanced machine learning. At the launch, Apple called it a “breakthrough.”
The largest screen Apple has produced represents the firm’s attempt to feed consumer appetite for watching and recording videos, as well as taking photos.
The biggest news for most smartphone users was the announcement of the new phone’s dual-Sim capability, meaning users will have access to two phone numbers on the same iPhone at the same time.
But the price-tag of the top model will again have even the most ardent Apple fan wincing, with the XS Max going for an eye-watering $1,100 — $100 more than last year’s iPhone X. In the aftermath of the launch, questions were being asked about how high technology firms can push the prices of smartphones before consumers kick back.
Apple launched the iPhone X last year, and for the first time in more than a decade sales did not go as well as analysts had anticipated. But with Apple boosting the average iPhone selling price by nearly 20 percent, it still meant a bumper year for the tech firm.
By manufacturing more expensive iPhones, Apple has been able to boost profits despite falling demand due to people upgrading their phones less frequently. iPhones fetched an average price of $724 during the April-June period this year, a 20 percent increase from a year earlier. This time around, the iPhone XS will stay at the $999 mark while the iPhone XR will use cheaper materials and sell for about $750.
Apple also announced a new Apple Watch, which will move further into medical device territory. It has a larger screen and a built-in sensor that can detect irregular heart-rates and perform an electrocardiogram, as well as detect when a user has fallen.


Oil slips as US inventories swell, but OPEC may cut supply to avoid glut

Updated 22 November 2018
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Oil slips as US inventories swell, but OPEC may cut supply to avoid glut

  • US commercial crude oil inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels to 446.91 million barrels last week
  • Some analysts have warned that despite high global production, oil markets have little spare capacity to handle unforeseen supply disruptions

SINGAPORE: Oil prices slipped on Thursday after US crude inventories swelled to their highest level since December 2017 amid concerns of an emerging global glut, although the potential for a supply cut by OPEC prevented further drops.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, were at $54.35 per barrel at 0534 GMT, 28 cents, or 0.5 percent below their last settlement.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $63.25 per barrel, down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent.
US commercial crude oil inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels to 446.91 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a weekly report on Wednesday. That was the highest level since December last year.
US crude oil production remained at a record 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd), the EIA said.
“US inventory data ... continued to show significant supply builds, which comes on the back of sustained record US crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
Some analysts have warned that despite high global production, oil markets have little spare capacity to handle unforeseen supply disruptions.
However, Innes said that once US pipeline bottlenecks were alleviated, which he said he expected in 2019, “the entire notion of a tight global spare capacity argument goes down the well.”
A lot of US and also Canadian oil is struggling to get to market because production increases have outpaced pipeline expansions to handle shipping the crude.
As a result, Canada’s federal government is considering a proposal from its main oil producing province of Alberta to share the cost of buying rail cars to move oil stuck in the region to refineries in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Middle East-dominated the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is worried about the emergence of a supply glut that could further pull down prices.
To counter that, the producer group is considering supply cuts when it next meets on Dec. 6, although some members, like Iran, are expected to resist any voluntary reductions.
“While there is talk that OPEC plus Russia may again agree to a production cut, the concern is that not all relevant parties will be able to come to an agreement,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.