Apple unveils first iPhones with 5G wireless

Apple’s vice president of iPhone Product Marketing Kaiann Drance unveils the all-new iPhone 12 at a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, US in a still image from video released October 13, 2020. (Apple via Reuters)
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Updated 13 October 2020

Apple unveils first iPhones with 5G wireless

  • The new models include the redesigned iPhone 12 — successor to the top-selling iPhone 11 launched last year

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple announced Tuesday it was launching new iPhones using 5G, the latest smartphone maker to adapt to the new-generation, high-speed wireless networks.
“We are going to introduce 5G across our entire lineup of iPhone models,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said at a streamed launch event from the company’s headquarters in California.
“Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone.”
The new models include the redesigned iPhone 12 — successor to the top-selling iPhone 11 launched last year — which will start at $799.
A smaller iPhone 12 mini with a 5.4 inch display will start at $699.
The new lineup of iPhones was expected to ignite a surge in interest in smartphone upgrades to take advantage of the faster networks.
Apple joins other handset makers including Samsung and Huawei in introducing smartphones taking advantage of the growing 5G footprint around the world, which could open up new markets and technologies.
5G networks are touted as promising an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, enabling advances in self-driving vehicles, virtual reality, connected health and more as sensors and servers communicate instantly.
The growth of 5G could also be a catalyst to revive a sluggish smartphone market.
Total smartphone sales were down 16 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC.
Apple also introduced a new version of its HomePod smart speaker standing just eight centimeters (3.3 inches tall). The HomePod mini, which responds to voice commands and plays music, will start at $99.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models in graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue starting at AED4,199 ($1,143) and AED4,699, respectively. Customers can also get iPhone 12 Pro for AED3,139 with trade-in and iPhone 12 Pro Max for AED3,489 with trade-in from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations. iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary).
  • Customers in Australia, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, the US, and more than 30 other countries and regions will be able to pre-order iPhone 12 Pro beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23, and pre-order for iPhone 12 Pro Max will begin at 5 a.m. PST on Friday, November 6, with availability beginning Friday, November 13.
  • iPhone 12 Pro will be available in India, South Korea, and more than a dozen other countries beginning Friday, October 30.
  • MagSafe Charger, Leather Wallet with MagSafe, and iPhone 12 Pro Silicone Case and Clear Case will be available beginning Friday, October 16. iPhone 12 Pro Leather Case will be available beginning Friday, November 6. MagSafe Duo Charger and Leather Sleeve will be available at a later date.
  • For a limited time, eligible customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free and three months of Apple Arcade for free.
  • Apple One is the easiest way to get many Apple subscription services at a great value, so customers can choose the one plan that is right for them or their whole family. Customers can sign up for Apple One starting this fall.
  • Customers are able to find the same great shopping and support services at apple.com and at Apple Store locations. Customers can get shopping help from Apple Specialists, choose monthly financing options, trade in eligible devices, and get Support services and no-contact delivery or Apple Store pickup options. Customers are encouraged to check apple.com/retail for more information on the health and safety measures in place, and the services available, at their local store.
  • Customers can extend their limited warranty with AppleCare+ and get accidental damage protection, or AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, and get 24/7 priority access to technical support.
  • Every customer who buys iPhone from Apple can enjoy a free Online Personal Session with an Apple Specialist, to help them explore and discover all the amazing things they can do with their new iPhone.

Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2020

Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

  • The program includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women

DUBAI: Several Saudi ministries have teamed up with tech giant Google to launch a set of projects aimed at helping the Kingdom’s economic strategy and digital transformation.

Google said the initiatives will focus on Saudi Arabia and the MENA region and will boost economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. The program, named “Grow stronger with Google,” will include a comprehensive list of digital tools, grants and training opportunities to support local businesses and job seekers across the region. In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.
“We are proud to partner with Google in this initiative to bring value to Saudi nationals, residents and local businesses, especially SMEs through bringing them together using the Google ‘My Business’ platform,” said President of the Saudi Post Anef Abanomi.
“Through this partnership we aim to list up to 100,000 businesses in the first phase in line with Saudi Post’s strategic transformation objectives to improve quality of life and help SMEs achieve their e-commerce and digitization goals,” he added.
Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA, said in a press release: “During the pandemic, online tools have been a lifeline for many in Saudi Arabia. Making the most of the online opportunity can help Saudi people, businesses and communities and in the wider region bounce back stronger.” He said the program will equip businesses and individuals in the Kingdom with digital skills, especially in sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as retail and tourism.

HIGHLIGHT

In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.

The tech giant has also partnered with several Saudi bodies — including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Tourism — to implement the programs. One project is set to train 50,000 students and businesses in digital marketing.
“We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and we’re confident that by working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis,” Cattaruzzi said.
The program also includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women.
Google said it wants to help 1 million people and businesses throughout the MENA region learn digital skills and grow businesses by the end of 2021.