CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — Amid much fanfare, Apple unveiled its new gadgets and services Tuesday at the tech company’s fall product launch.
The company will show off its latest iPhones Tuesday at a product showcase in at Apple HQ in Cupertino. But the buzz surrounding its best-selling products has waned, as have sales, in the absence of compelling new features.
iPhone shipments are down 25% so far this year, according to the research firm IDC, putting more pressure on Apple to generate revenue from services such as music streaming, product repairs, revenue sharing from apps and ad commissions from making Google the default search engine. Revenue from services rose 14% to nearly $23 billion during the first half of this year.
The iPhone slump has prompted Apple to look for revenue growth from services such as video streaming and gaming.
Topping the reveal was the new Apple Arcade video game subscription service where monthly fees give the family access to games. The service will allow subscribers to play more than 100 games selected by Apple and exclusive to the service.
It will cost $5 per month for the whole family.
Apple TV Plus, launching in November, has the same price point. It will exclusively host original content, some of which was teased Tuesday.
Like Netflix and similar services from Amazon and Hulu, Apple has been doling out billions of dollars for original programs featuring stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The first shows will be available Nov. 1 with more originals added every month. It will be available in 100 countries at launch.
The new iPad boasts a bigger and better screen, while the new Apple Watch will have a display that’s always on and a battery life of 18 hours.
But the centerpiece of the presentation was the new iPhone that touts the highest quality video in a smart phone and a dual camera system.
The two pricier models already have a telephoto lens for better zoom. Now, they are expected to sport a wide-angle lens to capture more of a scene than regular shots. The cheapest model is expected to get one of those features, but it’s not clear which.
Even with those additions, the new iPhones may still be catching up with the improvements that rivals such as Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and Google have been making to their latest phones.
The new tech will cost consumers, with the upgraded iPhone starting at $699