What is Apple cooking for the following year

Against a backdrop of slowing sales, the company focuses on services

Photo: Apple Ann Thai reveals Apple Arcade’s launch on 19 September, featuring over 100 new and exclusive games.

Apple kicked off its annual fall product launch on Tuesday where, as promised, it unveiled its newest hardware, software and services - two new iPhones, an iPad, a watch, and a small glimpse into what you'll be able to get from its video and game streaming services.

At the event, the company debuted a trio of new smartphones, including the $699 iPhone 11, the $999 iPhone 11 Pro and the $1,099 iPhone 11 Pro Max. All three devices appear similar to their predecessors, but Apple has upgraded their respective camera systems to allow for wide-angle photos, while making improvements under the hood that result in a longer battery life and faster performance than before.

Indeed, with the new iPhones amounting to only a modest advance over existing devices, much of the interest this year centered on Apple's foray into online video. The company's Netflix-like service promises a slate of original programs with stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Jason Momoa. Also on the agenda is -the hotly anticipated a video gaming service called Arcade.

First up is Arcade, a subscription service for games that will be usable across Apple's ecosystem of devices. It will launch with 100 games on 19 September, which will be available for downloading and offline playing for $4.99 a month.

"No game service has ever launched as many games at once," an Apple executive said.

At the event Apple even brought in three game manufacturers to show off the variety of gaming styles that will be available exclusively for Apple Arcade. Konomi showed off a remake on the classic arcade game "Frogger." Capcom, known for more immersive games, introduced a platformer-style game titled "Shinsekai: Into the Depths." Lastly, Annapurna Interactive introduced "Sayonara Wild Hearts," a different style of game in the musical genre.

Arcade, howver will be an exclusive system only. This means that the program won't work with non-Apple devices, and the games in won't be offered elsewhere. The company decision is widely seen as an effort to raise the sells of iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TVs.

Meanwhile, Apple's widely touted video streaming service, which it previously announced in March, will debut 1 November, along with the first original series, "The Morning Show."

Apple TV has been eagerly awaited at a time that a range of major companies are planning to roll out streaming products, including Disney. The service will cost $4.99 per month for a family subscription, but any new purchases of an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV will come with a free year of Apple TV+, Cook announced.

Still, the price garnered mixed reactions since the service will launch with only nine original shows and add five more shows in later months. In comparison, Disney Plus, which costs $7 a month, will launch with a library of 300 movies and 7,500 show episodes and Netflix, which starts at $9 for the most basic plan, will debut 32 new show by the time Apple TV Plus comes out.

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