Apple's iPhone 7 loses headphone jack, gains water resistance

Dropping your iPhone in the sink - or the toilet - is a horror of the past with new, water-resistant models announced Wednesday by technology giant Apple.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus gain water resistance in part by losing headphone jacks, making wireless listening mandatory.

The new models, announced in a product launch by Apple executives Wednesday in downtown San Francisco, replace the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

"It's the best iPhone that we have ever created. This is iPhone 7," Apple chief Tim Cook told an audience of thousands of industry insiders and reporters at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

The new models will be available in more than 25 countries starting September 16.

A redesigned enclosure makes the new iPhones resistant to both water and dust, which "meant re-engineering it from the inside out in many ways including new seals and new adhesives," said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.

"What does this mean for all of us?" he asked. "Even the least coordinated among us don't have to worry - in case some unusual mishap happens - that your iPhone will be safe from water or dust."

The iPhone 7 comes with a screen that is 4.7 inches (11.9 centimetres) diagonally, as well as an improved camera and a home button that is pressure sensitive.

The iPhone 7 Plus screen is 5.5 inches (14 centimetres) with a dual-lens camera. Like the regular version it lacks a headphone jack and has a pressure-sensitive home button.

Both models also are equipped with entirely new camera systems.

Each has a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, a six-layer lens and an aperature enlarged to f/1.8. Apple says the upgrades will deliver brighter photographs and videos with greater detail and more vibrant colours.

The iPhone 7 Plus carries a second, 12-megapixel telephoto camera. In combination, the two cameras allow photos at 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

"The completely redesigned cameras shoot incredible photos and videos day or night, the A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip on any smartphone while delivering the best battery life ever in an iPhone, and an entirely new stereo speaker system provides twice the sound," Schiller said.

Nintendo announced Wednesday that it would start issuing versions of its games for iPhones, starting with Super Mario Run. The Japanese company has previously only sold its games for console systems.

In the same event Wednesday, Apple announced a new Apple Watch 2. The device, which now can be worn while swimming, comes with GPS connectivity, faster processing speed and a battery that can run longer between charging.

Pokemon Go, a smartphone app that has taken the world by storm in the last two months with some 500 million downloads, will now be available for the Apple Watch.

Last update: Thu, 08/09/2016 - 01:09
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