SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Apple Watch and iPhone 7 took center stage at Apple’s Fall 2016 media event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Notable iPhone 7 features include the introduction of ApplePod wireless headphones, allowing for hands-free communication utilizing touch and voice recognition technology, as well as improved camera resolution, zooming and editing capabilities in a sleek, waterproof design.
The iPhone 7 will retail come in four colors — silver, gold, rose gold and black — with expanded 32G, 128G and 256G storage.
Fitness was the focus for the majority of Apple Watch improvements unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook. New capabilities include a waterproof design that allows the device to be submerged up to 50m, an improved calorie tracker, as well as a mindfulness app that simply reminds you to “breathe.”
Nintendo unveiled their new “Super Mario Runs,” interactive smartphone game — a first for the iconic Mario Bros. franchise and for the smartphone playing field. The game will be available for a pay-one-price download through the App Store and will include an additional “Toad’s Valley,” extension, allowing users to play with others across the world.
Shigeru Miyamoto, described as the “Father of Mario” from Nintendo, said through a translator that “Super Mario Runs” is designed to be played one-handed — while holding a handle on the subway, eating a hamburger or eating an apple.
Nintendo has long resisted bringing Mario to mobile phones, instead relying on the character to bolster demand for its own hand-held DS gaming systems.
Cook touted the success of Apple’s app store, which recently hit the 140 billion download mark.
“Our users’ love affair with apps..is as strong as ever,” Cook said.
PokemonGo, a mobile app by Niantic that took the world by storm earlier this year, is also making its way onto the new Apple Watch series. The new app will combine the watch’s improved fitness tracking and built-in GPS capabilities to provide a new gaming experience that will allow users to work on their fitness goals while also working to complete their Pokedex.
Nintendo’s not the only one partnering with Apple. CBS ‘Late Late Show’ host James Corden is also working with the company to unveil a whole new set of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ episodes for Apple TV.
Analysts say the new iPhones could help Apple recover modestly from a recent dip in sales. But with few expected dramatic changes from previous models, Apple watchers aren’t expecting the kind of big spikes in consumer demand that the company saw two years ago, when it introduced larger screens.
Apple sold nearly 92 million iPhones during the first six months of this year, about 15 percent fewer than the same period last year. This year marks the first time that Apple has seen such declines. Industry analysts say it’s because last fall’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus didn’t contain many new features or improvements.
Investors are hoping for a bigger boost in sales next year. Wall Street analysts say reports from Apple’s Asian manufacturers and suppliers indicate the company has decided to wait a year before introducing a major overhaul of the phone in 2017. That will be the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.
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