Xfinity Mobile, Comcast’s new bundled mobile service, will join major U.S. carriers in offering the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which were launched today by Apple at an event held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.
Update: Comcast issued an update on Tuesday that it will start to offer the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus on September 22, with pre-orders starting online and in its stores on September 15.
Comcast, which went national with Xfinity Mobile, a service that leans on Comcast’s MVNO deal with Verizon and is complemented by Comcast’s WiFi network, in August has not announced specific plans centering on the iPhone X (pronounced “Ten”), Apple’s new top-line smartphone that starts at $999.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feature a new glass and aluminum design, dual 12 megapixel cameras, Retina HD displays and Apple’s A11 Bionic chip, powered by a six-core CPU. The new models are also optimized for Augmented Reality applications and support wireless charging based on the Qi standard.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and $799, respectively. They’ll be on pre-order starting September 15 and become available September 22.
The star of Apple’s show was the iPhone X, which features a 5.8-inch Super Retina display and OLEC screen, A11 Bionic chip, and wireless charging. The iPhone X will also do away with the iPhone’s iconic home button, enabling users to unlock and authenticate the device using a new Face ID system that uses a TrueDepth camera that projects more than 30,000 IR “dots” to create the user’s face pattern for secure matching. When the phone is unlocked, users can get back to the home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the device’s screen.
The iPhone X, available in 64GB and 256GB models, will be available on pre-order starting October 27, and hit stores on Friday, Nov. 3.
The iPhone X represents the “biggest leap forward since the original iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted.
The iPhone X offers features that are “going to be the object of desire for many users and the challenge for Apple will be whether they’re done enough to make the iPhone 8 range compelling for the majority who won’t be willing or able to spend the additional money to get the iPhone X,” Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, noted in his comments about the product launch. “What Apple doesn’t want is for people to want the best but not be able to afford it and therefore hold onto their existing phones rather than buying what they consider second best.”
Apple also introduced the Series 3 Apple Watch, a new model that has cellular connectivity built-in, meaning users no longer have to tether it wirelessly to an iPhone. It will support Siri-based search and navigation, have access to the Apple Music library, and a faster processor.
Despite those additions, the Series 3 Apple Watch, which uses an integrated electronic SIM (subscriber identification module), will use a case that’s similar in size to the Series 2.
Apple claimed that it’s now the number one watch in the world, surpassing Rolex. Cook said the Apple Watch saw a 50% year-on-year sales boost in August.
The Series 3 Apple Watch will start at $399, with a non-cellular version starting at $329. Apple is selling the Series 1 Apple Watch for a starting price of $249. Pre-orders open on September 15, with availability starting September 22.