At its annual marketing event on Wednesday, Apple unveiled its iPhone 14 with satellite phone capabilities that can be used in emergency situations. But sharing the limelight is a product that has slowly grown in popularity: the Apple Watch.
The laptop, originally launched in 2015, still represents a tiny fraction of the company’s revenue. But it has helped Apple build a stronghold around the iPhone, solidifying customer loyalty to the company’s most important device.
On Wednesday, Apple expanded that strategy with a lineup of new watches. It unveiled a new fitness-focused smartwatch aimed at triathletes, distance runners and backcountry enthusiasts.
The Apple Watch Ultra, a rugged $800 model with a larger screen and improved durability, propels the company into a corner of the smartwatch market dominated by Garmin.
The new watch features an “action” button for easier use with gloves, bigger speakers for calls in windy conditions, and a larger battery that delivers 36 hours on a single charge.
Additionally, Apple has released an update for its traditional watch, the Series 8, which costs $400. It includes a sensor to track changes in body temperature.
Apple also dropped the price of its entry-level watch, the Apple Watch SE, which debuted in 2020 for $280. The new version, priced at $250, lacks some features found on the more expensive models.
The company has paired its smartwatch version with an update to its line of wireless headphones, known as AirPods. It introduced a new generation of its AirPods Pro line, priced at $250, with new features including the ability to increase and decrease the volume with the swipe of a finger. It also offers better noise cancellation, the company said.
For Apple, smartwatches and AirPods are eclipsed by the iPhone, which accounts for more than half of the company’s total sales. But the devices have helped Apple build customer loyalty.
Apple unveiled the products at the Steve Jobs Theater on its campus in Cupertino, Calif., the first time it has held a product event there since 2019.
Apple has saved its biggest design changes for the iPhone 14 Pro, which costs $999, the same as last year’s flagship phone. The new phone has a new processor, the A16, which supports an improved camera with a larger sensor for improved photos.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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