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Apple announces iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR

No more rumours. No more speculation. Apple has officially announced three brand-new iPhones at its September 12 special event in Cupertino.

The release confirms a multitude of leaks that have trickled through the press since WWDC in June, but Apple managed to keep the bulk of the details secret until today.

iPhone XS and XS Max

Phil Schiller announces iPhone XS and XS Max

Less than a year after the release of the iPhone X, Apple has launched its much-anticipated successors. As the names suggest, the iPhone XS and XS Max step up the game without any drastic redesign the likes of which we saw last year.

Sporting a notch, edge-to-edge OLED display and stainless steel construction which will look familiar to iPhone X users, the XS and XS Max feature OLED Super Retina displays – 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch respectively.

This makes the XS Max display the largest Apple has ever produced for a smartphone, which seems to be the reason the company departed from the traditional ‘Plus’ name.

In terms of hardware, the XS and XS Max take a powerful step forward with the A12 bionic chip. According to Apple, the A12 boasts a CPU that’s up to 15% faster and 40% more power efficient than its predecessor, along with a GPU that’s up to 50% faster and an 8-core neural engine.

This impressive spec boost will help the new devices power a better camera, faster FaceID and a raft of iOS 12 features (which will go live on September 17) including live facial tracking for Animoji, ARkit 2 and Siri Shortcuts.

Both devices feature a dual camera system with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. A combination of improved optical image stabilisation, smart HDR, new sensors, zero shutter lag and more gives the new iPhone camera more power and versatility.

The most impressive improvement to the camera, however, is the bokeh capabilities. Now, you can adjust the depth of field after taking a photo in Portrait mode using a simple slider from f/1.8 to f/16. We’ll have to wait and see how well it works in practice, but Apple’s demo of the feature is enough to generate plenty of excitement.

iPhone XS front and back in black and gold

Frequent travellers, business owners and other busybodies will be ecstatic to hear both the XS and the XS Max feature dual SIM technology, making it easy to receive calls on two different lines.

The XS and XS Max will be available in silver and space grey as well as a brand-new gold finish, with a choice of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB of internal storage. The device is also rated to IP68 and features more durable glass, which is great news for the clumsy among us.

Apple claims the iPhone XS battery lasts up to 30 minutes longer than the X, while the XS Max allegedly lasts up to 90 minutes longer.

iPhone XR

Tim Cook discusses the iPhone XR with a guest at Apple's September 12 special event.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the rumour mill, you will have no doubt heard the chatter about the potential release of a cheaper third iPhone.

That’s now been confirmed, with Apple announcing the iPhone XR, a (somewhat) more affordable alternative which reminds us of the iPhone 5C from 2013 – albeit more premium and more promising.

The iPhone XR features a 6.1-Inch Liquid Retina LCD display and an aluminium body available in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

iPhone XR in black and white

iPhone XR in coral and blue

iPhone XR in yellow and (PRODUCT)RED/

Apple seems to have made fewer sacrifices than some may have expected, with the XR boasting an edge-to-edge display, Face ID, A12 bionic chip, TrueDepth camera system and haptic touch, along with the more durable glass featured in the XS and XS Max and an IP67 splash and water-resistant rating.

It sports a single 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide angle lens on the rear, although you might be surprised to learn it still features bokeh effects for portrait photos – a feature previously available only on iPhones with dual-lens cameras.

The XR will ship with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB of internal storage, while Apple claims the battery will last up to 90 minutes longer than the 8 Plus.


Apple has announced the following pricing for each of the three new iPhones in Australia:

iPhone XS

  • 64GB: A$1,629
  • 256GB: A$1,879
  • 512GB: A$2,199

iPhone XS Max

  • 64GB: A$1,799
  • 256GB: A$2,049
  • 512GB: A$2,369

iPhone XR

  • 64GB: A$1,229
  • 128GB: A$1,299
  • 256GB: A$1,479

Pre-orders and shipping

Here’s when you can pre-order each of the three new iPhones:

  • iPhone XS and XS Max: September 14
  • iPhone XR: October 19

And here’s when they’ll start shipping:

  • iPhone XS and XS Max: September 21
  • iPhone XR: October 26

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About the author

Andrew is Techly’s Editor. Loves: weird gadgets and the Collingwood Football Club. Hates: olives and cardboard boxes.

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