American tech giant Apple held a new product launch event on September 8, Beijing time, during which it released the iPhone 14 series of smartphones, including the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The starting price for an iPhone 14 in China is 5,999 yuan ($861), while the highest configuration version – the iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB version – is 13,499 yuan ($1,938). The new models will open for pre-order from September 9. In addition, the Apple Watch Series 8, AirPods Pro and other new products all appeared at the launch event.
The iPhone 14 series broke with Apple’s previous practice by not equipping all models with the firm’s own latest chips: only the Pro models are equipped with A16 chips, while the more basic models still use the A15 chips used on the iPhone 13 series. The notch of iPhone 14 Pro becomes “Dynamic Island” and becomes an interactive small screen. However, this unique design is also reserved for the Pro series.
On Chinese social media platforms, the topic “Apple releases most expensive iPhones in its history” caused heated discussion. One Chinese web user commented that “the idea of Dynamic Island is so awesome, but is that location inconvenient for users to operate?” Another user said, “You think I am looking at the configuration, but actually I care about the price.” One user further commented, “The question is, to buy a Huawei smartphone or an iPhone?”
At the launch event, Apple also discussed updates to its smartphone cameras and imaging capabilities. One web user commented, “This is not a new smartphone launch event, but Apple’s new camera launch event.” Another netizen said excitedly, “Don’t mess with the QR-code-scanning cameras, I want a more awesome CPU, faster charging, better heat dissipation, and a full-view display!”
After the release of the new series, Apple’s official Chinese website also released discounts for some previous models, which is quite rare for the brand. According to the website, the iPhone 13 series now has a discount of 600 yuan ($86), the iPhone SE (third generation) has a discount of 200 yuan, while the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini see discounts of 500 yuan.
At the same time, Apple removed its iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 Pro/Max from the official website, which means that Apple has no 4G models on sale on the official website. Some Chinese netizens said, “This is to never let users have a chance to buy old smartphones that are actually more powerful than this year’s new models (except the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max versions).”
In response, Apple China’s customer service staff responded that if users want to buy iPhone 13 Pro products, they can try to go to offline stores. Under normal circumstances, the goods that have been removed from the official website will not be put up again, so users should pay more attention to the official website in the future.
It is worth mentioning that the iPhone 14 series supports the long-rumored emergency messaging function sent via communication satellite, called “Emergency SOS.” When Apple users lose smartphone signal, iPhone 14 users can be connected to satellite frequencies, supporting satellite location sharing. Huawei’s new Mate 50 series smartphones have similar functions, supporting Beidou satellite connectivity and capable of generating track maps with multiple locations.
At the new product launch conference, Kaiann Drance, Vice President of iPhone Marketing at Apple, said that the the iPhone 14 series US version no longer has a SIM card slot, and users can only use an eSIM (embedded SIM card). However, the iPhone 14 series sold in China is not affected, and there is still a SIM card slot, so users can continue to use physical SIM cards.