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Apple unveils new iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods

BY: cnn.com

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 lineup at a press event on Wednesday, along with three new Apple Watch models, an update to its popular AirPods product line and a feature that could save lives when cell service isn't available.

At a closely-watched event from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple showed off four new smartphones, including a larger 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus model and an updated iPhone 14 Pro that rethinks the much-maligned notch. In typical Apple fashion, the devices also offer better battery life and camera features than the year prior.

The biggest surprise, however, may be the price: The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus will start at $799 and $899, respectively, the same starting prices as last year's models. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1099, respectively, also unchanged from the year prior. Analysts widely predicted Apple would hike the price of the premium models by $100.

"It is impressive that Apple has maintained year-on-year pricing parity on the new iPhone 14 devices in the US," said Leo Gebbie, principal analyst, connected devices at CCS Insight. "We had anticipated that inflation, increased production and component costs, and other expenses such as more expensive shipping would have led Apple to increase its retail pricing."

For Apple, the stakes are always high to convince customers to upgrade devices, and especially the iPhone, which remains its central product. That task is potentially made more difficult this year by broader economic jitters, including fears of a looming recession.

Throughout the event, Apple appeared to alternate between pitching its suite of products as tools for living our best lives and also for avoiding any number of ills that may befall customers in an uncertain world, ranging from car crashes to getting stranded in the wild.

Apple announced several new Apple Watch models, including a higher-end version that costs $799 and is designed to support the needs of a rarefied group of outdoor enthusiasts. It also added an option for its watches to detect when a user has been in a car crash, as well as a satellite connectivity feature for phones, which is intended to help people communicate when their cell service isn't working.