The iPhone 7 will start at $649, the same as the previous model, but will offer twice the minimum amount of storage. The larger iPhone 7 Plus, which offers a bigger screen, begins at $769. Preorders start Friday in more than two dozen countries, with availability beginning a week later.
Ahead of the announcement, Apple also showed off a new game based on the Super Mario videogame character and its next-generation smartwatch, which will include a wrist-top version of the hit mobile game “Pokémon Go.”
Apple called its second-generation smartwatch, Apple Watch Series 2, which behaves essentially the same as the original but is water resistant, includes a built-in global-positioning system and the “Pokémon Go” app, and offers versions that include a ceramic case and a Nike-geared edition.
The new watch goes on sale Sept. 19 for $369 and up, and the older Watch will drop in price to $269.
Sales of Apple’s phone have been falling as consumers wait longer to upgrade, and Apple faces fresh competition from rivals including Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co.
Much of the discussion ahead of the event centered on the phone’s headphone jack. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Apple planned to eliminate the 3.5-millimeter jack, to make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance. Critics panned the idea, but some believe the move may push the technology industry into more widespread adoption of wireless headphones.
Apple on Wednesday also unveiled a pair of wireless headphones, called AirPods. The AirPods, which can be synced with various Apple devices, offers five hours of listening time on one charge. They will be available for $159, beginning in late October.
The new phone also will have two camera lenses, aimed at improving image quality, particularly on wide-angle and close-up shots, and a pressure-sensitive home button, incorporating technology used in Apple Watch.
The iPhone propelled Apple’s extraordinary growth in recent years, making it the world’s most valuable company. But the glow from Apple’s initial large-screen models, introduced in 2014, has faded. Revenue from the iPhone fell 23% in the quarter ended June 25, and Apple shares are down 4.9% over the past 12 months.Shares of Apple rose 68 cents Wednesday to $108.38.
Analysts expect the new phones to boost Apple sales next year. UBS Group AG expects iPhone unit sales to decline 9% for Apple’s current year, ending Sept. 24, but to rise 5% in the year ending in September 2017, to 222 million units.
Apple also said the new version of the mobile operating system, iOS 10, will come to iPhone and iPad users on Sept. 13.
The new version, which Apple showed off in June, opens up the voice-controlled assistant Siri to third-party developers, adds emojis and other features to the Messages app, and offers improvements to Photos, Maps and Apple Music apps.
The operating system will be compatible with all iPhones starting with the iPhone 5; iPads starting with the 4th-generation iPad and iPad Mini 2 (including all iPad Airs and Pros); and the 6th-generation iPod Touch.
Chief Executive Tim Cook began the event in San Francisco with a taped video involving late-night host James Corden driving him in a version of the comedian’s “Carpool Karaoke” skit. The skit included the two singing “Sweet Home Alabama” with musician Pharrell Williams.
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to distribute a new series based on the “Carpool Karaoke” segment.