Apple unveils cheaper iPhone, streaming TV

Michael Liedtke
Streaming service Apple TV+ will be available in more than 100 countries from November 1

Apple has unveiled new iPhones that are largely unchanged from previous models, accompanied by an unexpected price cut for the cheapest model, as well as its upcoming video service, at its latest product launch in the US.

The price cut underscores the company's efforts to counteract a sales slump of its flagship product, with the new models so similar to last year's line-up they may be upstaged by Apple TV Plus, which is rolling out on November 1.

Apple is offering a free year of Apple TV Plus with new device purchases.

IPhone shipments are down 25 per cent so far this year, according to the research firm IDC, putting more pressure on Apple to generate revenue from services such as music and video streaming, games and its App Store.

Revenue from services rose 14 per cent to nearly $US23 billion ($A34 billion) during the first half of this year.

It is cutting the price of the iPhone 11 to $US700 ($A1,020) from $US750 ($A1,093), the price of last year's XR.

The lower prices reverses a trend in which premium phones get more expensive as people upgrade them less often.

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't have much new to say about the TV Plus service beyond its pricing and service date, although he did show a trailer for a new Jason Momoa-led series called "See".

Like Netflix and similar services from Amazon and Hulu, Apple has been lavishing billions of dollars for original programs featuring stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

The service will launch in 100 countries with nine original shows and films, with more expected each month.

Apple also announced a new video game subscription service from September 19 called Apple Arcade, which will allow subscribers to play more than 100 games.

The company's new phone models resemble last year's iPhone XR, XS and XS Max and have the same design, with more display space, less bezel and no home button.

The biggest difference is the iPhone's camera, with "portrait mode" now also working with pets as well as humans, but with little change, many customers who bought models in the past two years may hold off upgrading this year, analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights said.

This year, Apple added an extra camera lens to each model.

The two pricier models already have a telephoto lens for better zoom. Now, they will sport a wide-angle lens to capture more of a scene than regular shots.

Unlike some other devices coming out this year, the new iPhones won't support 5G networks, with those models not ready until 2020.

In addition to iPhones, Apple also showed off new versions of its internet-connected watch and iPads.