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The Biggest-Ever iPhone, With a Mouthful of a Name

Photo Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, talks about all the iPhones available and their prices on Wednesday. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times ■ Apple has begun its annual event to unveil new iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif.■ Apple unveiled a new entry-level iPhone, called…

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Apple Event Live Updates: The Biggest-Ever iPhone, With a Mouthful of a Name
Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, talks about all the iPhones available and their prices on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

■ Apple has begun its annual event to unveil new iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif.

■ Apple unveiled a new entry-level iPhone, called XR, that comes in a wider variety of colors, including white, black, red, blue and yellow. The device is composed of aluminum, unlike the glass bodies of other models.

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, shows off the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

■ Apple also showed the iPhone XS, a sped-up version of last year’s $999 iPhone X, in two screen sizes: 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches.

■ The version with the larger screen, the iPhone XS Max, is Apple’s biggest iPhone ever.

■ The new iPhones cost $750, $1,000 and $1,100 — all increases from last year.

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, talks about the new camera on the iPhone XR on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

■ The company introduced a fourth-generation Apple Watch with a larger screen that is more of a health-related device.

■ Apple is also expected to give an update on the imminent release of iOS 12, its next mobile operating system, which includes Screen Time, a feature for restricting the amount of time people spend on their phones.

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, talks about the new iPhone XR while comparing it to the screen size of the iPhone 8 Plus on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Larger, faster and pricier phones. Where have we heard that before?

Once again, Apple has made its phones a bit larger and faster, and is charging you more for them. The company said the phones would start at $750, $1,000 and $1,100 for the various models, compared with starting prices of $700, $800 and $1,000 last year.

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It’s a tried-and-true strategy for the company to milk a product line that has saturated the market; Apple said Wednesday it has shipped nearly 2 billion iPhones and iPads.

Photo

Lisa Jackson, vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives, talks about what the company is doing to keep at 100% renewable energy on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

To boost growth, Apple has raised prices. Unit sales of the iPhone were about flat in the latest quarter compared with a year earlier, but iPhone revenue rose 20 percent, to $29.9 billion. Something else that rose 20 percent? The average selling price of the iPhone.

By going bigger and pricier, Apple isn’t just trying to boost growth with prices, but also by getting its customers to use their devices even more. Research shows consumers with larger smartphones use the devices more, particularly to do things like watch movies and play games.

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, talks about the Dual Sim Dual Standby feature on iPhone Xs on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

That’s good for Apple. A central part of the company’s growth strategy is by getting existing iPhone owners to pay for more services on their phones, like Netflix and HBO. For each subscription bought via its App Store, Apple takes a 30 percent cut for the first year and 15 percent for each subsequent year. That bet seems to be working: Apple services revenue rose 31 percent to $9.55 billion in the latest quarter.

— Jack Nicas

More colors for the entry-level iPhone.

Apple rolled out the iPhone XR, a new entry-level model with a 6.1-inch model that comes in a wider variety of colors, including white, black, red, blue and yellow, for $749. The device is just as fast as the XS models that Apple showed earlier in its event. It also has a slightly larger screen than the 5.8-inch iPhone XS.

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, shows off the features of the camera on the iPhone Xs on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Here are the main features to know about: The XR has a single-lens camera, unlike the XS models which have dual-lens camera systems. It also uses LCD, a cheaper screen technology than the OLED screens on the XS, and is composed of aluminum, unlike the glass bodies of the premium phones.

— Brian X. Chen

iPhone XS? How do I pronounce that?

The iPhone is old enough now that figuring out what to call the new versions each year has become tricky. Last year, on the device’s 10th anniversary, Apple skipped the iPhone 9 and went straight to the iPhone X. (But they pronounced it ten not “X.”)

Photo

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president for marketing, shows off the size of the new iPhone Xs on Wednesday.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

This year, that X created an awkward situation for Apple. The company has typically appended an “S” to the name of the second iteration of each generation of phones, like the iPhone 5S, 6S, and so on.

But this year, that meant calling it the iPhone XS. Never mind that XS is the abbreviation for extra small — not an adjective Apple wants for its $1,000 phones — but say “XS” out loud. In the age of smartphone addiction and devices that cost as much as some refrigerators, “iPhone Excess” may not necessarily be great for branding.

Photo

Tim Cook, chief executive,
announces the iPhone Xs on Wednesday

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Instead, the new iPhone XS is pronounced “iPhone 10S,” or as the audience here quickly realized, “iPhone Tennis.”

Now add the new iPhone XS Max to the mix and you’ve got “iPhone Tennis Match.”

— Jack Nicas

Meet the largest-ever iPhone.

Apple quickly unveiled the iPhone XS, a premium model with a 5.8-inch screen, and the iPhone XS Max, a new big-screen premium model with a 6.5-inch screen. The iPhone XS Max (what a mouthful!) is the company’s biggest-ever smartphone.

Photo

Jeff Williams, chief operating officer, talks about the features of Apple Watch Series 4 on September 12, 2018 at the Steve Jobs theater at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The XS models are generally sped-up versions of last year’s iPhone X, Apple’s first $999 model. Apple emphasized the phones’ advanced processor, durable glass and so-called Super Retina OLED display with a wide color gamut.

It’s obvious why Apple and other phone makers like Samsung keep increasing the size of their phones: Phones with bigger screens are selling well. When presented with the choice between a small phone and a bigger one, most people will go with the latter. That’s similar to how just about everyone wants a big-screen TV.

Photo

Apple COO Jeff Williams talks about the electrocardiogram features on the Apple Watch Series 4 on September 12, 2018 at the Steve Jobs theater at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

For mobile phones, there are tradeoffs. For one, the larger phones are more difficult to use with one hand. With last year’s 5.8-inch iPhone X, it is difficult to reach your thumb across the screen to type a keystroke or hit a button inside an app. Those usability tradeoffs will probably persist in these new models.

The larger screens raise an important question about design and usability. Will Apple do much in the near future to improve one-handed use as its devices keep getting larger?

Photo

Apple COO Jeff WIlliams talks about Apple Watch Series 4 during the new product releases on September 12, 2018 at the Steve Jobs theater at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

When Apple’s screen sizes started growing with the iPhone 6 in 2014, the company released a software shortcut, called Reachability through which users can tap the home button twice to lower the top of the screen and make it easier to reach buttons up there. That feature still exists for the brand-new iPhones, but the lack of a home button makes it more difficult to use — instead of double tapping the home button, now you swipe down from the bottom of the screen. I often accidentally hit a button inside an app when swiping down for Reachability, which can be frustrating.

— Brian X. Chen

Apple Watch becomes more of a health device.

Apple introduced a new version of its watch that it’s calling the Apple Watch Series 4, which it has designed to be more of health aid.

It’s the first time the company has redesigned the device since it was introduced in 2015. The new watch is slightly thinner than the previous version, but the black frame around the screen — what are know as the “bezels” — has been removed to create a larger display area.

Significantly, Apple said the new watch has a faster processor and better health and motion sensors. For instance, the watch can detect when a wearer has fallen down, a leading cause of injuries. If you have fallen, the watch is designed to prompt you to alert emergency services; if it detects no motion by the wearer after a minute, it calls automatically. The watch can also perform a heart-rhythm test called an electrocardiogram, alerting you to worrisome heart rhythms.

Apple said the new watch would be the first over-the-counter ECG device offered to consumers and that it had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The device’s new health-related features are sure to increase to Apple’s dominance of the smart watch category, and they underscore the company’s focus. When the watch was first released, critics and consumers were confused about its utility. Over time, Apple has refined the device to focus on its health and fitness capabilities. Now the narrative is clear: Get this watch, if you want to live.

The Apple Watch will be available in several colors and band styles; watchbands from older Watch models will work on the new model. The Watch starts at $399. It will begin shipping on Sept. 21.

— Farhad Manjoo

Did Tim Cook really tweet that?

A few minutes before the event began, Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive, posted a tweet that appeared to be an errant direct message: “No. Who can get it here quickly?” He quickly deleted it, but not before it was liked more than 2,000 times.

Apple fans and followers on Twitter went wild with jokes and speculation. The blog Cult of Mac said: “Tim Cook just tweeted and deleted something weird. Could be concerning for today’s keynote.”

Then the lights dimmed, the enormous screen behind the stage lit up and the “Mission Impossible” theme began playing. A video showed an Apple employee with a briefcase racing across the company’s campus to the Steve Jobs Theater. She delivered it to Mr. Cook, and the briefcase was revealed to hold his slide show clicker.

No, Mr. Cook did not screw up before such a carefully choreographed event. The tweet was a marketing stunt.

Joke’s on us! Figured Cook wouldn’t DM fail. https://t.co/d6j9o6oWD1


Mark Gurman (@markgurman)
Sept. 12, 2018

— Jack Nicas

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Azerbaijan

Laza, the land of waterfalls – Photo Gallery

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Originally published by Caucasian Knot

The Azerbaijani village of Laza, about 200 km from the capital, Baku, is situated on a high-altitude plateau, Shah Yaylag. At the end of March when the snow starts to melt, tourists flock to Laza to see the waterfalls for which the area is famous. The locals, who are mostly ethnic Lezgins, earn a living by renting out cottages to tourists and offering visitors transportation in all-terrain vehicles in the winter.

Azeri Times presents this photo essay from Laza by Aziz Karimov, republished from Caucasian Knot.

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Azerbaijan

Opposition activist sentenced to 6 years in Azerbaijan

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On 18 September, the Baku Court for Serious Crimes sentenced a member of the youth committee of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PFAP), Orkhan Bakhishli, to six years in prison.

Bakhishli was detained by men in plain clothes in downtown Baku on the evening of 7 May. On 10 May, the Yasamal District Court in Baku charged the youth activist with drug possession and ordered his detention for four months.

The PFAP has claimed that the charges against Bakhishli are trumped up and politically motivated. Several days before his arrest, on 3 May at a World Press Freedom Day event at the grave of journalist Elmar Huseynov, who was shot and killed in 2005, Bakhishli accused the Azerbaijani government of Huseynov’s murder.

Human rights activists consider Bakhishli a political prisoner. Previously, he served 30 days of administrative detention after being arrested ahead of a 31 March opposition rally.

In recent years, activists Ahsan Nuruzadeh, Murad Adilov, Bayram Mammadov, Giyas Ibrahimov, Elgiz Gahramanov, blogger Rashad Ramazanov and others have also been jailed on charges of drug possession.

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan a year after the LGBT raids: has anything changed in Europe’s most homophobic country?

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Azerbaijani society has never been tolerant toward sexual minorities, but no one expected the cruel and large-scale violence that occurred last year. At least a hundred people were humiliated, beaten and raped. People who were suspected of being gay were blackmailed and warned not to walk in the central streets of Baku. Meydan TV investigated the possible reasons for the police violence immediately after it happened last year and we now return to this topic to find out what has changed in Azerbaijan over the past year.

I felt like I had done something terrible

“I was absolutely desperate. I was leading a repulsive life: I drank a lot, I used drugs,” Ali recalls September 2017 (all names have been changed). He says that the “repulsive” life he led seemed to help him forget what he had experienced for a while: like many other gay Azeris, Ali was detained in a surprise raid in downtown Baku. He spent several days at a police station. It still is not easy for him to talk about what he experienced – in response to every questions he says that many people, for example, transgender people, had an even harder time than he did. “Not only did they call them the filthiest words and beat them, they also shaved their heads, which was the most humiliating thing for them,” Ali says.

Ali had never advertised his sexuality but it became obvious for people around him after police detained him. “I felt like I had done something terrible and that I was persecuted for it. My landlord kicked me out of the apartment I was renting, and my friends and loved ones turned away from me,” Ali recalls.

Ali gradually did manage to return to normal life – there were kind people who helped him while he was looking for a job. Unlike Ali, another gay man who was detained, Murad, had a certain amount of money which helped him flee the country. Murad left immediately after he was released from the police station and now lives in Turkey: “I wanted to move to Norway, but I was denied a visa.”

Murad has not been successful in finding a job and it seems he will have to go back home soon. “Of course I’m afraid, of course I don’t want to go back. I’d stay here if I could. At least there’s an LGBT community in Turkey, and they help each other,” Murad says.

 

Four brave lawyers

According to official statistics, police detained 83 people during the LGBT raids in Baku in September 2017.

“Thirty-three people filed lawsuits for illegal arrest and cruel treatment after they were released,” said Gulnara Mehdiyeva, a representative of the human rights organization Minority Azerbaijan and a member of the local LGBT alliance Nefes (Breath). Gulnara says that apart from physical and moral damages, those detained also incurred material damages:

“They were jailed for different terms, some for 10 or 15 days and some for 20 or 30 days. Many lost their jobs because their employers refused to take them back after their long absence,” Gulnara Mehdiyeva says.

Four lawyers agreed to defend the rights of the LGBT people affected. One of them, Samad Rahimli, says that judges rejected all the complaints. The same 33 people sent complaints to prosecution agencies, but prosecution agencies did not find any criminal wrongdoing.

Azerbaijani rights activist Kamala Aghazadeh believes that lawsuits will not produce results while the country has no law defending LGBT people from discrimination. “Society absolutely needs a law that would guarantee the protection of LGBT rights,” she said. Perhaps, the adoption of such a law would remove Azerbaijan from the list of the most homophobic European countries which Azerbaijan has led for four consecutive years now.

A month after the raids, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks sent a letter to Azerbaijan’s Interior Minister in which he called for “thorough investigations into serious allegations of human rights violations of LGBT persons recently arrested and detained in Baku”.
No reaction followed from the Azerbaijani government.

 

Four suicides and five murders

Samad Ismayilov, the director of Minority Azerbaijan magazine, said that four LGBT people committed suicide in Azerbaijan in 2017. Ismayilov said that specialized organizations recorded five murders which presumably were anti-LGBT hate crimes over the year. He said those were average annual figures.

“However, these are only cases that we have managed to learn about. In reality, there are many more crimes of this kind,” he said. According to Ismayilov, activists were not able to find out even an approximate number of members of the LGBT community in Azerbaijan because most people hid their sexual orientation.

Samad said no raids or large-scale assaults on gays had been recorded in Azerbaijan in 2018, but several trans people were at the police station the other day. “They were summoned to the police, asked several questions and released. However, we do not understand the reason for this interest, nor did we understand it last year,” Samad said.


Produced with the support of the Russian Language News Exchange

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