Apple launches pre-sales for its highly-anticipated iPhone XS and XS Max


Apple has launched pre-sales for its hotly-anticipated new flagship smartphones.

The £999 ($999) iPhone XS and £1,099 ($1,099) XS Max are now battling it out to be crowned Apple’s fastest selling smartphone of all time.

Last year’s iPhone X pre-orders were snapped up in under an hour by Apple fans, with those who missed the window forced to wait until December for a re-stock. 

Pre-orders kick-started at 8:01am BST (3:01am ET) on Apple.com/UK and on the Apple Store iOS app.

The most expensive iPhone of all time – the £1,449 512GB XS Max – sold out in its space grey and gold finishes in under half an hour. 

Customers looking to buy the phone have been told they must wait up to three weeks for Apple’s next batch to arrive.

At the time of writing it is still available in space grey – though the option is expected to sell out in minutes.

The phone is flying off the shelves despite people mocking its eye-watering price this week, with social media users joking that Apple should have named its new flagship handsets the ‘excess’ and ‘excess Max.’ 

The iPhone XR, Apple’s new ‘budget’ handset priced at $749 (£749), will not be available for pre-order until October.


To get your hands on an iPhone XS or XS Max, head to Apple.com/UK or the Apple Store iOS app. 

Keep hitting the refresh button until pre-sale models go up, then choose your preferred colour, storage capacity, and fill in your personal details.

Traditionally, the Apple Store app comes back online ahead of the website – meaning pre-orders are often available ahead of those waiting for the website to refresh.

Pre-orders are dye to ship on September 21 in select markets, including the US and UK, with more locations added starting September 28th.

Each phone is available in gold, silver and space grey.

The iPhone XS, XS Max and XR were all announced at a huge Apple event at the company’s headquarters in California on Tuesday.

The tech giant announced its biggest and most expensive iPhone yet with the 6.5-inch XS Max, which features a Super Retina display.

It can store up to 512 gigabytes of data, pushing its price tag up from a base price of £1,099 ($1,099) to £1,499 ($1,499) for users who need the space. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Apple also took the wraps off of the $999 5.8-inch iPhone XS, a device that CEO Tim Cook said is ‘by far the most advanced iPhone we have ever created.’  

Like their predecessor, the iPhone X, the name is intended to be pronounced as the number 10. But, people are already reading it as X, and that’s likely to catch on.

As a result, many have pointed out that it sounds much like ‘excess’ and ‘excess Max.’

On Twitter, Apple fans are simultaneously hailing the sleek new products and dragging the company for its name choice.

‘The iPhone Xs Max price reflects the name…,’ Twitter user @juhasaarinen wrote.

‘Apple’s new phone’s name is iphone XS which like every other iphone would be EXCESSively overpriced,’ @Bhavessshh tweeted.

‘Did they really name the new iPhone the “excess’?” XS? Is this an SNL skit?’ another user commented.

Others found the company’s lack of creativity to be a bigger issue, with many simply calling the new names ‘dumb’ and ‘lazy.’

‘These phones really look wonderful, but ‘iPhone XS Max’ is the worst product name Apple has come up with in this century,’ Twitter user @gilbert said.

Tech analyst Patrick O’Rourke joined in, tweeting: ‘I want to go on the record now as saying that iPhone Xs Max is a bad name for a smartphone…’ 

Apple also unveiled a more affordable model on Tuesday in a bid to ensure their devices ‘reach even more customers,’ with the 6.1-inch iPhone XR shipping at $749. 

Rumors had suggested that Apple would be having an ‘S’ year this time around, with most of the upgrades focused on specs instead of looks, which proved to be mostly true. 

Both the iPhone XS and XS Max take a page from the 10th anniversary iPhone X in their design, featuring edge-to-edge organic LED screens, slimmer bezels and facial recognition technology that replaces the home button.  

That doesn’t mean the devices fall short on upgrades, however.  

‘These are incredible new iPhones,’ said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. ‘The best iPhones we’ve ever made by a long shot.’

Apple says the phones are ‘more waterproof’ than their predecessors and the cameras are ‘better than ever before.’ 

The XS and XS Max feature some significant display upgrades. The 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max has a Super Retina display and a resolution of 2,688 x 1,242.

Both phones have improved speakers, a 120Hz refresh rate and Face ID is now speedier, thanks to new algorithms, allowing users to more quickly unlock their device with just their face. 

Schiller called this version of Face ID the most secure facial authentication in a smartphone ever.    

The iPhone XS and XS Max feature dual 12 megapixel rear cameras and a dual 7 megapixel selfie camera with bigger sensors and an improved high-dynamic range imaging, called ‘Smart HDR,’ which results in better lighting and photos with deeper colors. 

Along with that, Apple introduced an improved ‘bokeh’ effect, which adds a blur in the background of portrait mode photos. 

Apple says this smooths out the transition from foreground to background and better defines background shapes.  

The new slider tool allows users to adjust the depth of field in photos and adjust the camera aperture, to deepen or reduce the depth of field even after a photo is taken.  

Apple has bolstered the batteries loaded into each phone too.

It claims the iPhone XS runs for half an hour longer than last year’s X, while the XS Max lasts an additional 1.5 hours.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are shipping in 64GB, 256GB or 512GB — the largest in-built storage ever shipped on an Apple-branded smartphone.  

Apple’s newest phones are equipped with faster processors and better memory capacities than ever before, relying on Apple’s new, super fast A12 Bionic chip. 

The A12 chip is made up of a six-core CPU, which contains two ‘performance’ cores and four ‘efficiency’ cores.

It’s also packed with a four-core GPU that Apple says is ’50 percent faster’ than the A11 Bionic chip. 

On top of that, the phones feature an upgraded Neural Engine, which powers everything from the iPhone’s augmented reality features to its dual-lens camera.  

The Neural Engine gets a bump up to eight cores, an upgrade from its previous two cores, and can also handle a staggering 5 trillion operations per second. 

The iPhone XS and XS Max are now able to open apps up to 30 percent faster thanks to the A12 Bionic chip. 

It will also power improvements in AR, Memoji and Siri shortcuts. 

Another update that may have gotten lost in the fray is that Apple is adding dual SIM support for the first time ever. 

That means both phones will support the use of two phone numbers and data plans, using a physical SIM card and an e-SIM card. 

The feature isn’t available just yet, but will be enabled in a software update ‘later this fall.’ 

In China, where e-SIMs are barred, Apple will even ship a special version of the iPhone XS Max that’s equipped to handle two physical SIM trays.    

Earlier in the event, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4, which marks a major step up from the Series 3. 


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