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Apple cuts prices while unveiling new iPhone 11

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Apple unveiled its iPhone 11 models Tuesday with a price cut for the most basic models while also laying out plans for streaming and gaming services as it bids to weather the slump in the global smartphone market.

At an Apple media event, price appeared to be a key consideration as the tech giant reduced the entry level price for the iPhone 11 to $699 and undercut rivals for its gaming and streaming television subscriptions.

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Apple unveiled three versions of the iPhone 11 including “Pro” models with triple camera and other advanced features starting at $999 and $1,099, unchanged from last year’s prices, touting upgraded features including ultrawide camera lenses.

The surprise from Apple was the reduction in the starting price at $699, down from $749 for the iPhone XR a year ago even as many premium devices are being priced around $1,000.

The new iPhones are “jam-packed with new capabilities and an incredible new design,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook told a launch event in Cupertino, California as the company set plans to sell the new handsets on September 20.

– Content as sweetener –

Apple’s announcements appeared to be aimed at emphasizing value as the company looks to shift its business model to reduce its dependence on smartphones and tie in digital content and other services to its devices.

“We got a stream of nonstop product launches, with content being used as a sweetener,” said Avi Greengart, analyst and consultant with Techsponential.

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“I think the iPhone 11 is compelling and may convince people to upgrade earlier than they might have otherwise given the lower price and longer battery life, not just an improved camera.”

With the new devices and services, “I think there are more reasons to stay with Apple than to defect from Apple,” added Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

– Streaming and gaming –

Apple set launch dates for its original video offering, Apple TV+, and its game subscription service as part of efforts to reduce its dependence on the iPhone.

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The TV+ service will launch November 1 in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month and will include a “powerful and inspiring lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries.”

While Apple’s streaming service will have limited content at first, its price is below the $6.99 for the forthcoming Disney+ service and the more expensive plans from Netflix.

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“Clearly Cupertino is looking for market share coming out of the gates with these surprising price points that we loudly applaud,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities.

Apple is featuring scripted dramas, comedies and movies as well as children’s programs in the service, which will compete against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favorite show or movie on our service,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of video.

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Apple said customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will get the first year of the service for free.

The company’s online gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, will launch next week, offering exclusive titles for mobile and desktop users.

The new service, which will also cost $4.99 per month, will include more than 100 game titles made for Apple devices and will be available in some 150 countries.

“You can’t find these games on any other mobile platform or subscription service. No game service ever launched as many games, and we can’t wait for you to play all of that,” product manager Ann Thai told the Apple media event.

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Trump is a vampire who feeds off his own followers — and no one deserved to be drained more than Jeff Sessions

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Former senator and disgraced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has finally come, at age 73, to what is almost certainly the end of the road for his villainous political career. On Tuesday night, the right-wing Republican who served as a U.S. senator from 1997 to 2017 lost in his comeback attempt, defeated in the Republican primary for his old seat by Tommy Tuberville, a man whose cartoonish name better suited his previous career as head football coach at Auburn. The runoff election between the two wasn't even close, with the Riverboat Gambler (a silly and self-serious nickname for Tuberville, especially when "The Tubz" was right there for the taking) taking more than 60% of the vote.

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‘Top Gun’ helmet and ‘Alien’ spaceship in Hollywood props auction

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Maverick's fighter jet helmet, Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber, Rocky's boxing gloves and an 11-foot "Alien" spaceship tipped to fetch half a million dollars will go up for auction in Los Angeles next month.

The sale of hundreds of legendary Hollywood movie props will be live-streamed on August 26-27, including items wielded by Indiana Jones and Clint Eastwood's Western outlaw Josey Wales.

A giant model of "Nostromo," the interstellar tug-ship on which Ridley Scott's classic "Alien" takes place, tops the pre-sale estimates at $300,000-500,000.

Constructed mainly of wood and steel, it was personally filmed for the movie's exterior shots by Scott, who had it "repainted dark gray and weathered extensively to imply decades of deep-space travel," said event organizers Prop Store.

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‘Complete and utter moron’: Anti-mask Republican derided after he ‘dismantles himself’ amid grilling from CNN host

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Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) is facing a backlash online after appearing Wednesday on CNN to argue against mask mandates, which are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Sabatini told CNN host Brianna Keilar that mask mandates were a violation of Florida's constitution. "This is something government has never done before. We've never had government telling people what you have to do with your own face," he said.

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