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Five takeaways from Apple media event

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SAN FRANCISCO – Apple rolled out several latest-generation products at a widely anticipated media event Wednesday aimed at reviving growth at the tech giant, the world’s most valuable company.

Here are five key takeaways:

Water-resistant iPhones

In what has become an annual ritual, Apple unveiled two upgraded versions of its flagship smartphone while keeping prices roughly the same.

The iPhone 7 will start at $649 for US customers and larger iPhone 7 Plus at $769, offering more powerful processors, improved camera technology and water resistance. The 7 Plus will include dual cameras for better pictures. Apple is also removing the headphone jack in favor of its proprietary “lightning” connector, but will include an adaptor for existing headphones or earbuds.

Super Mario on iPhone

Apple made a splash by announcing jointly with Nintendo that “Super Mario Run” – featuring the iconic game character and developed specifically for mobile – will hit the App Store this year.

Apple, Nintendo and game maker Niantic announced the wildly popular Pokemon Go would be available for Apple Watch users later this month.

Apple Watch Series 2

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The upgraded Apple Watch will include water resistance to 50 meters and GPS, to allow users to track a workout without bringing along a smartphone. Apple is also introducing new designs including one co-branded with Nike aimed at runners and new styles for its Hermes edition.

Apple is increasing the entry level price of the new device to $369 for US customers. It will make one with a ceramic finish, which Apple said is harder than stainless steel.

Wireless listening

While Apple will allow consumers to use plug-in headsets, it also made a further push for wireless with new “AirPods” and upgraded Beats headphones. Both will use Apple’s W1 chip and Class 1 Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

iOS 10 release

Apple is releasing a new mobile operating system called iOS 10, aimed at working with the new hardware, on September 13, including upgrades to its maps and news applications. A test version of the software, which helps accelerate Apple’s efforts in home automation, was released earlier this year.

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