CUPPERTINO, Calif. - Apple on Tuesday kicked off its annual holiday season push by introducing new iPhones that could test the limits of consumers' spending plans, and pricing its Apple TV+ service at a level meant to undercut other streaming TV rivals.

In an event held at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple Park campus in Cupertino, Apple emphasized the camera technologies in each of the three new iPhone models. The least expensive new phone, the iPhone 11, comes with a 6.1-inch screen and a starting price tag of $699. For that, customers will receive a dual-camera system with wide and ultra-wide camera lenses.

However, with its new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple put even more focus on photographers. Both phones have 12-megapixel wide, telephoto and ultra-wide systems as well as enhanced technologies to improve photos and videos - and appeal to professional customers.

The iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch screen, and it starts at $999 for 64 gigabytes of storage; the Pro Max version comes with a 6.5-inch diagonal screen and $1,099 sticker price. The Pro Max could go up to a whopping $1,449 with a maximum 512 gigabytes of storage included.

"The 'pro' branding is an indication of how serious Apple wants to go after the high-end photography and video market," said Mark Vena, senior analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "Clearly they are enhancing the positioning of the iPhone at the high end to go after the professional videographer and photographer segment."

Apple said pre-orders for the new iPhones will start at 5 a.m. Friday; they will be available in stores Sept. 20.

Apple's other major announcement Tuesday offered long-awaited details regarding its Apple TV+ streaming TV service, which the company initially unveiled in March.

CEO Tim Cook said Apple TV+ will make its debut Nov. 1, with some original programming made exclusively for Apple as well as other TV shows and movies. In a move meant to undercut its competitors and establish a foothold in the streaming TV market, the tech titan is charging just $4.99 a month for Apple TV+. Netflix, in contrast, charges $12.99.

Among the original series Apple has teed up are "The Morning Show," a drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell that is set against the backdrop of a TV network's morning news show, and "For All Mankind," an alternate-history series about the space race in which the Soviet Union put a man on the moon before the United States.

Cook said that with Apple TV+, Apple will be producing "stories to believe in, (and) stories with purpose."

In an effort to draw more TV customers, Cook also said that anyone who buys a new Apple product - such as an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV set-top box or Mac computer - will receive a free year of Apple TV+ service.

Apple's move into subscription-based streaming TV comes as the market is getting more crowded with rivals with deep vaults of content they already own, and years of experience in TV and movie production. The most notable new rival is Disney, which on Nov. 12 will launch its Disney+ streaming service for $6.99 a month; among its content is Disney-owned titles from Marvel Studios and the library of "Star Wars" films.

Dan Ives, managing director at Wedbush Securities, called the pricing of Apple TV+ "a show stopper and a major shot across the bow at the likes of Netflix and Disney, among others." He added that while Apple is a relative rookie in the streaming TV market, it is entering the market with the advantage of having a deep well of loyal customers.

"With an installed base of 900 million active iPhones worldwide, we believe Cook & Co. have an opportunity to gain 100 million consumers on the streaming front in the next three to four years," Ives said.

The launch of Apple TV+ is the latest effort by Apple to capitalize on the trend of subscription-based services that deliver reliable revenue to a company on a monthly basis. During Apple's fiscal third quarter, which ended in June, the company reported services sales of $11.46 billion, which was 12% above the same period in 2018. Apple has forecast services accounting for $50 billion in annual sales by 2020.

In addition to Apple TV+, Apple also said Tuesday that its new Apple Arcade gaming service will launch Sept. 19 at $4.99 a month. For that price, subscribers will be able to download and play more than 100 games.

Possibly with an eye toward holiday shoppers, Apple also showed off a new version of the iPad with a 10.2-inch retina display screen that starts at $329, or $299 for educators. It will go on sale Sept. 20.

Visit The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

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