Exposed: Nigeria’s Notorious Baby Factories

 

The government of Africa’s most populous country is trying to crack down on this hideous trade, which may include the sale of children for use in rituals. 

By Philip Obaji Jr.

ENUGU, Nigeria — Eze, as we’ll call him, is an agent involved in Nigeria’s notorious baby trafficking ring. In a local restaurant in Nigeria’s southeastern city of Enugu, where dozens of people gather every evening to eat the city’s popular goat-meat pepper soup, and where all kinds of gossip can be heard, I overheard him talking to a middle-aged woman about the possibility of getting her a newborn child of any sex she requires.

I walked up to him after the woman had left, and sought to find out if he truly sells babies.

“Do you want a baby fresh from the womb?” he asked me.

He thought I wanted to buy a baby, but in fact I was on a fact-finding mission.

Eze claimed to be able to get me babies in less than 24 hours. He said that a baby, due to be born in a couple of days, was meant to go to a couple in Sweden but could be mine if I paid the cash in full immediately.

“We’ll get another baby for this couple. They won’t even notice we’ve given them something else,” he said.

I then told Eze I wanted to be taken to the factory, to be sure if the business was genuine before saying anything.

“It wouldn’t work that way,” he said to me. “For security reasons, the women are kept in a hidden place. We don’t want any encounter with the police.”

When I insisted I needed to see the babies before believing him, Eze said he could only take me to the woman who runs the factory, but with a condition that I paid him 10,000 naira (about $50).

I was eager to find out how this trade was carried out, so I paid the money, and off we went—driving for about 20 minutes in a cab through slum neighborhoods late at night.

Eze may be the agent for the business, but he isn’t very familiar with the area where his employer lives. On the two occasions he’s been there, it was under the cover of darkness, he said. He told me his boss deliberately took him to her home at night so he would not recognize the location of the place. That suggests some of the secrecy that shrouds this business.

On the last part of the trip we were guided by a young boy who knew the woman we were looking for. He soon pointed at a gate, saying, simply, “It’s here.”

We met Eze’s “Madam,” a middle-aged woman who introduces herself as “Madam Sarah” and asks us to follow her to the sitting room. She bid us have a seat and then turned to me. “Welcome, my son,” she said.

“I have about six girls in my custody, and they are all heavily pregnant and expecting soon,” she said. “They are not here. I keep them in a secret location.”

As we were talking, a young man walked in and whispered to her. After he had left, Madam Sarah turned to me and said: “That man is the biological father to many of the children we sell,” apparently to convince me that the babies she sells are not stolen.

“His job is to get the girls pregnant, and he knows how to get the job done,” she said with a big smile.

She went on to tell me that she charges 400,000 naira ($2,000) for a girl and 500,000 naira ($2,500) for a boy.

She talked about the cost of caring for the mothers, justifying the price of the babies. “It’s expensive catering for these girls,” she said. “I give them food and shelter and pay the guys who sleep with them, but I let them go after they have given birth.”

She claims she can arrange court orders and is able to get children of all ages, genders and complexions, and at any time. The police, she said, are not a problem for her.

“What sex do you want?” she asked me. “A boy or a girl?”

“He just came to find out if what I told him about this business was true,” Eze told her. She then turned to me and said: “Now you know it’s real. Come back when you’re ready.”

I stood up and left, winding my way back to the waiting taxi, having glimpsed up close how the child trade mafia operates in Africa’s most populous country.

Every year, the Nigerian security operatives discover several new baby factories. Young girls are held captive to give birth to babies who are then sold illegally either to adoptive parents, into slavery, or, it is said, for traditional rituals. There are rumors and fears that newborns are being sold to witch doctors for rituals in a country where there is a widespread belief in traditional communities that a powder made of infants brings luck. But, such sensational claims notwithstanding, the vast majority of buyers almost certainly are married couples struggling to conceive.

A huge amount of the trade is carried out locally in Nigeria, but authorities suspect that babies also have been sold to people from Europe and the United States, and despite the controversy surrounding adoptions in Nigeria, many foreigners continue to seek infants here.

There are several reasons given for the high patronage of baby factories.

Security agencies say most places where the illegal baby trade occurs masquerade as non-governmental organizations or charitable homes for marginalized women. Operators of these places present themselves as humanitarians who take care of the pregnant teenagers in need.

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Photo: Daily Trust

Human trafficking, including selling children, is prohibited under Nigerian law (PDF), but almost 10 years ago a UNESCO report (PDF) on human trafficking in Nigeria identified the business as the country’s third-most common crime behind financial fraud and drug trafficking, and the situation certainly has not improved. At least 10 children are reportedly sold every day across the country.

The scourge has intensified in the southeast, which is populated mainly by the Igbo ethnic group. Security officials have several ongoing undercover operations targeting suspected baby trafficking rings in Enugu State, underscoring the severity of the problem in this region.

One measure taken by the government to check the proliferation of baby factories in the state has been to set up a committee on child adoption, and its research has suggested that the incidence of child trafficking and illegal adoptions has been on the rise because some security agencies and unscrupulous state officials aided the baby-sellers.

“They are now being sold like commodities and, as a responsible government, we cannot allow this to continue to exist in Enugu State,” Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, governor of Enugu, said while inaugurating the committee last month.

“While we acknowledge the right and the necessity for the childless or benevolent couples to adopt motherless children and orphans,” the governor declared, “we believe that there is need for strict compliance with due process and the provisions of relevant laws to guarantee the security and well being of the affected children.”

Eze and Madam Sarah, of course, have other ideas.

CREDITS: Philip Obaji Jr. is a Nigerian journalist, children’s rights activist, and initiator of the Up Against Trafficking Campaign in Maiduguri. His work on human trafficking out of IDP camps in northeast Nigeria has appeared on numerous publications including The Daily Beast and Ventures AfricaFollow him @PhilipObaji

EMIRATES CELEBRATES LOVE FOR NIGERIAN TRAVELERS ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Emirates is celebrating the season of love with its Nigerian customers on board and across its lounges worldwide this Valentine’s Day. The celebrations will kick off in Emirates’ network of lounges, and climax on-board with a refreshed Valentine’s Day offering to create a memorable travel experience for customers.

Nigerian Travellers who coincidentally are in Dubai on Valentine’s Day and planning to fly by Emirates will be hosted to a treat at the Emirates First and Business Class lounges in Dubai from the 13th to 15th February. They will enjoy; a Valentine’s champagne treat with the lively and generous notes of Moet & Chandon Rosé Imperial, a selection of Valentine’s inspired cakes and desserts including heart-shaped dark chocolate raspberry truffle, strawberry Eton mess with mini heart sprinkles, red velvet cupcakes and red velvet ice cream, Valentine’s Day coffee infusions by Coffee Planet & special biscuits from Costa Coffee, a special Voss water infusion of strawberry & watermelon, specially flavoured teas from Dilmah including a spritely chamomile and black iced tea and a rum-based Moroccan mint mojito black iced tea which will be paired with Florentines and cookies.

Also, the Complimentary bottle engraving on the purchase of spirits from Le Clos, a fine wines & luxury spirits retailer in the lounge will be offered.

Emirates’ special pampering services in the lounges like the Timeless Spa and shoe shine services will also have special deals.

In the same vein, Nigerian Travellers who will be present at the any of the Emirates’ network of 42 lounges worldwide between February 13th to 15th, will benefit from Emirates’ chefs’ meals, one of which is the heart-shaped culinary creations. The special selection of Valentine’s inspired desserts includes; Mud cake with a chocolate ganache, berry coulis and decorated with white chocolate hearts in lounges in Australia, White chocolate mousse with strawberry and passion fruit in lounges in the UK, Chocolate covered strawberries with coconut flakes in Emirates lounges in Boston, LAX and JFK, Pink macaroon and heart-shaped mousse cakes in Shanghai, and Red velvet torte with cream cheese and strawberry tart in Cairo, Egypt.

While onboard the Emirates flight, the Nigerian customers will be treated with meals seasoned with a touch of romance to complement the regionally inspired cuisine. On Valentine’s Day itself, Emirates will serve a special selection of desserts on longer flights across its network. Snack baskets in First Class will feature strawberry & cream flavoured Lakrids liquorice. At the First and Business class, customers can choose a Strawberry feuilletine with layered white chocolate mousse and strawberry jelly decorated with hearts for an after meal treat, while Economy Class, customers will be served a dark chocolate mousse topped with candied hearts for dessert.

‘ice’, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system will also get travellers in Valentine’s mood. Nigerian Travellers can get to watch the highly celebrated Nollywood movie ‘The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’ (Nigeria), a romantic movie produced by the makers of the ‘Wedding Party’. The movie starred top Nollywood actors and actresses such as Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, and Jide Kosoko, amongst others. Similarly, they can get entertained with other African movies such as ‘Supa Modo’, Kenya’s 2019 Oscar submission in the Best Foreign Film category, ‘I Am Not A Witch’ (Zambia), ‘Farewell Ella Bella’ (South Africa), to mention but a few.

For lovers of TV shows, they can enjoy ‘African laughs: Chinedu’, one of Africa’s comedy shows with funniest stand-up comedians.

Nigerian music playlists available on ice for the month of February include music by Fela Kuti, Davido’s ‘Son of Mercy EP’, WizKid’s ‘Sounds from the Other Side’, and Burna Boy’s ‘Outside’. Other African music to choose from is Dj Ganyani’s House Grooves, Best of Yvonne Chaka Chaka, African Pop Mix, and Diamond Platnumz’s A Boy from Tandale.

Read:  Beer Festival will pack entertainment as concert planned for independence

Customers can also create their own playlists of music, movies and TV shows on the Emirates app ahead of their flight and sync it to their seats once on board.

Those looking for gifts for their loved ones can look forward to special deals. Emirates’ onboard Duty-Free, titled ‘Be by Emirates’ features a revamped catalogue with new and exclusive products. Nigerian Customers, who spend USD 95 or more between February 8th and 10th, will enjoy a 20% discount.

The Emirates official stores will have Valentine’s Day pyjamas for ladies and other Valentine’s themed Emirates merchandise available at www.emirates.store. Customers can also use the promo code EKLOVE until 11th Feb for free delivery on purchases over USD 100.

YIAGA AFRICA Launches #GOTV5

In preparation for the 2019 General elections, YIAGA AFRICA and the Not Too Young To Run Movement have designed a ‘Get Out the Vote’ Campaign called #GOTV5.

The #GOTV5 campaign is a voter mobilization campaign designed to increase voter turnouts on Election Day. The campaign specifically targets students, urban youths and social media users who historically have low voter turnout.

The social media awareness campaign also seeks to inspire newly registered voters, particularly those that recently turned 18 to exercise their voting rights. #GOTV5 voter mobilization campaign is an innovative and engaging way to rally friends and family to fulfil their civic responsibility of voting on Election Day.

According to Samson Itodo, Executive Director of YIAGA Africa: “Voting is one of the most important civic responsibilities we have as young Nigerian citizens. It’s our chance to select leaders who understand the issues young people face and whose actions will match their campaign promises when elected into office. Nigerians deserve leaders who understand our needs and are prepared to work to realize a Nigeria in which every citizen will feel a sense of belonging. The people we elect  will make decisions affecting our future.”

The General Elections is scheduled to hold on February 16 and March 2, 2019 for the Presidential/National Assembly and the Gubernatorial/State House of Assembly/FCT Council elections respectively, and it is more important than ever to go to the polls and vote for credible and competent candidates.

To join the #GOTV5 Campaign, follow these 5 simple steps:

Step One:Identify Your Team

Invite four individuals with PVCs to join your GOTV5 team. Make it more exciting by ensuring your team is diverse. Members of your team do not need to reside in the same city or state as you.

Step Two:Register Your Team

  Name your team. Work with your team members to come up with a creative name for your team. Register your team! Visit www.yiaga.org/GOTV5 to enter the names of your team members. YIAGA Africa will send you election updates ahead of voting.

Step Three: Grow Your Circle

Keep the circle growing! Challenge each member of your team of five to form their individual GOTV5 teams. Your GOTV5 Team is complete after each member of your circle forms their own GOTV5 circles.

Step Four: Share Your GOTV5 Team

Encourage others to join the campaign by sharing your GOTV5 Team on your social media platform using the hashtag #GOTV5

Step Five: Get Out the Vote

On Election Day, call your GOTV5 team and ensure that they go out to their polling units to vote. Each team member should send a photo of themselves standing in line in their polling units. Remember, you are not allowed to use cell phones in the polling booths.

INEC releases Final Voters’ Register

Following the display of the Voter Register for claims and objections, between 6th to 12th of November, 2018, and the subsequent clean up of the Register by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu presented the official Register of Voters to be used for the forthcoming General elections.

The presentation took place during INEC’s Quarterly Consultative Meeting with political parties at the INEC Annex, Abuja on Monday, 7th January, 2019. During the meeting, Prof. Yakubu also reiterated that Incident Forms have been abolished, dispelling speculations that INEC may use the forms during the elections.

2019 election 1

The total number of registered voters as contained in the Register is 84,004,084. Giving a breakdown of the figure by Geo-Political zones, the North Central zone has 13,366,070 voters representing 15.91%; the North West has 20,158,100 voters representing 24% while the North East has 11,289,293 representing 13.44% of the total number of registered voters. The South South has 12,841,279 voters representing 15.29%; the South East has 10,057,130 voters representing 11.97% and South West 16,292,212 representing 19.39% of the total number of registered voters.

2019 election 2

On the basis of gender, there are 44,405,439 male registered voters, representing 52.86% and 39,598,645 female registered voters representing 47.14% of the total number of voters.

I Am Ready to Debate President Buhari – Kingsley Moghalu


The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2019 general elections, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has said that he is ready to spar with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

“I want to thank NEDG and BON for the invitation to debate ideas and how to fix Nigeria on January 19, 2019,” said Moghalu, a former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, who previously worked at the United Nations for 17 years. “Hopefully, the President or any of the other selected candidates will not dodge this very important debate because that will be a huge shame and a disservice to our dear nation.”

Moghalu added that he considers it an honour that his running mate, Umma Getso, was also invited for the vice presidential debate on Friday, December 14.

Kingsley Moghalu

“Getso and I are the best tag team for the job and Nigerians will find this out during the scheduled debates. The YPP is ready for this debate and I am ready to take on President Muhammadu Buhari,” Moghalu said.

“This is what I have always advocated. Candidates must earn every vote and a televised debate for the nation’s number one job is one sure way to earn those votes. The YPP made the cut from a long list of 91 political parties and 73 presidential candidates. That alone tells you how much ground we have covered since I declared I was running and how much impact we have made nationwide.

“No other presidential candidate has worked as hard as I have all year to earn the votes and confidence of Nigerians. On February 16, 2019, all of the efforts that the YPP has put in will be rewarded. The debate is just another step forward for us on our way to Aso Rock”, Moghalu said.

ELOY Awards 2018: Meet The Big Winners

The 2018 ELOY Awards Ceremony has come and gone, but the memories it has left will linger for a very long time. The 10th Anniversary for the Exquisite Lady of the Year Awards held at Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel) on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Beautiful guests stormed the ELOY Awards black carpet looking gorgeous, as they followed through with the dress code for the evening; ‘Audaciously Iconic’.

There were performances by Issac Geralds, Kemi Ladipo (spoken word) and  Golden Curvy Models also did a catwalk showcasing designs by top plus size designer, JP Kouture.

The highlight of the evening was the HE4SHE Award which was a first-time category at the ELOY Awards. The award in this category was won by former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON (Wazirin Adamawa), a man who constantly advocates for women.

Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi representing former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON (Wazirin Adamawa) by accepting his Award.

This is also the first time a man has ever received an ELOY Award. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was unavoidably absent, was ably represented by Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, Executive Vice-Chairman of Alpha African Advisory Limited, who spoke about Alhaji Abubakar’s agenda for women which includes; protecting and promoting the rights of women and the girl-child in Nigeria and creating an enabling environment for Nigerian women to return to the path of wealth creation and gainful employment.

Ini Abimbola, a member of the ELOY Awards Committee spoke about the “Journey So Far” for the awards and congratulated this year’s recipients.

Titilayo Oshodi,  representative of Honourable Jide Sanwoolu, ( Member, Advisory Board of Exquisite Magazine since 2006) congratulated the ELOY Team and it’s founder Tewa Onasanya, who has year in, year out identified and honoured inspirational women in society. She spoke about Honourable Jide Sanwoolu’s plans to create a conducive environment for greater female participation in every facet of live in Lagos.

The evening ended with the announcement of the ELOY Foundation by Tewa Onasanya (ELOY Awards Founder). The ELOY Foundation is dedicated to empowering women by providing access to finance, mentors, training and more, thereby uplifting female entrepreneurs to continue to be the economic power house of Nigeria.

The Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) Awards is executed by Exquisite Magazine, led by its publisher Tewa Onasanya, who is also the creator of ELOY Awards. The Awards has been consistently celebrating, empowering and motivating women since 2009.  The Awards recognise inspirational women who are doing great things in their various fields.

WINNERS LIST

1. ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LUSH HAIR): Mercy Johnson Okojie, Seven & a half dates.

2. AUTHOR OF THE YEAR : Nina Iphechukwude Anyianuka (Disowned)

3. CHEF OF THE YEAR : Ronke Edoho (9jafoodie)

4. ELOY AWARD FOR TECHNOLOGY /Lottana Ezeogu (Skills tribe)ICT :

5. ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Urez Kulture

6. ELOY AWARD FOR AGRICULTURE:  Ifeoluwa Ariyo (Forth worth Farms)

7. ON AIR PERSONALTY OF THE YEAR (RADIO): Ada Afoluwake Ogunkeye (Folu Storm, Smooth Fm, Lagos)

8. ELOY AWARD FOR EMPOWERMENT:  Mercy Makinde, (Amazing Amazon’s Initiative)

9. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD: Esther Ijewere (Women of Rubies)

10. SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY (LUFTHANSA): Cynthia Nwadiora (CeeC)

11. FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LUSH HAIR): Tubo

12. ELOY AWARD FOR JOURNALISM AND MEDIA ; PRINT AND DIGITAL (SPONSORED BY FIRS) – Peace Hyde

13. ELOY HOSPITALITY AWARD: Nike Majekodunmi (Nuts about cakes)

14. MILLENNIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY EDIYE BEAUTY & WELLNESS): MIZWANEKA

15. ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Adedamola Ladejobi (Ask Damz)

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16. ELOY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES AWARD: Eno Essien

17. SCRIPT WRITER OF THE YEAR: Dami Elebe (Lagos with Love, Skinny Girl in transit)

18. ELOY AWARD FOR INNOVATION / INVENTION (SPONSORED BY FIRS): Uche Pedro (Bella Naija)

19. TV ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (TV AND WEB) SERIES: Lota Chukwu (Ajoche)

20. ELOY HE4SHE AWARD- A MAN THAT ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN: His Excellency Atiku Abubakar GCON

President Buhari approves salary increase for Nigeria Police

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an increase in the salary of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The President made the announcement during a meeting with security chiefs in Abuja on Monday.

According to a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, his administration will continue to give attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) so as to ensure that its primacy in the internal security framework of the country is restored.

Buhari’s remarks were made in the State House during an interaction with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force who paid him a “Thank You” visit for his approval of the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment.

Garba noted the President’s regret that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime has led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.

The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes

His statement quoted President Buhari as follows: 

“From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military.

“I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.

“The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes.

“In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.

“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-East, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country.”

Rest On Ikeogu Oke @Okesisi

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We are saddened by the death of renowned poet and winner of the N37m 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature, Ikeogu Oke.

He died in Abuja on Saturday at the age of 51.

Details of his death are, however, yet to be clear.

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Oke gained nationwide fame in 2017 when he won the Nigeria Prize for Literature for his book, The Heresiad.

He was presented with a cheque of $100,000 (N37m) by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited.

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His poems and other writings have appeared in journals, anthologies and other publications worldwide.

He has performed his poems at various fora in Nigeria, South Africa and the United States.

Linda Ikeji gives birth to Baby Boy

Celebrity blogger, Linda Ikeji, has given birth to a baby boy.

The baby was born on Monday at a hospital in Atlanta, US.

She posted this image on her Instagram  page to announce his birth and went on to reveal that he was born today, the 17th of September, 2018.

5 Big Announcements at the Apple Event

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Apple has launched the new iPhones (iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max) at its Cupertino headquarters in California on 12th September. The company with a market capitalisation of $1 trillion also unveiled a relatively affordable iPhone: iPhone XR. So, for those who missed the event, we highlight some of the key announcements.

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1. iPhone XS and XS Max

For the event, Apple launched three new main versions of the iPhone including iPhone XS, XS Max and a third phone: iPhone XR. These iPhones are sleek, sophisticated and you will definitely get value for your money. Below are the key specs for the new phone:

  • Both the XS and XS Max have two 12-megapixel lenses on the back. It also has a new feature called Smart HDR, which seamlessly blends several different image frames into a single image. The function is intended to make photos look sharper and have more natural light.
  • A new chip: The “A12 Bionic” chip is said to make the iPhone more powerful than ever.
  • Both the iPhone XS and XS Max are offered in three colours: gold, silver, and space grey.
  • There are three storage options for each: 64GB, 256GB, and for the first time in an iPhone, there is the  512GB option.
  • Both the XS and XS Max will  support a dual-SIM card system,
  • The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099, with 64GB of storage, and goes all the way up to $1,499 with 512 GB of storage.
  • The iPhone XS starts from $999.Image result for iPhone XR

2. iPhone: The iPhone XR.

The iPhone XR is a bit similar to the iPhone 5S. Coming in at $749 to start, it’s not exactly inexpensive. It is, however, comparatively less expensive than the iPhone XS ($999). It’s also, size-wise, directly in between the new iPhone XS and XS Max, the iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch LCD screen.

The LCD bit is important because it’s part of the reason the XR costs $250 less than the XS. The iPhone XR is internally nearly identical to the more expensive XS and XS Max. It’s got the same A12 Bionic chip, powered by the same supporting hardware. It’s got a similarly powerful battery that should carry most users through at least one day of use.

It loses 3D Touch, perhaps another measure of the LCD screen and it only has one of the two 12 megapixel cameras found on the back of the iPhone XS and XS Max. But, it has one incredible feature that neither the XS or the XS Max has: It comes in yellow.

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3. The Apple Watch Series 3 Upgrade

If you’re in the market for an Apple Watch, and you’re looking at the Apple website’s comparison page trying to make up your mind, it’s hard to argue with hard numbers: The Apple Watch Series 3 is $120 less expensive than the equivalent Series 4, and it’s nearly identical. Better still: It’ll get the update to WatchOS 5 when the new software arrives next week before the Series 4 is even available.

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4. The Apple Watch Series 4

There are two new versions of the Apple Watch in two new sizes: 40 and 44 mm. The screens are 30% larger, according to Apple and they stretch further to the edges than ever before. The Apple Watch Series 4 is an update, but not a major one. It’s got a new, more powerful chip (the “S4”) at its core that promises “up to two times better performance.” The accelerometer has been improved to detect drops and can auto-dial emergency services when necessary.

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5. Bonus: iOS 12 will launch on September 17th

With iOS 12’s arrival next Monday, September 17, Apple is making some major upgrades to its mobile operating system. Perhaps most importantly of all, iOS 12 brings a major boost to older iPhones: 40% faster app launches, 50% faster keyboard pop-up, and a 70% speed increase in camera opening. In short, it will make older iPhones feel new-ish again.