This morning’s Apple launch was many things – exciting, expected, yet surprising all at the same time. In case you missed it, Apple unleashed a few massive Apple-nesses to move up the ranks as the world’s trendsetter in technology once again.
What was expected was the next chapter to the iPhone. The iPhone 6 will now boast a larger screen, catching up to the large screen trend (read: phablet) that is currently dominated by Apple’s main rival, Samsung. In fact, this is probably the largest an iPhone 6 screen has ever been at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Yes, there are 2 sizes because we’re talking about 2 iPhones!
The Jimmy Lin leak in June already hinted that there would be 2 iPhones launch this time around but at that time, we didn’t know for sure what they were going to be called yet. As such, following the official announcement last night, we now know that the 4.7-inch iPhone will be called the “iPhone 6” and the 5.5-inch iPhone will be called the “iPhone 6 Plus”.
Truth be told, stretching the screens’ sizes is probably one of the best things Apple has ever done with its smartphones. We applaud the move!
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone 6 is “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhones”. Not only will it come with larger screens and provide users another reason to be completely attached to the smartphone to the point of quite possibly needing surgical removal, it’s also stunning! The iPhone 6 comes with polarised glass displays and bodies that are thinner than ever before.
But the iPhone 6 Plus stands out because while it shares the same internal specs as the iPhone 6, it has a higher resolution of 1920×1080, leading to a pixel-density of 401 ppi (pixels per inch). The iPhone 6 Plus also comes with a 64-bit A8 processor (“50 times faster” and “84 times faster” compared to the original iPhone processor) and a new camera sensor. That, and it also comes with an optical image stabilisation feature, one up from iPhone 6’s digital stabilisation feature. It’s Apple’s own personal record.
Pricing will start at USD199 for the iPhone 6 for US customers on a 2-year contract and USD299 for the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 3 colours – gold, space gray, and silver. The devices will be available on 19th September in these countries:
And in at least 115 countries by the end of the year!
One more thing
The launch this morning also saw the official introduction to Apple’s other new dazzling gadget, the tech giant’s first smartwatch aka the one people were previously calling the iWatch. Meet the Apple Watch, a sleekly designed wrist device that links to the iPhone! According to Tim Cook, Apple has been working on the Apple Watch for a long time, and didn’t just shrink the iPhone and strap it to the wrist.
Said to be Apple’s most personal advice ever, the touch-screen Apple Watch will pair with the iPhones and allow users to view messages and app on the wrist. Scrolling, zooming, and navigating on the Apple Watch will also be a breeze as the device uses a “digital crown”.
The Apple Watch has sensors that can detect a wearer’s pulse and hence, has pulse tracking capabilities to promote fit lifestyles! The apps that come with it include a map software that guide people to destination with gentle “taps” on the wrist. Other programmers will even allow its user to check into flights, unlock hotel room doors, and even controlling home lighting or temperature. The watch comes in 2 sizes and an array of choices of interchangeable, fashionable wrist strap and will work with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C models and newer.
Apple watch will start at US$349 when it is released early next year.
Other announcements are as follows:
Apple Pay – Apple Pay will be built into the new iPhones with a near field connection (NFC) antenna that allows users to tap their phones at retailers. Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by many of the largest US banks. Retailers that will support Apple Pay include Disney, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market, some 220,000 retail locations. Apple Watch will also work on the system. Apple Pay will debut in the US market in October, and Apple hopes to expand to other markets. The new payment system will be built into the new iPhones and the upgraded Apple’s operating system called iOS 8.
IOS 8 – Apple’s mobile operating system iOS 8 which has been in the works for some time will be made available on 17th September. The new platform is a free software update for iPhones and iPads and will support features such as Apple’s Health app that monitors health and fitness, and the HomeKit for home automation. With HomeKit, users can say “good morning,” and have the lights turned on in specific rooms, the thermostat adjusted and the garage door opened, for example. The software will have improved security, faster messaging and a new virtual keyboard.
Free U2 Album – In a surprise announcement at the California event, the Irish band U2 was present and released its first album in 5 years free on Apple’s iTunes. The album features 11 new songs from the band and will be free on the iTunes Store in 119 countries for the next 5 weeks. “Songs of Innocence” instantly became the largest album release in history, with Apple announcing it had been sent out for free to half a billion iTunes customers.
For more information, visit Apple’s official website.