Apple has unveiled the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay at the company’s biggest product launch event in years.
The iPhone 6 will be available from September 16, and comes in two sizes. The regular 4.7 inch display model is priced at $199 on contract for the 16GB version, and the larger 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus will cost $299 for the 16GB option. The Apple Watch will be launched in early 2015 and will cost $349. Apple’s NFC payment feature Apple Pay will be a key part of both of the device offerings. Here’s a rundown of Apple’s latest products.
The Apple Watch
The Apple Watch was unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook with the immortal line of his predecessor Steve Jobs, “One more thing…” That alone showed the significance that Apple put on this launch and there will be intense intrigue into how this piece of wearable technology performs. The watch comes in two sizes and six different straps. The watch cannot be used without an iPhone and is accurate within 50 milliseconds in perhaps its most basic function – telling the time.
The watch boasts a touchscreen that can tell the difference between a tap and a longer press, and a ‘digital crown’ on the side of the watch face enables zooming. Three sensors provide users with feedback and a soft vibration on the wrist alerts users to an incoming notification. Text input on the watch is only possible via dictation and emojis, and the wearable is capable of analyzing texts, and questions in messages in particular, to offer one word replies which users can select with one click.
The Apple Watch can be used for fitness and payments. The Apple Pay system is built in and can monitor daily health activities, such as how much time the user has spent standing and walking. The watch uses a wireless charger that uses a magnet to clip into the back of the device. Apple did not mention battery life during the presentation.
The iPhone 6 Plus
Apple enters into the phablet space with this 5.5 inch smartphone. The device, which is Apple’s largest ever phone, has a Retina HD Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That is a 185% increase on the iPhone 5S. When put in landscape mode, the phone looks similar to an iPad, with a second pane for some of the apps. The phone is also thinner than the 5S, at just 7.1 millimeters. The engine also gets an upgrade – the new 64-bit chip powering the device is 13% smaller than its predecessor and gives the phone a significant graphics boost. The new phone’s battery life is said to be the same or slightly better than the 5S. The Plus phone’s camera boasts optical image stabilization, faster autofocus and slow motion video up to 240 frames per second.
The iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 features a 4.7 inch Retina HD display and an ion-strengthened screen. This phone also features the A8 processor, which includes a barometer used mainly in fitness apps to calculate slopes. The camera on the iPhone 6 only has electronic image stabilization and is generally less powerful than the iPhone 6 Plus. However, the phone is boosted by better battery life and a slimmer 6.9 millimeter width.
Apple’s new digital payments service, Apple Pay, will be tied to the new iPhone 6 phones and the Apple Watch. Near field communication (NFC) technology is built into the devices to allow users to use their phones or watches to pay for products instead of swiping a credit card. The TouchID fingerprint reader at the bottom of the iPhone 6 provides additional security. Apple announced partnerships with all the major banks in the U.S. and with Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Over 22,000 retailers also signed up to accept payments, ranging from McDonalds to Whole Foods to Bloomingdale’s.