Apple – It’s about time.
Today was another milestone in Apple’s journey as an innovative technology company. From phones to software to wearables, Apple’s did not leave anything out. CEO Tim Cook introduced us to ‘one more thing’ in Apple’s lineup – the Apple Watch and two new models of the iPhone. First, let’s take a look at the mobile payment system – Apple Pay.
This is Apple’s branded mobile payment system that has been rumored for some time. Apple Pay will allow users to pay through NFC compatible devices at retail locations around the world. While many people may be concerned about the safety of storing your credit cards within your phone, Apple has devised a way to keep your information private and safe through a dedicated chip called Secure Element. When you add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, a unique Device Account Number is assigned instead of the actual card number. And nothing is ever stored on Apple servers. Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Plus, Apple has started its Apple Pay service through its own Apple retail stores in the US, Disney retail stores and theme parks, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sephora, Staples, Walgreens and even the McDonald’s drive thru. Apple Pay will be available starting in October.
Apple released not one, but two new iPhone models today – the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Both models feature the biggest advancements in the iPhone’s history. They are larger and smaller at the same time. Plus, it has a much more efficient battery. The iPhone 6 measures in with a 4.7-inch screen with the iPhone 6 Plus measuring in with a 5.5-inch screen. Even though they have the largest screens ever available with the iPhone, they are also slimmer than any other iPhone model. Both phones have a brand new Retina HD screen and come pre-loaded with iOS 8. They also both have the Apple-designed A8 chip that faster performance that is more energy efficient. The iSight camera received an upgrade as well with a new sensor that features Focus Pixels that allows for a better, faster autofocus function. iPhone 6 Plus users will also have an optical image stabilization included with their iSight camera. The iPhone 6/6 Plus also feature built-in NFC technology for use with Apple Pay. Both models come equipped with TouchID and include 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Both iPhone models will be available with the choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and they are available in three colors – Silver, Space Gray or Gold. The new iPhone lineup will include the following models – iPhone 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus.
iPhone 6 prices are as follows – $199 (US) for the 16GB model, $299 (US) for the 64GB model and the 128GB model for $399 (US) with a two-year contract. iPhone 6 Plus prices are as follows: $299 (US) for the 16GB model, $399 (US) for the 64GB model and $499 (US) for the 128GB model with a two-year contract.
Both models will be available starting September 19 with preorders starting on September 12.
The operating system for Apple’s mobile technologies was teased back in June at WWDC and today, the presenters didn’t speak too much on the OS. However, they did show off many of the features with the iPhone demonstrations. It will be available for public download starting September 17 and comes included with the new iPhone models.
Finally, we get to see the most anticipated product from Apple since the release of the iPhone. The Apple Watch did not disappoint. It’s the most advanced smart watch ever to be released and includes many new technologies. It is available in three distinct collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition – and it comes in two different sizes (for men and women). Plus, the watches have different bands to choose from, which are interchangeable. There has been no word on what the battery life is expected to be, but the screen appears to be a sapphire crystal screen and the body is constructed from stainless steel, anodized aluminum or 18-karat gold. The Apple Watch also features a Retina display and a brand new Force Touch, which recognizes the difference between a tap and a press. Apple Watch includes 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Users of the Apple Watch has to have an iPhone in order to operate. Apple has also introduced WatchKit, which will allow developers to use new tools and APIs to create new experiences for the wrist. Apple was a bit elusive with many of the specific details of Apple Watch and CEO Tim Cook even stated that there were many, many different features of the watch that they did not have time to talk about today. Apple Watch does include built-in NFC and will wearers to use Apple Pay. Apple is going to release it with prices starting at $349 and will be available starting in 2015.
As a special treat, U2 performed a single from their new album “Songs of Innocence” at the conclusion of the Apple Event today. It was a wonderful surprise for the audience and even more surprising was the announcement that U2’s “Songs of Innocence” will be given away to ALL iTunes users between now and October 13.
All in all, today’s event was a wonderful experience. There were some technical difficulties along the way including a botched video feed, but the innovations that were released were worth the trouble, in my opinion. We have been contacted by several product developers about their new iPhone 6 products. One company, TYLT, has a new sliding battery case and a screen protector for the iPhone 6.
ENERGI Sliding Power Case fo the iPhone 6 ($99.99) is a sleek, protective case has a built-in 3200mAh rechargeable battery to keep the iPhone charged throughout your day. The ALIN Glass Screen Protector ($34.99) for iPhone 6 is the first-ever screen protector helps to keep your screen scratch-free. It includes a snap-on alignment tool, which guarantees correct positioning. For more information on these products, visit tylt.com.
For more information on Apple’s newest products, visit apple.com.