Just over a decade ago, a reborn Apple launched the device upon which its company would become a multi billion dollar global titan: the iPod. While the iPod Classic died a quiet death a few weeks ago, the generations of devices it spawned have evolved, grown faster and gone further than even Steve Jobs imagined.
So it was that just a few short weeks ago, Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, walked onto the stage in Cupertino with the new Apple flagships in his hand and on his wrist: the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
The new iPhones that Apple announced are essentially the same as the previous incarnation, but with one large differentiator – the size of the screen. The response to supersize iPhone screens was a result of widespread criticism of the “5” series which, despite coming with a range of colours, did not have the screen size to compete with other top of the line smartphone screens.
The iPhone 6 sports a 4.7 inch screen, while the 6 Plus has a giant 5.5 inch screen which takes it into “phablet” (phone plus tablet) territory. In terms of other design features, the phones are also both flatter and come with faster A8 processors that allow it to run the new iOS 8 upgrade with much more ease than the older residual models still on the market.
The larger screens are backed up by better display specifications, with 1344×750 pixels in the 6 and 1920×1080 in the 6 Plus. These additions mean that like an iPad, the new iPhones can run split screen video and document viewing applications.
“And Another Thing…”
With those three words Apple confirmed the launch of the source of most anticipated and speculated upon device that the company had never officially admitted to be working on.
Breaking long held tradition, there is no ‘i’ before the name this time. The Apple Watch is hoped by Apple to create a whole new product category. The Watch is designed to take some of the best features of the new breed of fitness bands that have been launched over the past three years.
It also promises to make sending messages, reading emails, and payment for goods and services simpler by putting all of these functions right there on your wrist. And they look stylish and ultra modern, as fans have come to expect from Apple.
The truly revolutionary feature of all three of these devices is the Apple Pay function.
Just as the iPod revolutionised the music industry, Apple is betting that they can remake the payment and processing industry as well. They have struck deals with global payment giants like Visa and Mastercard to integrate their point-of-sale and contact-less technology and payment infrastructure into their devices.
The hope is that where you once held your cards in your wallet, you will now be able to get rid of those entirely, to be replaced by your iPhone or Apple Watch. The ability to swipe a device to pay already exists, but it may well be Apple that translates this to the mass market with these three devices.
While an Australian launch date is still unconfirmed, Australian fans will get the chance to don the Apple Watch for the first time in 2015, while the iPhone 6’s are already drawing queues of hundreds to their stores across the country.
The Wrap Up
For those that haven’t owned an iPhone for some time, the 6 and 6 Plus may well be the models that bring you back to the Apple community – both are worthy heirs to the flagship Apple throne. As for the Apple Watch, it remains to be seen whether it will have the same mass-market appeal as the iPod, iPhone and iPad before it, but if anyone can do it, it would be Apple.