Apple has unveiled its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models – as well as its much-hyped Watch – in a press conference led by the company’s senior vice president Phil Schiller and CEO Tim Cook.
Apple live streamed its press conference from the Flint Centre in California so you can watch from your desk – using Safari as a browser – and has curated a live blog to promote the models’ new features or upgrades.
(If you’re having trouble watching or following on Apple’s website, the news and entertainment site SourceFed has also curated its own live blog with images and updates from the event, which it says was capped off by a performance from U2.)
Notably, Apple says the iPhone 6 will be both thinner and longer than the 5C and 5S, with the 6 Plus longer than the base 6 model. The sides of the phone are all curved and rounded – past versions of the iPhone have been dominated by right angles.
The new phones, available on September 19, 2014, will be visually sharper than their past iterations, with the 6 having over one million pixels and the 6 Plus having over two million pixels.
The iPhone 6 will reportedly start at $199 (USD) for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128GB. The 6 Plus will be more expensive – $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB.
WATCH the press conference via the link above…
The Watch was unveiled in Tuesday after much speculation and hype, with many unsure whether Apple would even present the potentially groundbreaking device today.
The Watch (gallery here) will come with a variety of designs and straps, from the rubbery sport band to a leather band and a stainless steel loop band, in a wheel of colours and specifications. (Some of the watches will have 18-karat gold pins or buckles.)
“Each Apple Watch comes with a range of watch faces you can change whenever you like,” reads the company’s description on Apple.com. “You can also add specialized functions – known in watchmaking as complications – to most faces. Choose stopwatches, stock quotes, weather updates, and more. When you combine all the possible options, the opportunities for personalization are virtually endless.”
The Watch will reportedly cost $349 (starting price) and will be available in early 2015.
“Apple watch requires the iPhone, and will work with the iPhone 5 and all its models,” wrote SourceFed’s Sara P. (link above).
Because you’re surely wondering, the answer is Yes – the Watch will allow users to check Mail, send and receive text Messages, and make Phone calls.
“Use the built-in speaker and microphone for quick chats, or seamlessly transfer calls to your iPhone for longer conversations,” Apple says. “You can also transfer calls from Apple Watch to your car’s speakerphone or your Bluetooth headset. And silence incoming calls by covering Apple Watch with your hand.”
The Watch will also have a host of fitness features, writes Sara P.
“The activity app will measure calories burned, sedentary time, and what type of activity you’re doing from a brisk watch to a bike ride.”
Photo copied from SourceFed’s live blog:
The Flint Centre, where today’s announcement was held, is the same venue Steve Jobs used to launch the Mac 30 years ago – Business Insider‘s Jim Edwards called it “an almost religious location to speak” at.
Edwards called the event the biggest day of Cook’s professional life, as it’s the first day Apple’s products – Cook’s products – step out from behind the late Jobs’s shadow.
“The smartwatch – or “iWatch” as everyone is calling it – will be the first truly new product of the post-Jobs era,” he writes. “It will probably be the first new product that Jobs never touched.”
Edwards also says Apple faces stiffer competition than it did in decades prior, when its only rival was the at-sometimes-more-superior Windows. Now, according to BI‘s intelligence findings, Android phones (made by Samsung and others) make up “a market record of 85% global share”. And Samsung has already unveiled several smartwatches, meaning Apple isn’t the first to something for once in a long while.
“Apple’s strategy has been historically successful: Let other companies launch wacky, underpowered new gadgets and then wade in later with the best-possible version in the category,” Edwards writes.
“The subtext of Cook’s speech, therefore, is this: “Sure, you could buy a decent smartphone for less than $400. But we have a very good smartphone for $700 or more. We’re betting that this will not change, that there will always be customers who want to pay hundreds of dollars more for a product that, elsewhere in the market, is regarded as a commodity.”
Samsung’s newest phone – Galaxy S5 – was released in February, 2014, and HTC’s One smartphones (which also carry Android and Google services) were unveiled last winter, 2013.
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