Assuming that you are not a tech geek / happened to be passing the Flint Centre in Cupertino California, then you may be wondering what happened at the Apple Launch Event on 9th September.
Well, you essentially missed three things – two new iPhones and the ‘one more thing’, the Apple Watch.
New iPhone 6:
Tim Cook unveiled two new iPhones at the launch event. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Rather than just an update of software or a couple of new features, this is a significant change for the iPhone. As with the move from the iPhone 4 to 5, the iPhone 6 will be larger than the 5. The iPhone 5 screen is 4 inches, but the iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches. The iPhone 6 Plus has a screen size of 5.5 inches, which puts it in the same ballpark as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G3.
The iPhone 6 will boast an increased number of pixels for better text clarity, and a better autofocus on the camera, which as an iPhone 5 user I think is long overdue. There are also advances in storing your payment info on your phone, imaginatively called Apple Pay, and accessing it via fingerprint and near-field communication (NFC), technology which has yet to gain widespread support in the financial world.
While this sort of innovation is new for Apple, it is not new for the marketplace or smart phone users. Samsung has long had the approach that bigger is best even to the point of merging the worlds of the phone and tablet with the Galaxy Note 3 ‘Phablet’. So, Apple could be accused of following the market on one hand, and amending its product offering by responding to changing consumer needs on the other – depends if you are a fan of Apple or not, but it is a bold move to dump the 4 inch size when it has been so popular.
New Apple Watch:
The Apple Watch (no, not the iWatch) is perhaps the worst kept secret in tech. Apple are positioning this as a health and fitness extension of the iPhone. You will be able to track your progress by GPS and Wi-Fi, but you will need an iPhone 6 to make the watch work, which will make it a big investment at least initially.
The Apple Watch claims to be accurate to 0.05 secs wherever you are on the planet, and will enable you to access a number of phone features on the device – Siri (for smart messaging), music, speaker, etc. The Apple Watch is available in two sizes (38mm and 42mm height), and has a range of faces that users can choose, and a choice of six interchangeable straps – Apple boast that there are 2 million ways to see time on the Apple Watch.
Like the iPhone 6, the technology is new for Apple, but not new for users or the market. Samsung released the Gear smartwatch over a year ago, and Google’s wearable technology is already available in the UK with Google Glass.
So, while there is always a lot of excitement about the launch of new Apple products, and I am sure that there will be the traditional queues outside Apple Stores on the day of launch, there were no great surprises – larger phones are one of the reasons why Samsung is so successful, and wearable technology is already with us. There is no doubt that these products will sell well, but the wow factor that accompanied earlier launches just wasn’t there – has Apple turned from market leader to market follower?