Although it’s been a while since an Apple product launch revealed anything that was hugely surprising Apple’s ability to impress with the devices announced has waned sometimes but never faltered. This year’s big reveal at the World Wide Developer Conference yielded not one but two new handsets and a watch, showing Apple following a trend rather than setting one though getting its biggest reaction since the launch of the iPhone 4.
Despite the lack of surprises, thanks to the plentiful leaks leading up to the WWDC announcement, the new iPhones have caused quite a stir already breaking Apple’s sales records – selling 10m units in their first weekend on sale.
Up until now Apple had been reluctant to follow the lead of Android handset-makers, who release flagship models with bigger screens and phablet variants, but it’s clearly a crowd pleasing strategy whatever mobile OS you prefer. The basic iPhone now comes with a 4.7” display, compared to the 4” iPhone 5, with the iPhone 6 Plus and it’s 5.5” display taking the brand firmly into phablet territory.
Bigger, better, faster, thinner, is a mantra which can be applied to the new devices and aside from the obvious difference in size the specs of the iPhone 6 Plus are more or less the same as its modern counterpart. However boosted specs do not an innovative smartphone make and for all their impressive features there’s nothing especially original or groundbreaking about either of them.
As for the Apple Watch Internal specs have yet to be confirmed but from what we do know about it it’s clear it’s not all about raw power. It’s about personalisation and top-notch design and unlike the handsets the watch does show off Apple’s innovating abilities. Others may have done smart watches first but Apple’s is the most versatile in terms of customisation and it’s the only one to feature a “Digital Crown”. Crowns are a familiar part of clockwork watches but Apple has reinvented them to serve as Apple Watch’s equivalent of a mouse on a mac.
The Digital Crown will allow users to control their watch without having to always obscure the device’s touchscreen with their hands, making it easier to perform actions that would be more difficult by tapping or swiping. While this solves one problem with such small devices the other big one is its battery life, and it remains to be seen how often it will need charging.
At the very least the Apple Watch is destined to be a must-have fashion accessory, an undeniably attractive watch regardless of whether you take advantage of its smart functionality or not. The real importance of the watch lies in it being a platform for Apple Pay, the contactless payment system which promises to be the most significant innovation from Apple to date. While Apple Pay will work with iPhones as well the convenience of being able to make a payment without even having to reach into your pocket is surely going to drive the popularity of the service.
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