By Aitch Cee
It’s been more than a ½ a day since Apple’s annual refresh announcement and while there is some reserved excitement in the air for the newest Apple products, I can’t help but feel that some of what happened at the Apple event was a sign of Apple trying to catch up as well as taking huge risks. Samsung and Google have been eating away at Apple shares in the mobile market for a few years and it looks like Apple is trying to play catch up. Below are some takeaways from yesterday’s announcement.
In a move that was definitely shows that Apple needed to play catch up with other phone makers, Apple listened to consumers and introduced 2 new phones that are larger than their predecessors. The iPhone 6 will come in at 4.7” while the iPhone 6 Plus will be 5.5 inches. Also, both phones with offer Retina HD displays. So finally, the iPhone enters into the phablet market with these phones. As a consumer, my only concern is the fact that Apple is not only still offering its lowest end phone at 16gb of storage but leapt over the 32gb for the next phone up into the 64gb storage. Why not just drop 16gb altogether? Another question is also the camera. The new iPhones will still have 8 megapixel lenses and the built in cameras will have new features such as a new sensor supporting an auto-focusing feature called “Focus Pixels” as well as improved local tone mapping and noise reduction. Apple is claiming also that the Face Time camera is improved. Hopefully with these improvements, the pictures taken with these new phones will be much better than earlier phones. Apple is saying that the battery life is going to be longer and as an Apple iPhone and iPad user for 4 years, I personally have had no problems with battery life so I suspect nothing should go wrong here as well. Another feature Apple is touting (and I am hoping Verizon can support) is Voice over LTE which basically means that you can talk on your LTE phone and use data if you needed it, so no more having to get off your phone to use a browser.
Scale of 1 to 5, Apple gets a 4 for this.
Apple is making an ambitious play to use their NFC antennas built into their phones by allowing iPhone users to scan their credit cards in and allow your phone to be your wallet. Imagine being able to go into a store, get a product and instead of reaching for your wallet, you simply use the TouchID sensor on your phone, swipe your phone and voila! Transaction made. While all of this sounds great, it’s not something we haven’t heard before as secure mobile payments have been attempted for years now with little to no success. How is Google Wallet making out, hmm? Also from what I have seen firsthand with people trying to utilize mobile payments it’s been troublesome with either poorly maintained sensors or worse, poorly trained customer representatives unable to make sensors work properly. If Apple can get mobile payments to work, hats off to them. I like the idea in theory, I am just not sure how well this could work as far as implementation and execution. Besides, there are still some things that will still limit how well this works with one issue primarily being your connection. If you are in a place where your phone’s not connected to an LTE service, then this idea of using a digital wallet fails. So, until anyone can assure a fast and secure LTE connection at all times, I would still keep my wallet and plastic handy. Not to mention, sure a company can claim all of my information is stored securely in the cloud and nothing will happen to it right? But, this just happened, and if that could happen, nothing is truly ever secure.
Scale of 1 to 5, Apple gets a 2 for this.
For my own reasons, I don’t see the need for it. Call me old school but I am just as happy with my own analog watch that I wear on my wrist. As much as I am a gadget junkie, I look at the Apple Watch and ask myself, “Why?” In my own opinion it seems to be a bit redundant as it functions best with your other iDevices and probably will work best if you are a fitness junkie, but on a whole, watching this part of the keynote, I kept saying to myself, “I can’t ever see myself having a need to want or use this devices for things that I could refer to my phone or tablet for.” Don’t get me wrong, it looks cool and it looks like it could possibly do a lot of stuff that Dick Tracy wished his could do. I am just not sold on it at all. Also, there has been no word on the battery life, when it will be out or even if it’s water-proof so, we know it exists just no reason why to be excited.
Scale of 1 to 5, Apple gets a 2 for this.
In summary, it’s amazing how Apple went from calming consumers by giving them some of what they wanted in a phone to giving us a theory about something we could use and benefit from although we should be wary of security, to showing us something that we may not need. Apple always had a way to sell consumers on their devices and while I am mostly reserved on the Apple Pay and Watch, the phone may be something to consider. Of course my issue like most people, is when it comes out, I still have about 6 months before my contract is up so, I know I won’t have one soon but at least when it is time for me to get one, should I decide to do it, all the kinks will be worked out …and by then we will be hearing rumors about the iPhone 6s or 7 or whatever, slated for later that year.
Average for the keynote overall is a 3 (rounded up *wink*)
Will you get an iPhone 6?