I couldn't have been more impressed with the Apple Watch. It got huge play today at the event, and I feel that despite all the details presented, that information only scratched the surface. Once again Apple has shown extraordinary vision and attention to detail. Just like the iPhone created a new world of possibilities so too does the Apple Watch. It's yet another multipurpose tool that has an amazing array of uses. You can access apps such as Maps and Music and Health, you can use it to make calls or send messages, you can use it as a watch, you can use it to make mobile payments, you can use it as a health and fitness device, and more. Plus, the WatchKit platform lets developers create apps and notifications.
As was rumored, today's event ended with a performance by the band U2. And to top it off, Apple announced that U2's new album Songs of Innocence is available in the iTunes Store for free.
What an event it has been, with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the spectacular Apple Watch. Also announced today was Apple Pay, Apple's new mobile payment system that will work with both the new iPhones and the new Apple Watch. The new devices have a near field communication (NFC) chip that works with mobile payment processing terminals at 200,000 merchant locations. To make a purchase you simply touch your device to the terminal, and then tap the Touch ID. That's it. Apple calls it "one-touch checkout."
If you can't wait until tomorrow to see the new iPhone 6, you don't need to. Videos of the 4.7-inch iPhone are appearing on Chinese websites. These are fully functional phones, though apparently without a SIM card. The video below shows the phone running iOS 8 applications, and gives demos of some of the apps. So much is now known about the device that its introduction Tuesday will be almost anticlimactic.
According to 9To5Mac, market analyst Ming-Chi
Kuo has recently offered up a bunch of details about the
iWatch, though it's hard to tell where inside information ends and speculation begins. He says that although we won't see an
iWatch until 2015, Apple will be announcing it on Tuesday in order to encourage developers to create apps for it. And he believes it will come with
8 GB of storage and 512 MB RAM, as well as two different rectangular display sizes: 1.3 and 1.5 inches. He also suggests there will be a gold colored
iWatch to match the gold colored iPhone
5s and iPhone 6. Of course he expects it to have a range of health and fitness sensors. I'm certainly hoping Apple announces it Tuesday.
The resale value of earlier-generation iPhones remains high, with a wide variety of companies competing to give you the best price. A great article on MarketWatch gives a brief overview of the prices being offered. If you're willing to sell your phone in return for a gift card, Amazon may have the best deal, offering $394 for a 16GB iPhone 5s and $255 for an iPhone 5. If you want cash, Gazelle will give you up to $300 for your iPhone 5s, while both Gazelle and NextWorth offer $185 for your iPhone 5. Apple will give you a $255 gift card for an iPhone 5. WalMart also offers a pretty good deal: $275 for an iPhone 5s and $166 for an iPhone 5.
Of course, everyone is wondering what else Apple will introduce on Sept. 9 in addition to the iPhone 6. And according to the latest rumor, we won't see an iWatch. DigitTimes, which gets their information from Apple's suppliers and which isn't always accurate, is reporting that the iWatch is still in the experimental verification testing phase, meaning that Apple is still tinkering with the design. Once the design is settled, then comes the production verification testing phase, in which Apple does some production runs to see if the device can be mass produced with relatively few devices rejected for defects. So even though some suppliers are allegedly already making components for the iWatch, DigiTimes says it's unlikely Apple will announce it on Sept. 9 and that we probably won't see it until 2015. But that doesn't necessarily imply we won't see a wearable from Apple or from someone else. After all, HealthKit should be compatible with a variety of third-party devices, so maybe we'll be introduced to one or more.
Rumors, reports, and videos are a-poppin' as we head toward the September 9 announcement, with Bloomberg reporting that the iPhone 6 will have an NFC chip and a new mobile payment system. Plus, a new video shows an assembled 4.7-inch iPhone, and another video shows the rear shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch iPhone.
Apple sent out invitations today to an event to be held September 9, as was rumored. Not only is everyone expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 6, but also, according to the well-connected website Re/code, they will be introducing a wearable device. The invitation simply gives the date and, as usual, is very cryptic, saying only "Wish we could say more." If Apple follows their typical schedule, the new iPhone 6 will go on sale September 19. The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, which is three times larger and closer to Apple's headquarters than the usual venue at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Not only that, but according to iMore, Apple is constructing a large, three-storey building next the Flint Center in advance of the event. And everyone is tight-lipped about what purpose it will serve.
All of this is exciting — that the date is finally official, and that Apple seems to be planning something big.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple is already preparing to manufacture a 12.9-inch iPad that's slated to come out in early 2015. Production will begin in the first quarter. The report says that Apple has been working with their suppliers for at least a year on a range of larger touch-screen devices. This new iPad would give the line three different sizes: 7.9 inches, 9.7 inches, and 12.9 inches.