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September 9th, 2014

The most important announcements from Apple

We are blogging live from Cupertino (oh well, from NY at least).

The long anticipated Apple event has taken place with more rumors and higher expectations than ever. iPhone 6, iWatch and iPayments. So what happened?

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
In summary bigger, faster, rounder, better and now allows you to pay for stuff with it. The new iPhone comes in a 4.7 and a 5.5 inch version.

The screen size of both devices is considerably bigger which may be perceived as an issue for some people that prefer the format of the current iPhone.
They both have higher resolution than the iPhone 5S which Apple refers to as Retina HD.

The A8 processor will be 50% faster according to Apple.

Battery Life
iPhone 6 has approximately the same battery life as the ‎iPhone 5S whereas the iPhone 6 Plus shows some significant improvements thanks to the bigger battery. Audio and video usage benefit from the biggest improvements.

Improvements in terms of resolution, image stabiliser, light sensitivity, slow motion video and some special features to improve selfies.

What do we think?
Yes, this is definitely going to be one of the devices of the year. Existing Apple users will upgrade as soon as they have a chance and Apple will attract some new users that previously went for the bigger Android screen sizes. The demand for bigger screen sizes is well in line with our prediction from January that Phablets will begin to take over in 2014. According to UK carrier O2, making calls is only the fifth most frequent activity on a smartphone. Ahead of it comes web browsing, social network apps, playing games and listening to music. Just behind making calls comes emails, messaging, watching video, reading eBooks and taking photos. Size matters!

What does it mean for developers?
Applications will automatically scale to the bigger screensize but it’s also possible to tailor the experience for the bigger screen by providing a different layout. This will require some extra UX/UI and development work.

Apple Watch
Beautiful, robust industrial design, a few unique features and several strap options. The watch comes with a square face, swappable bands, sapphire glass touch screen, a heartbeat sensor and Siri as the main control mechanism.

What do we think?
The iWatch seems to fulfill most of the expectations from Apple fans but the most interesting thing will be to see how people actually use it when it launches early 2015. The technology is similar to other smartwatches by Samsung, LG and Motorola but Apple beat them on design once again. This means that Apple has bought themselves time as iPhone owners will wait to buy a smartwatch until the iWatch comes out.

What does it mean for developers?
There is no reason to wait for the iWatch before testing ideas for smartphones. Current Android devices are just as capable in terms of software as the iWatch. There was little said about the development environment and appstore so expect more news as we get closer to launch.

Apple Pay
Yes, Apple did it and once customers upgrade to iPhone 6 over 800m people will be able to pay for services and products using their mobile phone at retailers and locations that support the technology. Initially this will include Apple stores, Target, Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Walgreens, etc. Several of the card issuers (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Visa, Mastercard and American Express) have signed up, which provides a potential of 220,000 payment locations. Apple Pay launches in the US in October followed by other countries in the near future.

What do we think?
Apple is attempting to succeed where others including Google, the carriers (Isis) and banks have spent years trying and failed. And yes, it will work this time although we expect a fairly slow adoption by consumers as it still doesn’t solve a real problem. The advantage between touching your phone and swiping a card is small unless there are other value adds. However, longer term mobile payments will replace cards and once behavior starts shifting, Google and other mobile wallet providers will benefit from Apple Pay technology standardisation as well.

iPad Updates
Apple did not say anything about the anticipated tablet updates. We expect an announcement next month.

For more about the products launched at the Apple event visit Techcrunch at:

Tags: ipad iphone Mobile payments

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