iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch initial thoughts
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
The move to flat design with iOS 7 has finally paid off today with the announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both sporting higher resolutions. Just like web design trending in a more flat aesthetic to make responsive web design easier on multiple resolutions so to will having flat, texture less apps. It's even reflected in Apples new website, now that it's finally responsive. ((Apples new responsive website))
Both phones are taking design cues from the first iPhone with the rounded edges and embracing the design of the iPad Air and iPad Mini. I think the design looks great. Having narrow sides I think will help you hold the phone with the longer length. I always liked the feel of my 3GS with its curved edges, much nicer to hold then the iPhone 4 and 5.
There aren’t any ground breaking changes (well maybe NFC) to the new iPhones, just good incremental changes as a whole. I think we’ve seen the last of new big hardware features. From now on the biggest improvements will be on software I believe. iOS 8 is actually what I’m more excited about, with its polished interface improvements and the inter app extensions.
New screen sizes and performance improvements are always welcome, but with the already good performance of my iPhone 5S its a tough call on wether to upgrade to an iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus). If battery life is your prime concern, the iPhone 6 Plus may very much be worth it with double the battery life for talk time of the 5S/5C. ((Apple iPhone comparison table))
An interesting change to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is the exclusion of a 32GB model. Only 16, 64 and 128 phones are available, actually making the price points of the latter two quite attractive. Both iPhones are available to order on the 26th of September starting at NZD $999 for the iPhone 6 and $1149 for the iPhone 6 Plus. ((iPhone 6 prices))
The question I ask with the release of the 6 Plus is there need for an iPad Mini (or iPad Air)? I’d say for a large number of people, no. Due to cost alone, it is a big saving only buying one device. Maybe this is the push to consolidate the iPad into the iPhone. It’s not unlike Apple to cannibalise their existing product markets, they have done it before with the iPod and iPod Nano. It will be interesting to see what improvements and features are added to the iPad later this year to justify its purchase.
The Apple Watch looks great! With its dial I believe it solves a lot of the “fiddlyness” of a gesture driven/touch smart watch. The bonus of using Apple Pay with it would be a great convenience too.
The number of variations of the Apple Watch is a departure from having limited SKUs other than colour compare to the iPods and iPhones. There are 2 sizes (38mm and 42mm) in each of the 3 collections (some with 18 carat gold) and a multitude of different straps from rubber, leather and aluminium material with different clasps. In one of the collections there are 18 variations. ((Apple Watch Collection))
An important thing to remember is that the Apple Watch needs to be paired with an iPhone (5, 5C,5S,6 & 6 Plus) just like the Android Wear watches can only be used with Android 4.3+ phones. Price may be a barrier for adoption with a RRP of USD $349 and more likely NZD $400+ which is pretty steep when compared with other smart watches already on sale.
The most important question is the battery life of the Apple Watch, even with the nice “magsafe” charger having a watch you have to remember to charge every night is a deal breaker for me and I’m sure a lot of others.
It will be interesting to see what more details are dropped before release, and what the final features will be. At the moment we have only a glimpse of a great looking mockup. I look forward to seeing the online configuration selection when it does become available, it will be a feat in itself to make it simple.