What to expect at Apple's upcoming event
After months of speculation, the world's most secretive consumer technology company has finally sent out the official invites to an event on September 9, where the unveiling of the iPhone 6 is expected to take place.gadgets Updated: Aug 29, 2014 17:11 IST
After months of speculation, the world's most secretive consumer technology company has finally sent out the official invites to an event on September 9, where the unveiling of the iPhone 6 is expected to take place.
But what exactly will Tim Cook announce when he takes to the stage at the Flint Center in San Francisco and, as well as a new phone, will there be something else up his sleeve in the shape of a smartwatch?
Back in May, when Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, sat down with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the inaugural Code Conference, he said: "We've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple."
The statement got Apple's fans very excited and hinted that a host of new devices, including another truly innovative product in the mold of the original iPod, iPhone or iPad, were on their way.
However, four months on, with the exception of improving the specifications and trimming the prices of its notebook and desktop computers, Apple has been very quiet in 2014.
The big question is will all of that change on September 9? Will the next iPhone be as revolutionary as the original?
The reports, rumors and leaks that have started surfacing since February suggest that the new handset will set a new standard.
Much of the talk has been focused on screen size. The new phone looks set to have a 4.7-inch display, much larger than the one found on the current flagship iPhone 5S, and Apple is also expected to offer a ‘phablet' version of the device with a 5.5-inch display and as much as 128GB of space on board for productivity, music and video storage.
Larger screen sizes also mean that the new handsets could be thinner, so that they would still be comfortable to hold and use with a single hand.
Battery life is also expected to get a serious improvement, as is durability. Apple has been experimenting with sapphire glass, something so tough it's used in armor, and there's a good chance that one of the two models will come encased in it.
The camera is also going to get a hefty upgrade. The company has been talking to Sony and if its imaging technology makes it into the next iPhone, it will have some pretty significant photography specs.
But what has made the iPhone such a success is the way it combines hardware and software to create a device that's a joy to use. And it is in application that the new device is really set to stand out. It is likely to be pitched as a health and fitness companion and as the hub of the smart home, able to control any individual appliance or group of connected smart devices. Expect some 'cool' demonstrations when it's unveiled.
Watching for the 'iWatch'
Unlike the iPhone, not a single credible image of an 'iWatch' or any of its components have leaked online, even though there have been whispers relating to its development for nearly two years.
But with just 10 days until its potential unveiling, all we know about the device is that it is set to be able to monitor a person's heart rate and that is known because of code found within Apple's HealthKit app, a new feature coming to the iPhone and iPad's operating system in September.
Despite a lack of physical evidence, it seems likely that the wearable device -- Apple's first ever -- is going to be about health, fitness and well-being rather than simply smartphone push notifications. The company has met with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and has hired a host of medical experts over recent months.
And if the device really is ready to make its first public appearance in September it really will have to be something special considering how many smartwatches have already been announced or unveiled since January. Samsung alone now has five different models on sale.
One of the company's biggest fans and strongest critics, its surviving co-founder Steve Wozniak has been very vocal about the limitations of the current generation of smartwatches and how Apple will have to do something very special to make the devices attractive.
"I feel that wearables are a hard sell," Wozniak told technology site Cnet on Tuesday. "They are go-betweens for your smartphone but are an extra piece and need special advantages that the smartphone doesn't have, in my opinion."
He feels that too many of the current devices such as Samsung's line of Gear smartwatches and the LG G Watch are no better or more interesting than a hands-free headset for making calls when driving; meaning that the 'iWatch' is going to have to be innovative.
"Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn't quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable," Wozniak said.