Expectations were high – and Apple did not disappoint its fans by announcing not only two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, but the much-anticipated Apple Watch at a keynote event in California.
Speaking at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, where Steve Jobs unveiled the first Apple Macintosh computer 30 years ago, chief executive Tim Cook talked the crowd through the new products, saying he was launching “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone”.
The iPhone 6 will sport a 4.7-inch display, while its bigger cousin the 6 Plus will measure 5.5-inches, significantly larger than current flagship the 5s’ 4-inch screen.
Each will come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB configurations, with the iPhone 6 starting from £539, £619 for the 64 GB version and £699 for the £128 model. The iPhone 6 Plus will retail from £619 for 16GB, £699 for the 64GB model and £789 for the new 128GB model.
Cook then announced the company’s first original product since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 – the Apple Watch.
The Watch will come in three versions – the Apple Watch Sport in polished or black stainless steel, the standard Apple Watch in grey or silver anodized aluminium, and the luxury Watch Edition, available in rose or yellow 18 carat gold developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold. Each model will be available in two sizes – 38 mm and 42 mm.
The device aims to change the way we communicate by sending and receiving messages, answering calls made to your iPhone, and sharing personalised health information, and is, according to Cook, “the most personal product we’ve ever made.”
“With Apple Watch, we’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “We’ve created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalisation.”
Users will navigate the interface using a traditional looking side-winder, called a Digital Crown, instead of Apple’s favoured pinch-to-display technology made famous by the iPhone. Rotating the Crown allows the wearer to zoom in and out, as well as scroll and navigate. It will also serve as a form of home button, and point of activation for digital assistant Siri.
The Watches will come with interchangeable straps made of viton (synthetic rubber), quilted or plain leather, or metal mesh or links.
Prices start at $349, and the models will be available to buy from early 2015. UK pricing has not yet been released.
“It’s amazing what you can do from your wrist,” quipped Cook. “We are so excited about Apple Watch, and I hope you are as well.”
Siri can be used to dictate longer messages into text or to be sent as a voice message, alongside searching for film listings etc.
The Watch’s Taptic Engine will enable the wearer to be guided while running the Maps app through a series of gentle vibrations, removing the need to look at the screen.