iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Event Roundup: All the news and announcements from today’s event

BY Joe Rossignol

Published 10 Sep 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 7.38.14 PM

Don’t get me wrong: for the past several months, it has been interesting to keep track of all the iPhone 6 rumors, leaked components, hardware specifications and other speculation surfacing across the web. Apple finally took the stage to deliver one of its most highly-anticipated media events this year.

For the first time in a while, we were able to put rumors aside and learn firsthand about the brand new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch and Apple Pay mobile payments initiative. For your convenience, we’ve put together this concise roundup of all of today’s announcements. If you have several minutes to spare, check it out ahead.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

iphone 6 2

Apple followed through on heavily rumored plans to release the iPhone 6 in two variants, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. For the most part, the smartphones have a lot of similar hardware specifications and design qualities. For instance, both have a thinner, rounder design with an Apple A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor.

The two new iPhone models also have the same improved 8-megapixel iSight camera, although the iPhone 6 Plus benefits from having optical image stabilization on top. Both new handsets support the new Apple Pay service and have Touch ID integration, and both are available in silver, gold and space gray colors.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have improved resolution at 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels respectively, and Apple has gone ahead and marketed this as Retina HD displays. Both models have faster LTE speeds for downloads, and support more LTE bands than any other smartphone.

Apple is accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beginning September 12th, while the smartphones will be publicly released on September 19th. iOS 8 will be seeded to the public as a free update two days prior, on September 17th, for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models.

The smartphone is launching in the United States, France, Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan initially, and will be on sale in a total of 115 countries by the end of 2014.

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Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Perhaps more exciting than the iPhone 6 announcements was the introduction of the Apple Watch, the Cupertino-based company’s first smartwatch and official entrance into the wearable device market. Move aside, Android Wear, because you now have some fierce competition in the smartwatch market from Apple coming early next year.

The Apple Watch is everything you would expect from a smartwatch and more. The wearable device features a stainless steel design with sapphire crystal, versatile home button on the side of the smartwatch known as Digital Crown, infrared and sensors for tracking your pulse rate and managing your physical activity and much more.

The smartwatch will be a fully customizable device with several watch faces and leather, metal and plastic bands to choose from, meaning that the combinations and possibilities are virtually endless. In fact, Apple design chief Jonathan Ive claimed in a promotional video that there are millions of unique combinations to choose from.

The Apple Watch requires being paired with an iPhone and is compatible with the following devices: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As mentioned by Apple chief executive Tim Cook, that makes the Apple Watch available to over 200 million iPhone users as of present date.

Apple Watch starts at $349 and will be available in early 2015, likely in the normal launch countries of the United States, France, Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan at first. Later, the smartwatch will have expanded availability worldwide.

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Apple Pay

apple pay image

Last, but certainly not least, was the introduction of Apple Pay. While this is not a product launch like the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch, it is a brand new service that means Apple is officially getting serious about mobile payments. With close to 1 billion iTunes accounts with registered credit cards on file, it was only a matter of time.

Apple Pay is powered by the new NFC chip on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The system stores your payment info in an encrypted and secure fashion, with the help of Touch ID and the new A8 chip. The service is also integrated with Passbook, delivers one-touch checkout with no card number entry or typing an address required.

Apple Pay has a number of partners, including Macy’s, McDonald’s, Bloomingdale’s, Whole Food Markets, Petco, Staples and many more. Several establishments are installing specific devices for the mobile payment service, including McDonald’s at their drive-thru windows. Apple Pay is in partnership with American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

We’ll be providing more coverage of Apple Pay in the days and weeks ahead, so stay tuned and keep checking back.

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iOS 8

Last but not the least, Apple also announced that as expected it will be releasing the long awaited iOS 8 to the public on September 17th. It also seeded iOS 8 golden master to developers, so they can submit iOS 8 compatible apps to the App Store, and released iTunes 11.4 with iOS 8 support.

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Please share your thoughts about the news and announcements from today’s event in the comments below.