As expected, Apple introduces new iPhones and a smart watch

Credit: Source: Apple

Sometimes I miss the old days when leaks weren't as common as they seem to be these days. Yesterday's big Apple event delivered pretty much exactly what we expected it to deliver.

Back in early August I reported on rumors that two new iPhone models were coming, a 4.7" model and a 5.5" model. That rumor was spot on. The new iPhone 6 has a 1334x750 4.7" screen and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 1920x1080 5.5" screen. Both phones are powered by a new A8 processor which Apple says is 25% faster than the A7, and 50% faster when it comes to graphics rendering, and both are supposed to have much better battery life when compared to older iPhones.

The good news is that the prices are pretty much what you'd expect from a new Apple phone, while offering a lot more storage space once you get past the cheapest model. The iPhone 6 (on contract) will be $199/$299/$399 for 16GB/64GB/128GB respectively. For the Plus add $100 for each size. The iPhone 5 had the same pricing at launch but for 16GB/32GB/64GB capacities, if memory serves.

The new phones open for pre-order on September 12th and start shipping on September 19th. Meanwhile the iPhone 5s will drop to $99 on contract, and the 5c will be free with a 2 year contract.

The other major rumor in the run-up to the event is that Apple would introduce a wearable device. Once again, correct, only Apple doesn't call it the iWatch, they just call it the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch looks kind of like a tiny iPhone and it has a knob intended (I assume) to resemble the knobs we used to use to wind our watches, back when watches needed to be wound. In the case of the Apple Watch it is used to scroll through selections; think of it a little bit like a mouse wheel, I guess. It includes a heart monitor and, with the help of your iPhone's GPS, it can track your runs. Also inside are a gyroscope and an accelerometer and it supports inductive wireless charging.

You'll be able to choose from an assortment of finishes and bands (proprietary) to help your Apple Watch look a little different from your friend's. The Apple Watch doesn't arrive until next year and I imagine we'll hear a lot more about it between now and then. We do know the price; it'll start at $349. In order to use it you'll need at least an iPhone 5. Here's the sexeh teaser video:

Probably the biggest 'surprise' at this event was Apple Pay, a mobile payment system that works with the new iPhones and the Apple Watch. To support it, both the new phones include NFC. Retailers that have pledged support for Apple Pay include McDonald's, WalGreens, Whole Foods and Macy's. Re/Code has a lengthy post talking about the details of this system; if you're interested in Apple Pay I urge you to click over and learn more.

Last up, iOS 8 will be available on September 17th for free. It'll run on the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2, the 5th generation iPod Touch, and of course all newer devices in each of those product lines.

Also as expected, Apple held off on talking about any new tablets. We've heard that there's a 12.9" iPad in the works but it isn't due until sometime in 2015, so we can expect another Apple event when they're ready to roll that system out.

If you're an Apple fan, what'd you think of yesterday's event? I know some of you aren't too excited about bigger iPhones. My one surprise was that the screen resolution on the Plus wasn't a bit higher. My 5.5" LG G3 has a 2560x1440 resolution, for example. I assumed Apple would want to be able to say they had the highest resolution 5.5" phone, but I guess that wasn't important to them.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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