At a press conference in San Francisco yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced not one, not two, but three new Apple products to be released over the next year, calling it “the next chapter in Apple’s story”. In addition to two new iPhones (the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the larger 5.5-inch iPhone Plus ‘phablet’), the Californian technology company have also introduced the Apple Watch, described as “the most personal device we’ve ever created”.
The Apple Watch has been described as a “game changer”, a first generation product with the potential of its revolutionary Apple ancestors, such as the original iPod, iPhone and iPad. There have been questions raised regarding the battery life – just as there have been with previous Apple products – but the potential is there.
The watch will be linked up to an iPhone, allowing users to take calls and send messages on the watch, as well as having apps of its own (P.S. it also tells the time!). The problem with such devices in the past has been a lack of aesthetic desirability, with products prioritising spec resulting in clunky and unattractive wrist watches. Not the Apple Watch. Famed for their sleek products, Apple have not failed to deliver in this respect, creating a smooth finish to the product.
The news of the release and the excitement it has caused will come as a relief to Apple who have come under criticism for the lack of originality and innovation in their last couple of releases, notably the iPhone 5 and 5c. Tim Cook did not show any nerves, however, strolling on stage in San Francisco with the now customary Apple ‘uniform’ of jeans and shirt, coined by his predecessor Steve Jobs.
As well as the Apple Watch, the iPhone Plus will also hope to offer customers something new. The phablet market, for devices that sit between a phone and tablet in terms of size (between 5 and 7 inches) has been growing rapidly, an area in which Apple has fallen behind its competitors HTC and the best-selling Samsung Galaxy. The popularity of the phablet, especially in the Asian market (where shipments of phablets have eclipsed both their smaller and larger contemporaries) underlines the demand for an all-in-one device in emerging markets.
The iPhone Plus will be available to buy from next Friday in the UK from £619, whilst the iPhones themselves will start from £539. Price-wise, the biggest surprise was the Apple Watch, which will be available from £216 when it is released next year, making it one of Apple’s cheapest products.