Critical Section


Apple Day

Tuesday,  09/09/14  09:33 PM

Apple Day!  Yay, we the consumers of the world get ... new iPhone 6s!  Bigger and better (in fact, "bigger than bigger").  And we also get Apple Pay - wow, most interesting - and the much-rumored Apple Watch.  Well in the latter case we don't get it yet; Apple decided to announce this device family six months ahead of its launch date, presumably to enable third-party developers to create applications ahead of its initial launch.

So, what do I think?

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 PlusThe new phones are very nice ... I will most likely get an iPhone 6, not an iPhone 6 Plus, because I'm not a big fan of big phones.  Other than the size the other improvements seem rather incremental.  The shape is maybe a little nicer (with rounded edges), and faster is always better.  And better battery life!  That is truly better.

The camera improvements seem nice; it's so interesting that the most important hardware in a new phone is the camera, isn't it?  And having a barometer so the phone becomes a better motion tracker ... great.

I wish the new phones didn't have to come with IOS 8 ... still don't like the "new" look and feel of IOS 7 ... I was hoping Apple would backtrack a bit.  But no.


 

Apple PayApple Pay seems like a most interesting service, and will perhaps end up being the most significant announcement of the day, long term.

Interestingly Apple are purely a wallet, they are not involved in executing or settling transactions at all.  They make money by selling devices, and get a piece of the action on the back-end from banks, who should see savings from lowered fraud and repudiation risk due to Apple's TouchId.

The combination of Apple and Google should be enough to tip NFC as the mechanism of choice to replace credit cards and magnetic stripe readers.  So be it.


Apple WatchAnd the Apple Watch, hmmm...  not sure what to think, yet.  Unlike others I'm not blown away by the appearance; it's attractive and I guess the square face is functional, but it is no competition at all for my Hublot or Cartier as wrist jewelry. 

I'm intrigued by the fact that Apple have announced it six months before it's available, and also by the availability of three editions times three colors times six band colors times three band styles.  Perhaps the customizability is good - maybe everyone doesn't want to wear the same watch - but perhaps it shows they don't know what everyone wants, and will let the market figure it out.

I guess I won't really know what to think until I get a chance to wear one.  My Pebble Steel was an experiment, and while at first it seemed like a gimmick, I actually do like being able to read messages and alerts on my wrist without pulling out my phone.  Two key selling points for the Pebble are simplicity and battery life, and it seems Apple have sacrificed both in order to invent a new platform.  We'll see.


Finally, a comment about the "event".  When Apple announces new products they always make waves, and they did a great job of preparation and polish, but ... well this event just didn't have much charm.

I watched the whole thing, and while it was tight and well scripted, it wasn't entertaining.  So be it.

We get a spiffy new phone, a new payment mechanism, and a new wearable computer.  Not bad for Apple Day :)


 

Steve Jobs announces the iWatch[Update]  A perfect overview of the event: Steve Jobs unveils the iWatch.  Be sure to click through to this article for the full analysis.  It nails what was missing.

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