Apple have confirmed what we pretty much expected at its press conference earlier this morning – that there will be an iPhone 6, and that there will be two screen sizes. The iPhone 6 will now feature a bigger 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display and could potentially be a competitor to the Galaxy Note.
Promoted as the thinnest and lightest iPhone yet, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus only measures 6.9mm and 7.1mm thin respectively. Apple says that they have “scrutinised every element and material” on the design of both phones. Both phones feature an anodised aluminium enclosure with no edges, gaps or seams – something that harks back to the new iPad designs introduced last year. The front also features a curved glass front, and both phones will feature the Retina HD display.
Because of the larger screens, the iPhone 6 has had to make some adjustments to ensure everything was still in reach – something that was a big selling point in the previous models (and explained why the iPhone 5 was taller with the 4-inch display). The buttons have been redesigned and integrated with the phone’s thinner profile, and the power button has been moved.
In terms of hardware, the iPhone 6 features the 64-bit A8 chip with Apple claiming that its graphics and CPU performance are much faster than the A7 chip (up to 84x and 50x respectively). It has been designed for power-efficiency, meaning that you can play your favourite graphic-intensive games or video for longer. Apple notes that you can watch HD video for up to 11 hours on the iPhone 6, and up to 14 hours on the iPhone 6 Plus.
It has also updated the M8 co-processor, an updated version of the M7 that debuted at the 5S. The co-processor continuously measures motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass – and is largely used for the health tracking applications. New additions include a barometer that senses air pressure, and a barometer that can tell if you are hiking up a mountain or cycling.
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will support the new 802.11AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE standard. It will also support the new LTE Advanced standard, bringing speeds up to 150Mbps. Touch ID continues in this iteration with no major changes to the hardware.
Like every iPhone iteration, there is a particular focus on the camera. The iSight camera still retains the 8-megapixel rear camera, opting not to increase the number like other manufacturers (it’s not all about the megapixels, I should add). The sensor and lens, however, have been upgraded to include larger pixels and an increased aperture of f/2.2. The larger pixels, as HTC has said for its Ultrapixel camera on the HTC One, allows it to capture more light. The iPhone 6 Plus also introduces optical image stabilisation while the iPhone 6 only features digital image stabilisation.
Video has been improved, with both now can record in 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second, and 240 frames per second using the “Slow Motion” feature.
Apple has also finally introduced NFC to the iPhone 6 – something that its rivals have included for many years. However, NFC will only be limited to its new Apple Pay contactless payment system. It has the support of American Express, MasterCard and Visa; and all of the major US banks. Users only have to take a picture of their card through their iSight camera, and Touch ID is used to authenticate each payment. Apple Pay is only launching at the US only next month, but Apple has confirmed that it is making it worldware in the “near future”.
It will come in three colours like the iPhone 5S – gold, silver and space gray. The iPhone 6’s pricing starts at $869 for the 16GB model, $999 for the 64GB model, and $1129 for the 128GB model. The iPhone 6 Plus’ pricing starts at $999 for the 16GB model, $1129 for the 64GB model, and $1249 for the 128GB model.
As such, the previous models get a reduced price The iPhone 5C, which will now only come with 8GB, is now $529. The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, will be priced at $749 for the 16GB variant and $799 for the 32GB model.
Preorders begin on September 12, while the phones will be released on September 19 in Australia, the United States, and seven other countries.