iPhone 6 and 6 plus: Apple goes thinner, bigger and faster
Apple has announced two new, larger iPhones as it aims to meet consumer demand for larger “phablet” smartphones.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus have bigger screens, fingerprint sensors and mobile wallet services for allowing smartphones to be used like contactless debit and credit cards.
The new devices are the largest iPhones with new “Retina HD” screens covered in ion-strengthen – no mention of Sapphire crystal as rumoured before the launch.
The iPhone 6 has a 4.7in screen – compared with the current 4in screen of the iPhone 5S – while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in screen.
The phones are also thinner – 6.9mm for the iPhone 6 and 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 Plus – with all-metal backs and glass that curves around the edges of the phone, marking the biggest design changes since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010, reminiscent of the original iPhone, which was introduced in 2007.
The power buttons have moved from the top of the smartphone to the side, similar to most Android and Windows Phone smartphones with larger screens, making it easier to turn on and off with one hand.
Phablets and big-screened phones
Apple hopes the new iPhones will allow it to continue dominating the smartphone market, which has recently seen a trend for larger smartphones with screen sizes in excess of 5in becoming standard from manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and HTC.
The iPhone 6 Plus is aimed at the phablet category – a halfway house between a smartphone and a tablet – made popular by Samsung’s Galaxy Note series of smartphones.
It allows users to run software in a landscape orientation, similar to Apple’s iPad tablet computers, for greater productivity, while a double tap on the home button moves apps and content to the lower half of the screen for easy one-handed use.
Both iPhones will be powered a new A8 processor that is 25% faster than the previous iPhone and 50% more power efficient for increased battery life.
Apple expects the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to outlast the iPhone 5S by at least an hour while browsing on Wi-Fi for example. Both new iPhones will also be able to make calls over Wi-Fi, if used on EE’s mobile phone network in the UK.
Apple has also improved the camera, fitting the new iPhones with an eight-megapixel camera using focusing technology often found in dSLR cameras, for fast and accurate photos. The iPhone 6 Plus also has optical stabilisation for removing camera shake, especially in low light situations.
The new camera can also shoot video at 240 frames per second to create super slow motion videos, double the rate of the current iPhone 5S.
Both the iPhones will be available in three colours gold, silver and space grey, with three storage variants – 16, 64 and 128GB – starting at $199 and $299 respectively on two-year mobile phone contracts in the US.
Pre-orders will be available online on 12 September to ship on the 19 September.