Apple has taken its first step into wearable technology with a smart watch as well as two new iPhones and a mobile payments system. Some have lauded it as the technology announcement of the year, others are more circumspect. Here’s a wrap on how it’s all been received.
This is the first new product Apple has released since the iPad in 2010.
The Apple Watch will cost US$349 and is available “early next year.” The watch includes cool things like the fully digital display, different strap options and the clean, sleek design we have come to expect.
However, you will need at least an iPhone 5 to use it, and (not surprisingly) only iOS phones are compatible. It’s also only for right-handers at the moment.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said it’s the most personal device the company has ever created.
Commentators are saying this:
Bill Bennett reckons Apple’s smartwatch is going to leave the competition for dead.
“Sure some of the (non-Apple) phones will be nice. Some will be innovative. A few will even be plausible choices. There will be good ideas among them. Few will be unusable or ridiculous.
“Yet none of them will grab as much attention as Apple’s next move. That would be every bit as true if Apple drops a clunker.”
Yahoo! Tech reporter David Pogue tweeted: “I can't type fast enough to show all the stuff they're showing. But this is by FAR the richest, deepest, most elaborate smartwatch OS ever.”
CNET editor Tim Stevens: “No mention of Apple Watch battery life. Cook mentioned it's easy to charge at night. That implies charging EVERY night -- hopefully no more."
Molly Wood, New York Times: “(Tim Cook) says developers will add “things we can’t even imagine yet.” This means that Apple is betting that developers will create the so-called killer app for a smartwatch, while Apple will provide the interface and usability. It seems like a smart strategy — don’t answer the question of “why” you want the device, just make people want it.”
Mashable have a great rundown of all the watch's features.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
Tech entrepreneur Chris Dixon tweeted: “I'd rather have the phone be thicker with more battery life.”
The Spokesman Review was not overly impressed: “The iPhone 6 looks cool, with its rounded glass. The 6+ is big, approaching Phablet territory. Meh.”
CNET ran a poll for readers asking what they thought the best feature. At time of writing, ‘None. I’m not interested’ was out in front, followed by ‘Bigger 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus’.
For those not sure what the big changes are, Mashable have an excellent table to show the difference between the flagship phones to help you decide.
Apple Pay will allow NFC payments from the iPhone 6 to selected retailers. It uses touch ID for security, and stores all of your payment information and store credit cards in Passbook.
Apple says that the banks included in Apple Pay make up 83 percent of all credit card purchases in the U.S., and it will be accepted by more than 220,000 retailers.
Apple Pay works with credit and debit cards issued through American Express, MasterCard and Visa, along with a long list of American banks that includes Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo.
Apple Pay will be available for use in all 258 of Apple’s U.S. retail stores and will also be supported by such retailers as Bloomingdale’s, Disney, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.
Reaction is mixed.
Yahoo! Tech reporter David Pogue Tweeted: “If anyone has a chance to make wireless payments a Thing, it's Apple. It's persuading stores AND online companies to accept ApplePay.”
Molly Wood from the New York Times summed up the announcement with: “What remains unknown, though, is whether these new devices, especially the watch, and the payment service will take off among consumers. No company has yet had a big hit with a smartwatch, and company after company has stumbled with mobile payments.”
What do you think?
We’re you impressed? Underwhelmed? Somewhere in between? Tell us in the comments below.