For the first time in nearly a year, Apple has unveiled a flurry of new devices and services. Here is a rundown of the key takeaways from Apple's big event:
THE iPHONE 6 AND iPHONE 6 PLUS: The first new handsets from Apple since September 2013. The defining new feature for both compared to previous iPhones is the larger screen size. The iPhone 6 carries a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus brings Apple into the phablet category with a 5.5-inch screen. Apple is looking to mimic the success of Samsung's large-screened Galaxy S line and phablets from other Asian vendors. Both models also include a new A8 chip that will bring processing speeds up 25%, and 50% for graphics. Both models have significantly improved battery life over the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available September 19 in the U.S. and eight other markets, including Canada and Australia. Apple
- iPHONE PRICING: The entry-level iPhone 6 will retail for $199 on a two-year contract, and 6 Plus will start at $299 on a two-year contract (the entry level models come with 16 GB of onboard storage). For the middle price-point of $100 more on each phone, Apple will quadruple the storage to 64 gigabytes. This amounts to a new pricing tier for the company. Previous iPhone models added just 16 extra gigabytes, or 32GB of total storage, for $100 more.
- NEW LTE FEATURES: Apple will also be working with carriers to bring better connectivity to the iPhone 6 models, including faster Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. In particular, Apple will introduce voice-over LTE calls (many carriers route data through LTE, but not voice calls). So far, VoLTE will be available on T-Mobile in U.S. and EE in U.K., and will expand to 20 carriers globally.
- BIIWHY THE iPHONE 6 WILL BE HUGE FOR APPLE: With the iPhone 5S in 2013, Apple launched the equivalent of an update to the previous year's iPhone 5. Many iPhone users felt less inclined to upgrade, and the sales mix continued to be [...]