**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of hottest selling smartphones to see how Apple’s iPhone fared against the competition.**
Two sure signs of fall: pumpkin spice everything and Apple unveiling its newest iPhone models.
This year’s unveiling event — marred by a live stream that failed to do so — featured a quartet of new products: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and Apple Watch.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both expected to go on sale Sept. 19, feature 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays, respectively. The iPhone 6 display has a 1334 x 750 resolution, providing 38 percent more viewing area than the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 1920 x 1080 resolution for 88 percent more viewing area and nearly triple the pixels of the iPhone 5s. Both iPhones feature a unibody enclosure of anodized aluminum and are engineered to be the thinnest ever, making them still comfortable to hold and easy to use, despite the larger displays.
Apple is somewhat late to the phablet party with its iPhone 6 Plus. The market for large-screen mobile devices is currently dominated by Samsung.
Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus include the Apple-designed A8 chip with second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, advanced iSight and FaceTime HD cameras; ultrafast wireless technologies and iOS 8, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, featuring new Messages and Photos features, a QuickType keyboard, a new Health app, Family Sharing and iCloud Drive.
Apple said that iOS 8 will be available starting Wednesday, Sept. 17, to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users as a free software update.
Both iPhones also support Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment system. While Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks — American Express, MasterCard and Visa — issued by the most popular banks, actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, unique Device Account Numbers, a new NFC antenna design, Touch ID, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element and dynamic security codes are utilized to keep transactions secure and protect account information.
iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 64GB model and $399 for a new 128GB model with a two-year contract.
iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available for a suggested retail price of $299 for the 16GB model, $399 for the 64GB model and $499 for the new 128GB model with a two-year contract. Both models will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
And beginning in early 2015, fans of all things Apple will be able to add the new Apple Watch to their collection of devices. Joining manufacturers such as Pebble, Samsung, Sony and Motorola in the smartwatch marketplace, Apple’s new watch is “a revolutionary product that can enrich people’s lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made.”
Available in three collections — Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition — and available with a wide selection of straps and face designs, the watch is an extremely accurate timepiece with an iOS-based user interface that can do such things as send and receive messages, answer calls to the user’s iPhone, utilize a variety of health and fitness apps including the Activity app and Workout app, pay for coffee using Apple Pay, board a plane with a Passbook boarding, control the user’s Apple TV and get directions.
With prices starting at $349, Apple Watch is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8.