Apple today issued media invitations to the previously rumored September 9 event where the company is expected to show off not only the iPhone 6 but also its first wearable device, popularly referred to as the iWatch. The invitations carry the tagline "Wish we could say more."
Rumours are abuzz with news about Apple's 9 September Media Event. The event hasn't been confirmed by Apple but they should send out invitations to media on 2 September where we might get some clues about what will happen during the media event. Here is an update on the rumours about what Apple will be revealing at the Media Event on the 9 September.
There is no doubt that Apple will unveil two models of iPhone 6, a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch model. We are still unsure when the 5.5 inch model will be available . The 4.7 inch is likely to go on sale on the 19 September in the US, UK, Australia and some other countries. It is expected to get to South Africa in November.
We have already seen mock up of the iPhone 6 and most likely won't be surprised at the physical look of the iPhone 6. Apple are most likely to reveal some new software advancements in iOS 8 that they haven't already revealed.
Recent rumours suggest that Apple might include NFC into the iPhone 6 and reveal their mobile payment solution. There is very little information about the inclusion of NFC but it has been rumoured for a number of years.
A recent rumour that started with Re/code, who have a perfect track record, suggest that Apple will unveil their long awaited iWatch however it won't be available until next year.
According to Re/code, the device will "make good use" of both HealthKit and HomeKit, two sets of APIs that were introduced during WWDC. HealthKit, which ties into Apple's iOS 8 Health app, focuses on health and fitness, while HomeKit is a home automation platform designed to allow users to control a variety connected devices.
Countdown to iPhone Event
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With the iPhone 6 launch less than a month away, we've been seeing new images of leaked parts on a near daily basis. Multiple images of both the front panel and the rear shell of the 4.7-inch device have surfaced, but for the first time, the two parts have been photographed together, giving us our clearest look yet at Apple's upcoming iPhone 6.
It's important to note that Feld and Volk's images still depict unfinished iPhone 6 parts that are in rough condition, and Apple's completed device will undoubtedly look even more polished.
Previously we have predicted that Apple will announce the iPhone 6 on the 9 September and it will go on sale on the 19 September in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
Re/code, who has a perfect track record when it comes to Apple rumours, has confirmed these dates. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have also confirmed that dates.
Apple's iPhone 6 launch event will see the debut of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which is expected to include a thinner, lighter chassis with an iPod-touch style design along with an A8 processor and an improved camera. The event may also see the introduction of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, which is said to be experiencing production issues and may ship to customers somewhat later than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, in late 2014 or early 2015.
In the past the iPhone has taken some time to get to South Africa. Last year was the earliest we have received the iPhone with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c going on sale on the 15 November. We don't expect the iPhone 6 to reach South Africa before this date.
We predict that the iPhone 6 will be available in South Africa on the 15 November 2014.
The Countdown has begun.
We don't know much of anything about Apple's upcoming smartwatch, or even if such a thing exists. But as hype, rumors, and expectations reach the pre-release fever pitch we've come to associate with a new Apple product, it seems all but certain that Tim Cook will take the stage this fall to announce what Apple hopes is its next world-changing device.
It's a long time coming. "I think the wrist is interesting," Tim Cook said at the D Conference in 2011. "I'm wearing [a Nike Fuelband] on my wrist. It's somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here, you first have to convince people it's so incredible that they want to wear it."
Apple's obviously not the only company trying to make an incredible product — from Samsung and Google to Pebble and CooKoo, many others are in the wristwear business. If Apple's going to do right what all others have done wrong, it needs to quickly learn a number of important lessons. It needs the iWatch to do, and be, a few things like no other smartwatch.
Seven things, to be exact.
It has to be a watch. First, tell the time. That's the ballgame. It's why the Pebble Steel, despite its remarkable lack of functionality, is the best smartwatch currently on the market. If Apple's going to build a device that's for more than just nerds, that gains acceptance not just among the Casio calculator crowd, it's going to have to build a device that is first and foremost a watch.
That doesn't necessarily mean looking like a normal wristwatch, though that's certainly my own preference. It simply means telling the time, easily and quickly. It means working outdoors, and handling a splash of water without a problem. It means looking far simpler than it is. It means evoking class, not computer. People went crazy for the Moto 360, which has exactly no unique software, simply because it's just a beautiful watch. Apple no doubt has the design chops to build a gorgeous watch; if that's the starting point and not an afterthough, the iWatch will win from the first moment anyone sees it.
My iWatch should be MY iWatch. As time goes on, Android Wear's inability to let developers build custom watch faces frustrates me more and more. Apple should take note: any watch made mostly from a screen ought to be infinitely customizable. If I can't choose my own watch face or download one from the App Store, Apple blew it.
Personalization is about more than just software, too. Apple needs to conform to standards: include swappable watch bands or get out. It probably needs to offer the iWatch in more than one size as well. There's huge variety in the wristwatch industry: big, small, round, square, leather, metal, analog, digital. These are deeply personal, fashion-first devices, and Apple needs to treat them as such. I'm okay with my phone looking like everyone else's, but my watch is an entirely other matter. Whether it releases cases and skins, or just works with more than one manufacturer or more than one color, the key to the iWatch is going to be choices.
It has to be part of a bigger connected picture. Apple's always been uniquely good at building devices that work well on their own and better together, and the iWatch needs to be the best example yet.
No, Apple's not going to make an iWatch that plays nicely with your Android phone or your Windows PC. That's fine. What it needs to do is build a device that is powerful and useful in its own right, and becomes even more so when it's paired with other Apple devices.
The iWatch needs to be a key part of a powerful fitness ecosystem, using Apple's Health platform to integrate data like steps and heart rate into your other measurements. It should be the hub of your smart home, allowing you to turn off your lights or change the temperature without needing to pull your phone out. Maybe without even being connected to your phone in the first place. It should be able to control your music and your Apple TV; it should be able to pay for things and unlock your laptop. (Oh, and it needs to be able to grow into doing all that without becoming a user interface nightmare.)
I should be able to use Evernote for taking notes, Lyft for calling cars, Spotify for music, Google for maps, and anything else I choose. A watch is personal; it's not good enough if it doesn't work the way I do.
It needs a killer app — and a lot of other ones. The iWatch won't be the same thing to all people. Medical professionals are already thinking about ways to use smartwatches, while frequent travelers or gamers might want something else entirely. Personally, I want an easy way to see and act on notifications, quick search and note-taking tools, and easy ways to check in on Foursquare or tweet about the weird dude in front of me on the train who wishes he could live at the bottom of the ocean. Just as the iPhone's popularity only truly bloomed when the App Store launched, the iWatch needs to be as versatile as it is powerful.
But at first, the iWatch also needs a single primary raison d'être, a reason for being in the first place. Maybe it's about health, offering step counting and sleep tracking to fitness-conscious consumers. Maybe it's about payment, or home security, or notifications. The iWatch needs a single revolutionary story Apple can tell about what it is, why the world needs smartwatches — and why they need this one. No other manufacturer has figured out how to sell their smartwatches, how to convince users they need one. Apple needs to get it right.
It should do things for me, and make it easy for me to do things too. Siri has slowly but surely evolved into a reliable, useful tool: it finds the sports scores I was asking for, knows when Jaws was released, and always sets my alarm for the right time. Whether I'm opening apps, making phone calls, or just turning on Airplane Mode, I've come to rely mostly on Siri. That's great, and with iOS 8, with its snippets of relevant information in Spotlight search results, the iWatch will be a great tool for quick research.
But it's not enough, not for the iWatch. Siri still defaults too quickly to just searching the web, a habit it needs to break before it's going to be useful on a watch. (Searching the web on a watch is terrible.) And the best thing about Android Wear is Google Now's ambient awareness, its ability to figure out what I need to see and show it to me right away. Siri doesn't currently offer much of that, but it's going to need to for the iWatch to win.
The iWatch needs to be quick and simple, made for twitchy interactions with emails and data — you shouldn't need to look at the watch unless there's something waiting for you. And when you're looking at the watch, it should never say "look at your phone." Ever.
Apple can't win without good battery life. There's only one spec that can singlehandedly prevent the iWatch (or any smartwatch) from ever being mainstream: battery life. A device that lasts a day or less is going to be forgotten on the bedside table one morning, the habit lost, the device returned.
For it to be successful, Apple needs to turn the iWatch into something you can't live without, into a constant and natural companion. It can't do that if the watch is dead, or forgotten at home in your charger. The iWatch doesn't need to last weeks or months, but if it can't go a few days between charges it's going to have a hard time catching with any but the most forgiving users.
Most of the time, the iWatch should do nothing. It should sit forgotten on your wrist, alerting you only when there's something worth paying attention to. And that won't be every notification, every alert, every message. The iWatch needs tools to be finely tuned, and needs to be smart enough to tune itself to show me only what I need to see right now.
Mostly it needs to just look good, and tell me the time. Everything else should be, and feel, secondary.
There's no secret about why there hasn't been a great smartwatch yet: building one is hard work. Building something people will wear on their wrist requires a balance of form and function, power and simplicity, innovation and timelessness that is perhaps more difficult to achieve than any other product ever made. (That's even more true with our faces, which most manufacturers won't even attempt.)
The iWatch will be Apple's first attempt, and it won't be perfect. But if it can take meaningful steps in the right direction, begin to solve key problems, and answer the questions about what a smartwatch is for in the first place, the iWatch might be huge. It's going to sell well regardless; there's plenty of evidence for that. But by doing seven big things right, Apple could quickly prove that it has yet another world-changing innovation on its hands. And next to ours.
Apple today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac was priced at $1299
The new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac comes with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, a 500GB hard drive, 8GB of memory, and an Intel HD 5000 Graphics chip.
The New iMac is available immediately in the US. The New iMac should be available in South Africa within the next two weeks.