Edward Swift: iPhone 6 a good device, but Apple still playing catch up

Publish Date
Friday, 12 September 2014, 12:00AM
Apple CEO Tim Cook with the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch (Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook with the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch (Getty Images)

By Edward Swift


In a nutshell, that’s my view of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus announcement. Sure, it’s a step up from the iPhone 5S, and yes it is a bit better than what Android competitors have to offer. But no doubt someone will come along in a couple of months with something better, and the iPhone will no longer be the dominant handset.

Now before you accuse me of being an Android fanboy, I can verify I’m not. I have an iPhone 4S myself, accessories for Africa, far too many apps, and I’m sure my friends can attest to the fact that I spend far too much time on my phone even though I can be useless at calling or txting people back.  

As I posted yesterday, Apple really needed to do something revolutionary here and they didn’t. They’ve upgraded the camera slightly – they haven’t increased the megapixels of the camera but they’ve added ‘Focus Pixels’ meaning the camera will auto-focus more quickly. As well as that, they added slo-mo video, increased the screen resolution, and obviously made the handset bigger. They improved the WiFi capability, upgraded the processor and motion coprocessor, added NFC and offer it in a 128GB size.

VIDEO: Apple's keynote speech in 90 seconds 

The major change that I like is the battery life. The iPhone 5C would last up to 10 hours while talking on the phone, up to 8 and 10 hours using the internet on mobile data and WiFi respectively, and up to 10 days just sitting there on standby. The iPhone 6 has stepped that up to 14 hours of talk time and 10-11 hours of using the internet. The iPhone 6 Plus goes even further with 16 days standby time, 24 hours talk time and 12 hours of internet use.

The two sizes are obviously a big factor. One is slightly smaller than its main Android competitor (the Samsung Galaxy S5), and the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly bigger, making it pretty much a ‘phablet’.

It’s certainly a step up, but I don’t think it will be enough to turn Apple’s declining smartphone market share around. In a matter of months, someone else will come out with a device that will trump what was announced this morning. In fact looking at what’s already out there, most other devices already have better specs than the new iPhone range.

Looking at the watch, it’s fantastic that Apple has finally brought some competition to the wearables market. It looks like a fantastic device, especially for consumers that already have an iPhone. It also is great (and perhaps a bit gimmicky) that they’ve signed on with a US hotel chain to allow people to unlock their rooms using the watch and also find their BMW with it. Also interesting to note it's not an iWatch but an Apple Watch. Perhaps this is the start of the iCompany moving away from the iBrand.

But it does seem like it’s too little too late. It’s due out early next year, and by then plenty of the other tech companies will have had a massive headstart in the market. Not only that, Apple were very vague on details about the watch. We don’t know the dimensions, the storage or the battery life.

Overall this morning’s announcement was underwhelming. They really needed to step up and come out with something outstanding. Maybe I’ll warm to it when I eventually get my hands on one to test out, but looking at it from a distance it appears they’re still playing catch up.

What do you think about Apple's announcement today? Leave a comment below...

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