It feels like we’ve been waiting for the debut of Apple’s iPhone 6 since the launch of the iPhone 5s last year, probably because we knew what was coming. Although the “S” generations of iPhones are technically new on the inside every year, the real interest sparks when both the inside and the outside change, which is just what the new Apple iPhone 6 - both of them - brought to the table this year.
As predicted, there were two versions of the iPhone 6 unveiled to us this year: the iPhone 6 (4.7-inch display), and the iPhone 6 Plus (5.5-inch display). This isn’t the first time that Apple released two versions of the iPhone at one time, since last year we not only got the iPhone 5s, but also the more colorful and “cheaper” iPhone 5c. This year, the design differences were less about color and price and more about size. The long-time debate of Apple’s iPhone being too small in this phablet-obsessed generation is no longer an issue.
Larger displays aren’t the only changes made to the iPhone; the design has changed a bit as well. Still recognizable as an “iPhone” with its slab design and single, round physical button, the phone is much thinner and the edges have rounded out. The back is made of aluminum, and the glass is “ion strengthened” (but no mention of the highly rumored sapphire display). The change in design is there on the new iPhone 6 devices, but there’s really not that much to talk about when it comes to what changes were made. Said changes are very minimal on paper.
On the more technical side of things, the iPhone 6 made about as many changes as you might expect a new iPhone to make: Retina HD display, new A8 processor (which supposedly makes the iPhone 6 25% faster than anything using the old A7 processor), and a battery that offers 14 hours of talk time (a 40% increase over the iPhone 5s) but only an hour more of web browsing and video playback over the iPhone 5s, which isn’t much. The iPhone 6 also features an 8-megapixel camera with larger sensors (which is what the HTC One played up, so we’ll see just how much of an improvement it makes soon enough) and comes in 16, 64, and 128GB of internal storage. The iPhone 6, as usual, will start selling for $199 for the 16GB version, and increases in $100 increments depending on the amount of memory needed.
Also, it just wouldn’t be an iPhone 6 post if I didn’t mention Apple’s strenuous attempts at getting its potential customers to fall in love with its new Pay mobile payments services. This seems to be what Apple wants the iPhone 6 to truly bring forth out of its release - the rise of mobile payments.
By and large, I find myself intrigued at the iPhone 6’s design and size increase, but feel that the phone offers little else in terms of being able to “wow” it’s customers. That’s not to say that the iPhone 6 is a bad or unworthy device, but part of what made Apple’s mobile devices so exciting in the past was its ability to innovate. This year, even with this being a fresh new number, we get a bigger, flatter device (seen it), faster processor, slightly better battery life, the same amount of megapixels that has been seen in the past three iPhone generations, and iOS 8, which introduces a lot of features that are new to the iPhone, but already exist elsewhere. Again, very little “wow” factor here.
I’m also pretty disappointed that the 32GB option is mysteriously removed from available internal storage choices, but 16GB remains. It would have made more sense to drop 16GB and moved forward with 32, 64, and 128GB offerings.
I think for now, I’m going to have to chalk up the lack of innovation to being part of Apple’s “charm” these days, which is putting it nicely. Perhaps, like BlackBerry, Apple has already had its heyday and it’s now in a "resting" period. I wouldn’t quite say that Apple is retired from making innovative products, because every company is able to bounce back sooner or later if it has the means to. I do like the iPhone 6 - it’s a nice, solid device. However, I feel that anybody looking to pick up an iPhone 6 should prepare themselves to pick up just that. It’s still the same iPhone, just larger and with a different design. Oh, and you can pay for stuff with it, too.
Images via Apple