Apple announces new phone, tablet at event

By SARI AMIEL and CATIE PAUL

Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus on Sept. 9, and both are set to go on sale on Sept. 25.

These new models, which will come in a new rose-gold color, will also include a number of novel features as well as several improvements to existing features including the camera and Siri.

One new technology called “Force Touch” enables the iPhone to detect differences in pressure when users click on it. This will allow users to generate an app’s menus simply by pressing on the icon of the app — the harder this app is pressed, the more menu options will appear on the screen. If a user applies enough pressure to the app, it will open fully.

Huwai, another smartphone company, recently announced that it would be implementing this Force Touch feature on its new phones. While this move left some analysts wondering whether Huwai beat Apple to the announcement of this feature, Huwai is not projected to sell nearly as many phones as Apple, so app developers will likely focus on creating apps that use Force Touch and are compatible with iPhones rather than Androids.

“Live Photo,” which attributes video-like motion to a photo after it has been taken, is another anticipated new feature that both iPhones will offer. Similarly, the new iPhone’s wallpaper will be animated rather than two dimensional.

Additionally this year’s iPhones, which are made of 7000 Series aluminum, are supposed to be more durable than those released in the past.

There are mixed opinions regarding the novelty of the new iPhones’ features, with some analysts claiming they are not significant improvements over last year’s new iPhones. Nevertheless, given that new models of iPhones have traditionally sold in larger numbers than did previous models, analysts predict that both new phones will generate a large volume of sales. The 6s is projected to cost $199, with the 6s Plus selling at $299.

Apple made the iPhones available for pre-order on Sept. 12, and announced on Sept. 14 that sales were on pace to beat their first-weekend sales record.

ROMAZUR/CC-BY-SA-4.0

ROMAZUR/CC-BY-SA-4.0

“We are on pace to beat last year’s 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller said in a statement.

“As many customers noticed, the online demand for the iPhone 6 Plus has been exceptionally strong and exceeded our own forecasts for the pre-order period,” Miller said.

In addition to talking about iPhones, the announcement also covered an addition to the Apple Watch collection. Apple will be collaborating with Hermes, a French manufacturer of luxury fashion, to create an Apple Watch that will have a hand-stitched leather band and a different watch face. This collection will be available in October.

For those who aren’t interested in Hermes, the Apple Watch will be released in new colors, including gold and rose gold, and new band colors. The Apple Watch is staying at the same price, $349.

A new software system, Watch OS 2, is being released to go with the new hardware. Apple originally announced that it would be released on Sept. 16.

On the same day however, it announced that Watch OS 2 would not be released due to a recently discovered bug. A spokesperson stated that the glitch would be fixed shortly, but an exact timeline has not been given.

Another new iPad is also being launched. The iPad Pro will have a slightly larger screen than usual at 12.9 inches. It contains a new chip that will make it run 1.8 times faster than the last generation of iPads, Apple claims. It weighs roughly 1.5 pounds and has 10 hours of battery life.

The audience appeared the most surprised when Apple’s Senior VP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller introduced Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division at the event. Microsoft has developed Office software that runs on the iPad Pro.

Schiller spent much of his presentation talking about the iPad Pro’s performance compared to desktop computers. Tech analysts have stated that in order to market the iPad as comparable to a computer in terms of productivity, the tablet will need to be able to run Microsoft Office. Despite their collaboration on the iPad, Microsoft shows no sign of giving up on its Surface tablets, which are generally considered a direct competitor to the iPad.

“iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing: a simple multi-touch piece of glass that instantly transforms into virtually anything you want it to be,” Tim Cook said while introducing the iPad Pro.

Apple is releasing new accessories to go with the iPad: a smart keyboard that will connect to the tablet magnetically and a stylus called the Apple Pencil.

Earlier in the year Apple announced that they would be releasing a new operating system, iOS 9. As of Sept. 16, iOS 9 is available for upgrades. The upgrade is only 1.4 GB, a big decrease from the 4.6 GB update that people had to download last year. The iOS 9 contains several new features including a Low Power Mode that will conserve users’ batteries.

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