New iPhone Release: Features & Prices

September 10, 2014 Timothy Mobile Apps

apple-iphone-6-fingerprintThe big news this week is the release of the new iPhone 6 on Friday, September 19th. Already people are camping out in lines to possess this status symbol.

So, how about you and I? Should we line up also?

 

Features

Barometer. The feature most taked about in social media circles is the inclusion of a barometer. While new to iPhones, digital barometers have been included in various mobile devices for several years now. Weather nerds are all excited that millions of barometers will soon be deployed across America, enabling better predictions of weather. One individual even suggested NOAA drop the new iPhone 6 into hurricanes instead of more expensive sonobuoys.

The truth is Apple included a barometer not for weather, but for fitness. The new iPhone 6 is capable of distinguishing between running and bicycling. With the barometer, it can better measures altitude and elevation than by the previous gyroscope and accelerometer common to most mobile devices. So, while there will be new weather apps in iTunes, watch for even more fitness applications.

Near Field Communication (NFC). One of Apple’s long term strategies is to replace your wallet with an iPhone. Commerce and mobile payments were highlighted in Apple’s announcement. With Walmart replacing their registers with NFC enabled point-of-sale systems, the inclusion of NFC in the new iPhone 6 allows you to touch your phone and transfer payments automatically. NFC is also being incorporated in movie and theater posters as well. Hang on to your wallets for a little while longer though. Until someone figures out digital ID, you’ll need a wallet for your driver’s license and other ID cards.

Touch ID. Speaking of IDs, a new feature of the iPhone 6 is biometric fingerprint unlocking. Can’t remember your PIN? No, problem! Roll your finger across the iPhone 6 screen and unlock your device. I’m sure this went well in testing, but it will be interesting to see the experience of millions of iPhone users. Hopefully, the worst case is frustrated users and not a gruesome science fiction crime plot.

Gigabit WiFi. The new iPhone 6 sports the new 802.11ac WiFi standard known as gigabit WiFi. Unfortunately, you will never connect at gigabit speeds as a single device, like the iPhone 6 tops out at about 330 megabits per second. Don’t misunderstand, that still very fast and faster than most existing devices. Want to backup a large file, go fot it! Where 802.11ac will make a difference is in workplaces. Need to stream video or other information to a group, gigabit WiFi is a solution. Need to coordinate assemblers on a manufacturing production line? Give everyone an iPhone 6 and install 802.11ac access points. For the average iPhone 6 users, your experience won’t likely be different as most of the WiFi access points are older 802.11n devices. Watch for StarBucks or McDonalds to announce the availability of 802.11ac at some future date. Meanwhile, make peace with existing 802.11n services.

Prices

Oh, you’re headed for the local Apple store and want to know how much you’re going to pay? With a two year contract, you’ll find the iPhone 6 retailing for about $199. You’ll pay about $299 for the iPhone 6 Plus, its bigger, wider brother. That’s still less than than an iPad or iPad mini. What experienced technologists are watching is for the iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales. Its not a matter of if, but how much>

Sources:
Apple – iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Guts: A Screaming Processor and a Better Camera Than Ever
Gigabit Wi-Fi: 802.11ac is here: Five things you need to know

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About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.

hardware, iPhone, mobile technology,

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