Apple unveiled the worst kept secrets in the technology industry — larger iPhones and a smartwatch — Tuesday with much fanfare. But once the buzz of the launches die down, how the products will impact businesses and consumers’ lives could start to inform Hollywood how it should embrace the devices.
The iPhone 6’s expected success can’t be ignored with analysts predicting 75 million of the handsets to be sold by the end of the year.
The biggest feature on the new iPhones — Apple’s biggest moneymaker since 2007 — are larger screens.
The iPhone 6 will feature a 4.7 inch screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a 5.5 inch display and supports full 1080p HD video.
That’s good news for content owners that sell movies and TV shows through iTunes, producers of web series and short videos that play on YouTube, and streaming video services like Netflix. But more on screen real estate also will benefit app and gamemakers.
The larger size provides apps with more pixels up from 640 by 1136 screen resolution to 750 by 1334 and 1080 by 1920 for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
IPhone owners have long wanted a larger screen as Apple’s rivals like Samsung, HTC and LG tout their far larger Android-powered screens.
The iPhone 6 Plus gets Apple into the phablet game — a category that combines a smartphone and small tablet computer — but the company still lags in size behind Samsung, whose new Galaxy Note 4 features a 5.7 inch display. Its Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone has a 5.1 inch screen.
Still the new screen sizes are significantly larger than the original iPhone, which measured 3.5 inches in 2007, which didn’t change until the iPhone 5’s 4 inch display.
And as more people turn to mobile devices to access entertainment, bigger is considered better for device manufacturers looking to satisfy the demands of today’s consumer.
While it marks Apple’s first serious foray into the wearable tech market, the small display on the Apple Watch will provide access to apps. Owners will need an iPhone to operate the smartwatch, turning the device into a second screen platform for a mobile phone.
Further benefitting app designers and streaming services is Apple’s new A8 processor, which will enable the iPhone to handle more tasks and advanced graphics, especially through its Metal app and game engine.
The chip speeds up computing tasks by 25% and improves graphics speeds by 50%, the company said. It’s also 50% more power efficient.
An additional M8 motion co-processor monitors motion data from the phone’s accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.
An Improved Camera
A new lens that replaces the current iPhone camera vastly improves image quality, especially for photos taken in low light. Updated technology essentially improves the speed of the auto focus function, making it twice as fast as other iPhones.
That’s good news for marketers who increasingly rely on people to promote their projects and products through selfies or other shots that proliferate across social media platforms. Fewer blurry shots, means better images for promoters (see below).
But for filmmakers, a new slow motion feature added to the camera enables videos to be taken at 240 frames per second and slowed down, providing more flexibility when making videos. Further enhancements include optical image stabilization, further improving image quality.
The Apple Watch does not include a camera but will be able to display photos on its screen.
The launch of Apple Pay will enable consumers to make purchases with their iPhones simply by waving them across a sensor. Credit card information stored in iTunes accounts will be used to make the sales using secured codes, not credit card numbers, helping protect the data from hackers.
While such near-field communication technology already has been available on other smartphones running on Google’s Android software, it hasn’t caught on just yet with retailers or consumers. Apple Pay will also be available on the Apple Watch.
But with Apple signing on a number of major retail and restaurant partners from Macy’s and Whole Foods to McDonald’s and Panera, the iPhone and Apple Watch could alter how people shop.
And that could prove beneficial for theater owners and ticket sellers looking to make it easier to fill seats or home entertainment divisions eager to get more Blu-rays and DVDs into consumers’ hands, not to mention the studio consumer products groups who want to sell more movie-related merchandise.
The iPhone 6 will start at $199 with 16 GB of storage, with the most expensive model costing $399 for 128 GB.
Meanwhile the iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16 GB and goes up to $499 for 128 GB.
The Apple Watch will be available for purchase in early 2015.