My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - No Sapphire Screen but 128GB Storage and NFC-powered Apple Pay in Apple's Biggest iPhone Launch

Monday, September 22, 2014

Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - No Sapphire Screen but 128GB Storage and NFC-powered Apple Pay in Apple's Biggest iPhone Launch

Well I’ve finally gotten around to doing it today on this very bright Sunday September 21st 2014; a first in a Series of Articles on the Apple iPhone 6 et al.

The Apple iPhone 6 launch on Tuesday September 9th 2014 saw the launch of not just one but multiple products as stated in “Apple supersizes the iPhone 6, joins the big-screen era at last”, published September 9, 2014 10:17 AM PDT by Ian Sherr and Shara Tibken, CNET News and Apple Event September 9th 2014.

1.      4.7” Apple iPhone 6
2.      5.5” Apple iPhone 6 Plus
3.      Apple Pay
4.      Apple Watch
5.      Apple iOS 8

I decided to wait this long so as to allow a lot of the excitement over the usual long lines and the failure of the Online Pre-Order System to die down as it’s already big news here in Jamaica as noted in the article “Buyers bite big at larger Apple iPhones”, published Friday, September 12, 2014 2:22 PM, The Jamaica Observer. Thus the focus of this article is decidedly on the 4.7” Apple iPhone 6 and the 5.5” Apple iPhone 6 Plus, the stars of that show!

Except for the bigger 5.5” Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay, Apple Watch and Apple iOS 8 which were sorta expected by me. I’ll have to assess in another series of article on my personal blog as well as on the Geezam blog

Apple iPhone 6 is out – Where to get the iPhone in America as Apple Pre-Orders are a mess

This despite Apple taking the usual precautions to offline their Apple Store as stated in the article “Apple Store offline ahead of expected iPhone 6 Pre-Order Rush”, published September 11, 2014 9:37 PM PDT by Steven Musil, CNET News . But as you can see from the Video below, the only reliable way to buy an Apple iPhone is to Pre-Order at a store and stand in line. A very long line!

Right now, post Friday September 12th 2014 pre-Order Rush the only places you can get the Apple iPhone 6 or even the supersized Apple iPhone 6 Plus is at a physical Apple Store. You can also purchase one of the following places as stated in the article “When and where to buy the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus”, published  September 9, 2014 12:22 AM PDT by Dan Graziano, CNET News that have partnered with Apple to sell the iPhone 6:

1.      Best Buy
2.      RadioShack
3.      Sam's Club
4.      Staples
5.      Target
6.      Walmart

Most, like Staples and Target, offer some form of Trade in offer as noted in the article “Staples to offer iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus”, published September 18, 2014 7:41 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News and “Target joins the iPhone 6 fray with trade-in offer”, published September 10, 2014 6:03 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News

This is where you can get the Apple iPhone for a cheaper price if you trade in your old Apple iPhone 4 or Apple iPhone 4s. Far shorter lines and less of a headache than the Apple’s or the Carriers failed Pre-Order systems!

If you’re an American, you can also buy the Apple iPhone 6 on contract from your usual carriers:

1.      AT&T
2.      Sprint
3.      T-Mobile
4.      US Cellular
5.      Verizon Wireless

So what’s new with the Apple iPhone 6, aside from having a plus sized brother, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. And what’s this I hear about an Apple Watch that was launched?

First though, some sales and availability figures!

Apple iPhone 6 Launch – Biggest Apple iPhone Launch in Apple’s History

According to some reliable sources, Apple has asked Foxconn to ramp up production and crank out some 80 million Apple iPhone 6 Plus smartphones as stated in the article “Apple reportedly readying record production for iPhone 6”, published July 21, 2014 5:55 PM PDT by Steven Musil, CNET News.

That's 40% more than the total number of Apple iPhone 5S and 5C produces last year, setting the stage for the biggest sale of the Apple iPhone in Apple's 38 year history come December 2014.

This makes sense, as Foxconn has been replacing humans with Robots since July 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Foxconn installing Robots to meet coming Apple iPhone 6 demand - 100,000 new employees and Foxbots doing trance like Robotic dance” in a bid to keep pace with production for what will be expected to be huge sales! Even the CEO Tim Cook came out at the Palo Alto Store in California!

Already Apple has broken the records pre-orders in the first 24 hours as reported in “Apple Sells 4M iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Pre-Orders In Opening 24 Hours”, published September 15th 2014 by  Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch and “4 Million iPhone Pre-Orders The
First 24 Hours And A Lead-Time Update”, published 9/15/2014, by Chuck Jones, Forbes.

Then came the actual sales of Apple iPhones on Friday September 19th 2014 and over the weekend from Saturday September 20th 2014 to Sunday September 21st 2014! What a Sale it was! Here’s an unboxing to give you an idea of what to expect with the Apple iPhone 6 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus!

Weekend Sales for the weekend have been tallied and have topped 10 million as reported by Busineswire and quoted in the article “Apple sells 10M iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices in first weekend”, published September 22, 2014 5:33 AM PDT by Shara Tibken, CNET News, effectively beating those for the Apple iPhone 5S and Apple iPhone 5C which clocked in at 9 million in September 2013!

This despite the Pre-Order system not working as I’d pointed out earlier and reiterated in the article “iPhone 6 presales begin -- with US Apple Store caught napping”, published September 12, 2014 3:15 AM PDT by Shara Tibken, CNET News.

These numbers compare will when stacked against past figures, save for the iPhone 5C and 5S, figures for which Apple never gave out:

1.      600,000 for the iPhone 4 in June 2010
2.      1 million iPhone 4S phones in October 2011
3.      2 million iPhone 5 phones in September 2012
4.      4 million for the Apple iPhone 6

Good to note, however, that Apple went onto sell 9 million Apple iPhone 5S and 5C in September 2013 as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 5S and Apple iPhone 5C sold 9 million units over the Weekend - Apple beats Wall Street's Great Expectations for Christmas”.

So the figures for this weekend that started on Friday September 19th 2014 and extended through from Saturday September 20th 2014 to Sunday September 21st 2014 suggests that Apple may soon have some supply problems. At 10 million JUST for the weekend, demand for the Apple iPhone 6 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus will easily burn through that 80 million stock of Apple iPhones 6's Apple allegedly ordered!

So now that I’ve gotten the sales stuff out of the way, time for the specs!

Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus – Better Specs come with the Bigger phone

The 4.7” Apple iPhone 6 comes with the usual 4.7” IPS Backlit IPS LCD Screen Retina Display that I'd expected. It's got a resolution of 1,334x750-pixel resolution with a 326ppi (pixels per inch) density, making the Apple iPhone 6 fully 1080p capable. While the screen has gotten bigger, the dimensions are super slim, weighing in at 129 grams (4.55 ounces) and is 6.9mm (0.27”) thick.

This makes it rather lightweight and very handy to use with one hand to tap and access Apps on screen, as it maintain the same width as the Apple iPhone 5S. It feels the same, save for a few aesthetic changes such as the power/lock button being moved from the phone's top edge to its right spine.

The 5.5” Apple iPhone 6 is the same as the 4.7” Apple iPhone 6 save for the a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution at 401ppi and the physical dimensions of the phone. Other key differences will be highlighted along the way.

But basically they're the same save for the Apple iPhone 6 Plus going jumbo to catch up with the Phablet crowd as I’ve admitted based on the fact that three (3) analyst, including Kantar Worldpanel  ComTech are predicting the same thing as stated in my blog article entitled “Blackberry Passport to launch Wednesday September 24th 2014 - 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 6 Plus proves Phablets a Trend and Passport a success”.

What's a great display without a fast Processor? The Apple iPhone 6 is packing a 64-bit A8 Processor, which Apple claims results in a 25% faster CPU with 50% faster graphics. The M8 Co-Processor tricked out with some new abilities, such as a Barometer which enable it to determine elevation in tandem with the GPS.

The Touch ID fingerprint scanner is still there and is still covered with Sapphire Screen and useful for and identifying you to your Apple iPhone 6 to unlock and unlocking some Apps as explained in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone and the Sapphire plated Touch ID Fingerprint scanner - The Death of passwords and the birth of Biometrics”. Touch ID also complements the newly added NFC (Near Field Communications) Chip that’s now a part of the Apple iPhone.

This NFC Chip powers the Apple Pay Service, Apple’s answer to Google Wallet but with better industry support as proclaimed in the article “Hello , Apple Pay, good bye Credit Cards? All bets are off”, published September 11, 2014 9:17 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon , CNET News.

The Camera is the centerpiece of owning a Smartphone and the Apple's 8-megapixel iPhone 6 iSight camera on the rear of the Apple iPhone 6. Granted, it’s still 8 megapixels but as usual Apple has chosen to incrementally improve on the performance rather than go for a higher Megapixel density Sensor.

To this end the 8-megapixel iPhone 6 iSight camera, automatic HDR is now the standard. With the flash engaged, the camera shows improved Colour and saturation levels and digital image stabilization improves images when taking shots while moving, albeit the Apple iPhone 6 Plus offers optical image stabilization.

But the magic starts once you switch to Panorama mode. The new Sapphire Lens can capture up to 43 megapixels and the iSight camera now comes with an imaging processor that not only deals with noise better but also has face, blink and smile detection. Finally, Burst Mode with an auto-selection option to choose the best picture has finally landed on the Apple iPhone 6.

Video has finally improved, now with 1080p HD Video at frame speeds of either 30 or 60fps. Slow-motion is in HD at 120 or 240fps and HDR along with continuous auto-focus is automatic in both modes. The 1.2 Megapixel Front Facing Camera is now much improved for Facetime Video Calling and the improvements seem to herald a push towards this being the norm. Again HDR is a default option but the resolution is still at 720p HD, which I hope will improve in the next iteration of the Apple iPhone.

Finally, when it comes to the Internet, the Apple iPhone 6 has got you covered 4G LTE with 150MBps theoretical Download speeds. No battery specs, but it might be the same 2000mAh Battery sans wireless Charging, which Apple hasn't embraced as yet. Still, you get 10 hours over 3G and 4G LTE and 11 hours on Wi-Fi and Video.

With those faster internal comes Wi-Fi Video Calling and VoLTE (Voice over LTE) effectively HD Audio in a phone call, something that's incredible to use as it's like the persons is right beside you as explained in “6 reasons why you'll eventually want voice over LTE”, published August 30, 2014 4:00 AM PDT by  Marguerite Reardon, CNET News

Finally, what an Apple iPhone without the aesthetics that we're come to love. The three (3) colours form the Apple iPhone 5S are back:

1.      Gold
2.      Silver
3.      Space Gray

So why is there no Sapphire Screen? Also, what's the Pricing like in the US of A and Internationally?

Apple iPhone 6 – No Sapphire screen but supersized 128GB and NFC-powered Apple Pay

First thing first, for those of you who read my prediction as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 6 Official Invite sets Tuesday September 9th 2014 - Expect a Gold Standard 128GB Sapphire Screen with iWatch and NFC Mobile Money and BitCoin Wallet”, the Apple iPhone 6 doesn’t have a Sapphire screen as I’d expected.

The reasons are quite simple really; Sapphire Screens, though unscratchable, are still hard to make is mass number in time for a successful launch as stated in the article “WHY THE IPHONE 6 DOESN’T HAVE A SAPPHIRE GLASS SCREEN”, September 14, 2014 By Jason Hahn, DigitalTrends. Not only that on testing failed the required drop test i.e. they shattered when dropped based on the word of IDC analyst Danielle Levitas, who stated that Sapphire Screens tested consistently failed drop tests.  

After all, the US$400 Kyocera Brigadier  for Verizon Wireless has a Sapphire Screen as predicted in my blog article entitled “US$400 Kyocera Brigadier – Verizon's Waterproof, Drop-Proof Unscratchable Unbreakable Sapphire Screen for the Great Outdoors”, the basis of my making the claim that the Apple iPhone 6 would be sporting one as well.

Still, the option to pay for things like tickets and Dinners using the super-secure Apple Pay, which works with NFC as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 6 Official Invite sets Tuesday September 9th 2014 - Expect a Gold Standard 128GB Sapphire Screen with iWatch and NFC Mobile Money and BitCoin Wallet” makes up for the missing Sapphire screen nicely. 

This is a NFC (Near Field Communication) platform that’s part authenticated via the fingerprint-based Touch ID that allows access to your Credit Card information stored in a special hardware storage area on the Apple iPhone as explained in the article “Get to know Apple Pay ,the successor to your Wallet” , published September 9, 2014 5:44 PM PDT by Sharon Profis, CNET News.

Still no word about BitCoin Support from Apple or Bitcoin wallets! But Apple Pay on the Apple iPhone as well as the Apple Watch is a push into making it a mainstream way for paying for things as noted in the article “Apple takes NFC Mainstream on iPhone 6: Apple Watch with Apple Pay”, published September 9, 2014 11:02 AM PDT, by Marguerite Reardon and Shara Tibken, CNET News, something Google Wallet has failed to achieve..

So too does the option to have memory sizes in the 128GB Range on the Apple iPhone 6. Ok fine, so what are my options for the Apple iPhone 6 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and where do I get one?

Apple iPhone 6 Countries and Options –Not yet in Jamaica but I’ll be asking questions

The Apple iPhone comes in the following options and Prices as shown in the Table below:

If you are a Jamaican and you have relatives abroad who want to purchase the Apple iPhone 6 or Apple iPhone 6 Plus unlocked, this is now allowed since President Barack Obama signed the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” (S.517) on Friday August 1st 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act makes Cellphone Unlocking Legal again - President Barack Obama upholds DMCA”.

Apple iPhone has now gone on sale simultaneously around the World on Friday September 12th 2014 in the following Developed countries as noted in Apple iPhone 6 goes on sale around the world, published September 19, 2014 6:30 AM PDT by CNET Staff, CNET News: 

1.      U.S
2.      Australia
3.      Canada
4.      France
5.      Germany
6.      Hong Kong
7.      Japan,
8.      Puerto Rico
9.      Singapore
10.  United Kingdom

By Friday September 26th 2014, it'll be on sale in the following 20 Developed and Developing World countries:

1.      Austria
2.      Belgium
3.      Denmark
4.      Finland
5.      Ireland
6.      Isle of Man
7.      Italy
8.      Liechtenstein
9.      Luxembourg
10.  Netherlands
11.  New Zealand
12.  Norway
13.  Portugal
14.  Qatar
15.  Russia
16.  Saudi Arabia
17.  Spain
18.  Sweden
19.  Switzerland
20.  Taiwan
21.  Turkey
22.  United Arab Emirates

Not yet on sale in Jamaican and neither have I heard any news of when Telecom Provider LIME plans to start selling the Apple iPhone 6. I’ll be going to Carlton Crescent Headquarters during the week to ask them questions about the Apple iPhone 6 and when it’ll be coming to Jamaica.

Until then Ciao! I’ll be doing a separate article on the Apple Watch at a later date, as I have to see how well it does first!

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