WASHINGTON - From the introduction of two new phones, a new payment system and a much-rumored wearable device, Apple’s eagerly anticipated product launch Tuesday did not disappoint its fans. Some say the introduction of faster, larger display iPhones will make the company more competitive with the slew of larger smartphones that have flooded the market. While it’s still too early to say whether the new iPhones will attract new customers, some say the Apple Watch - the first new product developed and introduced under Apple CEO Tim Cook’s reign - could signal a new chapter in Apple’s history.
Apple’s electronic ecosystem just got larger with the official launch of two new phones.
The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch-display, while the larger iPhone 6 plus has a 5.5-inch display. The phones also have faster processors and longer battery life than previous models. Tech blogger Dan Ackerman said the updated phones may finally reverse the exodus of consumers who have switched from Apple.
“I think there’s a lot of people that got big-screen envy and switched away from Apple towards Android phones with those 5-inch screens, which are really amazing for reading books and looking at your calendar and web-reading. If Apple can get into that category I think there’s a lot of people waiting to switch back,” said Ackerman.
But perhaps not for everyone is Apple’s new mobile payment system. With the iPhone 6’s NFC or Near Field Communication chip, iPhone users will be able to make secure payments at hundreds of stores by simply waving their phones. But recent surveys suggest the majority of Americans are still wary of using cell phones to make purchases.
“There are going to be concerns about security and I do think that people will be a little bit leery of using these mobile payments just because with anything new people tend to tread lightly,” said CreditCards.com analyst Matt Schultz on Skype.
But some say if any company can turn mobile phones into wallets, Apple and its large user base is best positioned to do it. Global marketing guru Erich Joachimsthaler said for Apple, the rewards are huge.
“Number one, there is the convenience of course from the consumer perspective, but most importantly it’s changing the revenue model for Apple. Apple has a chance now to actually make money - transaction by transaction on a payment transaction and that’s a huge potential for Apple,” said Joachimsthaler.
The other potential moneymaker was the official launch of the Apple Watch -- the company's first foray into the electronic wearable marketplace. Industry experts say the smartwatch and its seamless integration with the iPhone could be a game changer for Apple, but Schultz warns that whether the new products can establish Tim Cook as the rightful heir to Apple founder Steve Jobs remains to be seen.
“His performance only matters so much. What's going to really matter is how well these new products do," said Schultz.
Apple's Smart Watch goes on sale early next year with a starting price of $349. Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 start September 12, but there's no word yet on when the larger iPhone 6 Plus will go on sale.