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Why the iPhone 6 will be a game changer September 7, 2014

Posted by ronannarbor in Gizmos.
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iphone6-sizes-800x636

So, this week Apple will announce their new iPhone 6 and iOS 8 software. They’ll also announce an iWatch, and maybe some other odds and ends — but the world’s focus is on the new iPhone 6 — and anticipation is so great that Apple has ordered over 70 million units for shipment this fall (the biggest ever) and FedEx has cancelled other deliveries from China to focus on Apple for the next couple of months (the biggest launch in history).

Its the perfect storm for Apple, and will be a Samsung killer in the United States. There will always be Android fan boys, and Apple fan boys, and very rarely do the two meet. But the statistics don’t lie:

-The large majority of iPhone owners are due an upgrade, and they will…

-The vast majority of iPhone users who switched to Android phones did so for the larger screen, and in poll after poll indicate they will come back to Apple and abandon their Androids once they have larger screens available…

-Apple finally has found a way to capture the over-40 market — with its vision friendly larger screens, you can bet those Android phones will stagnate on the shelf at phone stores…just anecdotally, I haven’t heard a single college kid in Ann Arbor complain that the iPhone 5 is too small…while almost every single one of my over-40 (and many of us over-50) folks have complained about the small size for years. Internationally, 51% of the asian market is anticipating buying the larger 5.5″ screen, while abut 37% of the US market is leaning toward the larger of the two screens.

-iOS 8 will finally incorporate all those things that Samsung has had bragging rights to — widgets, etc — and will do them better, faster, and more reliably…

Current scuttlebutt has it that the iPhone 6 4.7 inch will be released on or about the 19th of September, while the iPhone 6  5.5 inch (plus) model will release a while down the road (though there is some indication it might also release on the 19th in limited quanitites). Expect the vast majority of under-40’s to upgrade to the iPhone 4.7 while the vast majority of over-40’s change to the iPhone 5.5.  Its a sheer vision thing.

Speaking of the Vision Thing…there is another game changer afoot — expect iPad sales to stagnate, especially for the iPad Mini, as the 5.5″ iPhone screen arrives — finally a size comfortable enough to read a book, watch a video comfortably, look at photos at almost real-size (for those of us who grew up with 4×6 photos as “real size”), and enough real estate to take notes reasonably — I expect iPad sales will decrease exponentially as users realize that they no longer need them. But if you are going to cut into the market, you might as well make it your own.

Finally — the other complaint I’ve heard about the larger size is that “they don’t fit in a pocket” — well they sure do — at least for the vast majority of users who don’t wear skinny jeans. The iPhone 5.5 will be small enough to fit easily into a purse or men’s pants pocket. For all intents and purposes, I’ve been carrying around all my phones since the old mid-naughts HTC Tilts and Blackberries in my cargo pants pocket, and its never been an issue. In fact, Blackberries were always larger than their iPhone equivalents.

Apple knows that it currently holds all the cards in its hands. This weeks remarkably clumsy Samsung announcement for a variety of new phones and circumspect tech gear proved that much.  How many people actually remember what they announced last week, and when its being released?…(the Note 4, a new watch, and some odd virtual reality helmet)…but there won’t be a single person in America, and most of the world for that matter, who won’t know what Apple announces this Tuesday afternoon — and much of that will covert to real sales a week later.

Personally, having become acclimated to the Samsung Galaxy 4 and now the Galaxy 5 with its 5.1 inch screen, (and falling firmly into that target market of Apple’s who switched to Android to get the larger screen for our aging eyes), I will be up at the crack of 2 or 3 am whatever morning they announce online sales will begin for the iPhone 5.5″ — and I know many others will be doing the same thing — I can’t imagine switching back to a tinier screen, but I can’t wait to get rid of my quirky and unreliable Samsung phone.

For the record, plenty of websites have already shown size comparisons…the iPhone 4.7″ is marginally larger than the current 4″ iPhone 5/5S, but only marginally so…including its larger bezel and frame it will be about the size of the current Galaxy S5 but with a smaller screen…the iPhone 5.5″ model will be about the size of the current Galaxy Note 3 (though thinner and taller).

No matter what people’s personal thoughts are on the affair, Apple will have the happiest Christmas of any corporation in America, and Samsung will find that despite some of its advances over the past couple years, they are again looking up at Apple as its sales set records internationally.

 

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The iPhone 6 — what we know so far…(Updated 7/22/14) July 21, 2014

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple.
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Not long ago, I converted the entire office to Macs, iPhones, and iPads…our therapists use them, and so do all of our clients. Personally, I also use a Galaxy S5 (upgraded from an S4) as well as my iPhone 5S. I’ve used every version of the iPhone since the original.

Apple is looking at a new iPhone release this September (it will be released on or about Friday Sept 19th and officially announced at the beginning of September) but trying to keep things secret at Apple just isn’t possible anymore, and there has been more information about the iPhone 6 than any previous release that is being consistently reported with photos included.

What do we know so far?

First, if you like the current size of the iPhone 5S, then hold onto it, because its changing form factor with larger screens. There will be a 4.7 inch version, and a 5.5 inch version. There is some concern that the supply for the 5.5 version might be very limited and won’t be released until later in the year, or even early 2015.

The form factor, while generally similar to the current iPhone, will be larger, and the phone will be thinner. Here’s a comparison of the sizes, with the iPhone 5S in front, the 4.7 in the middle, and the 5.5 at the back…

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Size comparison wise — the 4.7 is larger than the current iPhone 5s (4″) but not by much — its actually surprisingly NOT that much larger. Its nearest competitor (the Samsung Galaxy 5S) has a larger 5.1 inch screen. The 5.5 inch screen is larger than the current Galaxy Note 3 – a very large phone. This size is referred to as a “phablet” as it is larger than a phone really should be. The Apple 5.5 phone will be taller than the Note 3 – mostly because of its large bezel (the area that is not the screen but contains the touch ID button, the front facing camera, etc) at the top and bottom of the phone.

The back of the phone will look something like this (note that this is not a finished product, but a leaked image from today at uswitch.com) —

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The Apple logo is cut out plastic, like on the back of the current iPads and on the lids of Apple laptops — the exact reason is unclear but speculation has it that it might finally allow radio signals for NFC for Apple’s tap-as-you-go payment system. Nothing about this is certain. Others believe it is merely ornamental. The phone will also have more rounded edges.

We also know the phone will be faster than the 5s.  It will have an all-new iOS 8. It will have widgets (finally!!) but they will be locked onto the notification panel. They will also finally allow you to swap out different software keyboards — I assure you, once you download Swype, you’ll be embarrassed that Apple didn’t allow this before now. But for all intents and purposes, it will remain locked down by Apple except for the few things they are willing to allow developers access to (none of Apples internal workings).  It will continue to allow only single apps on the home screens with folders. Those weather apps and note apps you envy on your friend’s Androids will remain there.

What are my general thoughts and recommendations?

First and foremost — if you are currently in the market for a new smartphone WAIT…you’ll want to check out the new iPhone 6’s before you make a decision now you might regret.  If you want to get some idea of the sizes, for the 4.7 inch model, think about an additional quarter inch of width and about half inch of height addition to your current iPhone 4, 5 or 5S. If you want some idea of the size of the 5.5 inch version, go to your local phone store and check out the Samsung Note 3, and see its size. You might like that big size, or you might find it ridiculous.

Second — lets assume you are looking at the iPhone 6 4.7 inch version:

It will feel larger, and for those of us over 40 the screen size will be significantly more comfortable to read. It will NOT be as clear or as large as the current Galaxy S5. If the largest, clearest screen size is your primary concern you will not get it in the 4.7″ model — though you might with the 5.5 if you are into very large phablet phones.

It will feel significantly thinner and rounder — but is your current iPhone that large? Its a matter of degree, and newer is always better with Apple, but don’t expect big styling changes.

It will feel a bit faster for those who play graphically technical games — the rest of us will feel absolutely no difference in processor speed for our texting and facebook tasks. Screen resolution wise, those of us over 40 and/or those of us who wear eyeglasses will see zero difference is screen resolution. Reports from those 25 and under is that there is noticeable improvement. I do not see a difference between any screen I have looked at in the past 10 years.

It might or might not have NFC, so we’ll have to wait until early September to learn if you can use your phone to check out at store terminals, or change the channels on your tv and dvr box.

The 4.7 inch screen will be manageable with one hand — the 5.5 will not be manageable with one hand. Steve Jobs would likely throw a fit if he saw it.

Which phone will most people buy?

Get in line now for the iPhone 6 4.7″ model — its expected to have seismic sales — not only is it a larger screen which people want these days, but it coincides with the end of a massive two-year contract commitment for many users — and ATT, for one, has announced that it will allow early upgrades for anyone with more than 6 months no matter their contract commitment. I suspect the other major carriers will follow suit.

How big is this launch going to be? — well, the WSJ reported today that Apple has placed an order for 80 MILLION units of the iPhone 6. That’s the biggest launch of any version of the iPhone up to now.

From personal experience, your best bet if you want it the first day is to get up at one a.m. (or whatever time they announce) and ORDER IT ONLINE at apple.com — it will arrive the same day it is released, or even a day earlier, and you won’t be standing in those ridiculous lines. Apple now allows you to have it delivered to the Apple Store of your choice – so you can order online, go back to bed, and pick it up on release day at the Apple Store with a few-minute wait rather than that two hour line…Just like other releases, DO NOT go to a phone carrier store– they will get a dozen or so phones at their shops and THAT IS ALL, and there will be a hundred or more people getting in line for those 12 phones. Order directly from Apple or line up at the Apple store starting no later than 5 am on release day.

I’ll update as more is learned.