Tags: apple | iphone 6 | apple watch | apple pay | tim cook

Apple Unveils iPhone 6, Smartwatch, Digital Credit Card System

Image: Apple Unveils iPhone 6, Smartwatch, Digital Credit Card System
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. (Stephen Lam/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 08:58 AM

Apple unveiled two new iPhones, the Apple Watch, and a fingerprint-based payment system, Apple Pay, in a slew of announcements on Tuesday that has pleased both the tech and financial sectors, as well as secured Steve Jobs' successor, CEO Tim Cook, as the rightful heir to the Apple throne.

Across the news spectrum, headlines from The New York Times — "Apple, Under Tim Cook, Is Back and Better Than Ever"— to The Wall Street Journal — "Apple's Tim Cook Makes Boldest Bets Yet" — proclaimed Tuesday's event a big win for the world's most valuable company. 

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Debates about which announcement was the most earth-shaking seemed to settle on Apple Pay, which aims to shrink bulky wallets across the world by replacing plastic credit cards with digital cards.

After negotiating individual deals with major banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, Apple has arranged for customers to upload their credit and debit cards to the Pay app by simply taking a picture of the card with their new iPhone 6.

The new smartphone is equipped with a near-filed communication (NFC) chip, which transfers payment information to credit card terminals at tens of thousands of retailers around the country — including Starbucks, Walgreens, Macy's, McDonald's, and Target. The payments are secured not with a signature, but instead use the iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint scanner to complete the transaction.

According to a report from Bloomberg News, the new mobile payment system could be a new, major revenue stream for Apple, as it will receive a cut of transaction fees from the banks. "That gives the tech company a share of the more than $40 billion that banks generate annually from so-called swipe fees," the publication wrote.

After Apple Pay, fans were most excited about the new Apple Watch — starting at $349 — which hosts mini-versions of the iPhone's apps, and gathers health information about its wearer with a number of unique biometric sensors. The Apple Watch is expected to go on sale in "early" 2015, according to the company.

Some skeptics noted that the smartwatch category has failed to break through to mainstream consumers, and weren't certain Apple could change that trend.

"It looks beautiful, but does it provide enough utility that users will want to buy it and charge it every night?" asked one analyst who attended the event, Ben Schachter of Macquarie.

Last and predictably least were two new iPhones: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Unlike the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S — all of which have a 4-inch screens — the new 6 will sport a 4.7-inch screen, and the new 6 Plus boasts a 5.5-inch screen.

Each features marginal improvements over the last iPhone models, with a thinner, rounder body, and improved internal hardware. Both will be available to consumers next week.

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Apple unveiled two new iPhones, the Apple Watch, and a fingerprint-based payment system, Apple Pay, in a slew of announcements on Tuesday that has pleased both the tech and financial sectors, as well as secured Steve Jobs' successor, CEO Tim Cook, as the rightful heir to the Apple throne.
apple, iphone 6, apple watch, apple pay, tim cook
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2014-58-10
Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 08:58 AM
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