Everything We Learned From Apple Inc.'s September 9 Event
The long-awaited smartwatch is still a few months away from release, but Apple jumped the gun and unveiled the device anyway.
Like most Apple products, the Apple Watch will come in three formats: Watch (the standard model), Watch Sport (for the health-conscious wearer) and Watch Edition (a prestigious model with fancy bands and an 18-karat gold body). The device will also be available in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm.
While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will ship without sapphire displays, the Apple Watch will feature sapphire crystals in two of its models (Watch and Watch Edition). The Sport model will come with strengthened Ion-X glass instead.
"I've been a very big skeptic, and Tim Cook has transformed [Apple]," Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told Benzinga. "In three years he has delivered something that would have made Steve Jobs extremely delighted. Tim Cook delivered that completely with no input from Steve Jobs. That is incredible."
The watch's most striking feature is the Digital Crown (a fancy name for a tiny dial), which allows users to zoom, scroll and select without covering the screen. On its website, Apple claims that the Digital Crown is "as integral to Apple Watch as the Click Wheel is to iPod."
Apple's lengthy presentation seemed to impress most analysts, but not everyone plans to buy the company's first wearable device when it's released in 2015. Apple has not announced the full pricing structure, but the cheapest unit will sell for $349.
Featuring a new Retina HD display, A8 and M8 processors, new 8MP iSight camera, 1080p video recording (at 30 or 60 frames per second) and a plethora of tweaks, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus lived up to expectations.
"[The new iPhones] were pretty much as expected," FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi told Benzinga.
Due for release on Friday, September 19, the iPhone 6 (which features a 4.7-inch display and 14 hours of 3G talk time) starts at $199 with a two-year contract:
- 16GB ($199 with a contract / $649 without)
- 64GB ($299 with a contract / $749 without)
- 128GB ($399 with a contract / $849 without)
The iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display, 24 hours of 3G talk time and starts at $299:
- 16GB ($299 with a contract / $749 without)
- 64GB ($399 with a contract / $849 without)
- 128GB ($499 with a contract / $949 without)
Both devices will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 12.
Before September 9, most of the iPhone 6 rumors involved the device's size, display and processing power. Now that the product has been revealed, the media has turned its attention to the handset's coolest new feature: Apple Pay.
Apple Pay will be built into all iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch units. The company added a new "Secure Element" chip that will encrypt and store unique Device Account Numbers that prevent consumers from having to use their actual credit and debit card numbers.
These and other features convinced TechStrat Report author Sean Udall that Apple Pay is the "the second most important thing" to come from the event.
Numerous merchants -- including OpenTable, Starbucks, Uber, Panera, Macy's, Toys 'R' Us, Target, Groupon, Whole Foods, McDonald's, Walgreens, Subway, Disney and Staples -- will support Apple Pay this year. Other supporters are expected to be announced in the near future.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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