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iPhone 6: Back to the Future

In its  6th avatar, the  iPhone plays catch-up with features familiar to Android users, for years,  including large screens --  and  adds one  compelling  app of its own: Apple-pay.An IndiaTechOnline special
Bangalore, September 15 2014:  For hardcore iPhone users in America,  queuing up all night at outlets which  release every  new version of the phone, in small  driblets, is some sort of  ritual. TV loves it. Apple ain't complaining. And  large slabs of the Indian media  which recycle US-origin reports,  uncritically import this hysteria, without  asking what, if anything, this annual hype means for  the ordinary consumer in this country. In what follows, we have tried to   winnow away the chaff of Apple  fable from the facts as they  make sense to a prospective phone buyer in India.
For starters, the specs:  a 64-bit processor with a motion co processor;  an 8 megapixel  camera with full HD video recording and a 1.2 MP front  facing camera with 720 p recording; a fingerprint ID sensor; a wide array of WiFi   wireless bands; Near Field Communication or NFC sensors, a choice of 16, 64 or 128 GB of on-board memory... these  are features common to both models  unveiled last week:  The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch retinal display; the 6 Plus has  one of the largest screens in the market ( The LG G3 has the same size) -- 5.5 inch -- another half inch and it's a phablet. 
These numbers are not very different from a host of  smart phones on offer today. As the iPhone 6 Plus touts full HD recording  phones like the  Samsung Galaxy S5 and  Sony Xperia Z2 have gone UHD or 4K.  Battery life is critical to   app-heavy smart phones, yet Apple doesn't  specify the battery  rating  and doesn't offer wireless charging which is becoming common. Nor does it specify how much on-board RAM it has:   enough presumably.
But then Apple was  always as much about aesthetics as about specs. We are told that the new phones are a seamless blend of metal and glass with more rounded edges. It reminds me of the Ambassador Car 20 years ago, which  brazenly  renamed Mark 3 as Mark 4 after changing the shape of the bumper.
The  Apple Watch launched at the same time  will work with  the earlier iPhone5 as well: but it still belongs to an earlier  generation of smart watch which can't work on its own and doesn't  include a SIM. Health monitoring apps are not exactly breaking news.
While all this may sound as if  iPhone 6 and the watch are a  case of Back to the Future via other phones' past, we  must salute one   innovation  that the phone has blazed --  more secure online payments. The Apple Pay app that comes with the phone is fuelled by a special chip  that adds an extra layer of security -- and coupled with NFC, it  lets you 'tap-n-pay'  where ever the technology allows, without having to use your card.  This is great news except that  just 5 banks in the US have signed up to work with the phone. That feature is unlikely to  make much difference when the phones are available in India on  October 17. But in the long run it will jog the  phone and payment industries into   new era of safer mobile  payments. I cannot help  noticing that in the US, Apple will make a little money on every transaction done on an iPhone using Apple Pay.  Just think,  buyers in India are probably going to pay anything from Rs 55,000 to Rs 90,00 for these new iPhones -- and then if Apple Pay comes here, they will continue paying Apple  for the life of the phone. It's all about money, honey! - Anand Parthasarathy /IndiaTechOnline
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The lighter side  of the iPhone 6 & Apple Watch launch....

 It's all in fun, but a few days after the launch of iPhone6,  David Letterman in his popular Late Night Show in the US featured a hilarious  mock TV ad for the Apple Watch.  "David Letterman's Exclusive look at the Apple Watch" at You Tube is carried for a few days in our Tech Video spot, on the home page.
And Huffington Pos  links to a  graphic headed "Dear iPhone6 users: welcome to 2012",  prepared by a writer clearly underwhelmed by the specs of the new phone, and comparing it to a 2-year old Android phone.
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