Where is the "new" 4" iPhone?

Tech experts are saying that the new Apple iPhones are too big for most women to hold, which is why Apple calls that model, The Conan
— Conan O'Brien (Comedian)

Apple introduced two new iPhone 6 models that measure 4.7" and 5.5" diagonally. This compares to the last year models of the iPhone 5S and 5C (and 5 of two years before) that measure 4" diagonally and before that iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G and the original iPhone all measuring 3.5" diagonally. When Apple migrated from the 3.5" to 4" screens a couple of years back, though there were lot of people cracking "wise" jokes (like this one), no one complained, at least not at that time. Of course with more and more Android phone makers trying anything and everything in the world after initially copying the original idea from Apple, larger screen smartphones began getting traction, mainly in Asia for seemingly one particular reason, that is the need for ONE mobile device, one that fits in between a traditional "small screen" smartphone and a tablet. So though Samsung can tout all it can, that it invented the bigger screen smartphone, there is no credence there, as usual similar to anything that, that unscrupulous company does. But the bigger picture here is that Apple realized that a big area of potential growth for the iPhone is in the bigger screen smartphone market, as Apple does and will not enter the other potential area for growth for the iPhone, that is the "cheaper" smartphone market. 

Where is the "new" 4" iPhone? (Source: Apple.com)

Where is the "new" 4" iPhone? (Source: Apple.com)

So after rumors of bigger screen iPhones for months, we finally have a bigger iPhone, the iPhone 6 and a humungous iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus. The initial reviews for both these smartphones are nothing short of stellar and that was expected. So the iPhone lineup as it stands now is the lowest cost iPhone 5C (the plastic version of the iPhone 5), the last year model of iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. So similar to how Apple kind of forced on its customers the 4" iPhone 5, by not introducing a "newer" 3.5" iPhone 4S successor at that time, this time also, Apple is forcing on its customers who want the latest designed iPhone to choose between a 4.7" or a 5.5" iPhone or sacrifice the "latest" designed iPhone for a smaller screen by going to the iPhone 5S or the 5C (you also don't get features like Apple Pay that need NFC hardware built it, but the Apple Watch can substitute Apple Pay for older iPhone users). There was no significant uproar at the iPhone 5 introduction, as, though it was the first iPhone to measure 4" diagonally, it was also truly a great iPhone, with excellent design and according to me, a perfect balance between readability and one handed use. 

The more pressing question for me is whether the iPhone 6, at 4.7 inches, is too big to serve as the standard-sized iPhone. “Too big” mainly pertains to two separate issues: one-handed usage and pocketability.
— John Gruber

Fast forward to 2014 and Apple does the same thing with iPhone 6, there seems to be some indication of displeasure at not being able to get a "reasonable" sized "new" iPhone, here and there on the Internet. While this is truly premature to say anything definite on if the iPhone 6 is too big for if not the majority of the consumers, at least for a significant portion of the market (like for example women), should Apple have retained the 4" screen size and introduced an iPhone 6 Minus (for the lack of a better word and for clarity)? Knowing Apple, introducing two new iPhone models is itself a big deal as it never wants to complicate its product line, for the fear of sacrificing focus and quality over quantity. But say if it repainted the exact same design of the iPhone 6 and made it in a 4" iPhone body, wouldn't that have been ideal? Apple could have even replaced the iPhone 5S's slot with that and pushed the iPhone 5S either completely out of the lineup or replaced a lower memory capacity iPhone 5S with the iPhone 5C. 

For a variety of reasons, from the camera to the app ecosystem to the hardware itself, the iPhone 6 is one of the best smartphones on the market. Maybe even the best.
— The Verge

This might seem like wishful thinking but believe me, there is some merit to this argument. While I will definitely wait till I get to see the new iPhone 6 models, before I pass any sort of judgements here, I am certain that this idea (of retaining the 4" for factor with a "new" iPhone 6 model) popped into Apple's mind at some point during the development stages of the iPhone 6. Even better, what if we get a mid year (as in sometime early 2015) upgrade to the "lower" end iPhone models? Say Apple releases an updated iPhone 5S and/or an iPhone 5C in April 2015, that would pacify some of us, would it? Either way like Steve Jobs believed, as a customer we might not always know what is best for us and this might just be another one of those scenarios. All this initial hoopla might (and probably will) eventually sub-cede to nothing, once the we get to use the "latest best smartphone" out there, the iPhone 6! 

iOS 8 Upgrade

iOS was available a few minutes before 10am today, here in the Bay area and as soon as I tried to update my iPhone 5S, I was welcomed with this dismal looking screen saying that the free space available on my iPhone (900 odd MB) was too little for the upgrade that required almost a whooping 6GB of free space. What in the world is happening here, was my first response. My iPhone 5S is only 16GB and I have barely managed so long with it by maintaing very little junk on the phone. But now suddenly I had to free almost 50% of my iPhone to upgrade to iOS? I wasn't aware of this requirement all along and I certainly did not go through this situation previously even while upgrading from iOS 6 to iOS 7. Anyway with gritting teeth, I proceeded to clear up my iPhone 5S to free up almost 5Gb of space! 

I was welcomed today morning with this dismal looking screen saying that the free space available on my iPhone (900 odd MB) was too little for the upgrade that required almost a whooping 6GB free space

I was welcomed today morning with this dismal looking screen saying that the free space available on my iPhone (900 odd MB) was too little for the upgrade that required almost a whooping 6GB free space

Firstly I proceeded to delete a whole bunch of small Apps (less than 100MB in size) and then proceeded to delete any un used Apps, then Apps that I knew I could install later and not lose any information as it was already synced to the cloud (like Facebook, Numbers, Feedly, Pocket, etc.). But still I had more than 2 GB to free up. I deleted all my music as I have iTunes Match, but still not cleared up enough memory. Lastly I deleted all my useless videos and panoramas, still more than a GB short. Finally I went to my Photos collection and started the arduous job of cleaning up my photos. Luckily for me I had setup WhatsApp (by mistake) to store all media to my iPhone by default, so it was easily for me to clear up all those WhatsApp photos. But I had to do it manually as there was no way of clearing only WhatsApp media on the Photos App automatically. But thank god, that was enough... I was able to reach 6GB free space with just that and not having to lose my personal photos. But still this was a tense process, as I had to be extremely careful to not to delete something that is important and cannot be recovered, in my eagerness to install iOS 8! 

Apple's latest iPhone 6 is bigger only physically not in terms of memory capacity, the base model is still cost $199 and comes with a paltry 16GB memory (Source: Apple.com)

Apple's latest iPhone 6 is bigger only physically not in terms of memory capacity, the base model is still cost $199 and comes with a paltry 16GB memory (Source: Apple.com)

Though through this process, I ended up clearing my iPhone 5S of a lot of junk, I was forced to do it and am not happy about it. Till that time I had not wandered into the Internet forums for a work around to this as I thought, if there was one, Apple would have provided it for me already. Boy was I wrong. Turns out that there were at least a few things I could have done to avoid deleting stuff from my phone, at least the way I did it. Firstly I could have apparently just connected my iPhone to my computer and tried upgrading to iOS 8 and it would have worked. That would have been easy. Secondly I could have basically backed up my existing iOS 7 installed iPhone 5S to iCloud, then reset it to factory settings, that will clear up a whole lot of memory and then after upgrading to iOS 8, I could have restored my original data from iCloud. Wow! Two things are bugging me now. Firstly though none of these options are straight forward, they are certainly more user friendly and less heart stopping than having to delete half my data. Then why didn't Apple suggest one of these options for me instead of just asking me to delete a bunch of stuff on my iPhone? 

Though through this process, I ended up clearing my iPhone 5S of a lot of junk, I was forced to do it and am not happy about it.
Apple bumped its second and third memory tiers from 32GB and 64GB to 64GB and 128GB, but that seems pointless, but the wiser thing would have been for Apple to bump its base model, at least on the iPhone 6 to 32GB instead (Source: Apple.com)

Apple bumped its second and third memory tiers from 32GB and 64GB to 64GB and 128GB, but that seems pointless, but the wiser thing would have been for Apple to bump its base model, at least on the iPhone 6 to 32GB instead (Source: Apple.com)

Secondly when even at this time iOS requires so much space for a normal operation on the iPhone 5S, how can Apple think that it can get away with only 16GB on the base models of the new iPhone 6? If it was ridiculous a year back for Apple to demand its customers to pay an additional $100 more (on top of the $650 for an unlocked iPhone) for a 32GB iPhone, now it sounds even more outrageous. Yeah I agree that Apple bumped its second and third memory tiers from 32GB and 64GB to 64GB and 128GB for the same cost, but that seems pointless. There are going to be a lot of people who are going to be buying the base iPhone 6 model, either due to its affordability or due to lack of awareness of their space requirements and end up being extremely unhappy with their iPhone 6 experience. The wiser thing would have been for Apple to bump its base model, at least on the iPhone 6 (not the iPhone 5S) to 32GB and then do what ever it wanted with the next two upper tiers. 16GB iPhone 6 at this day and age sounds ridiculous and the iOS 8 upgrade experience (for me at least) made this even more clearer. I can afford a $100 more for my iPhone 6 and am now (painfully) aware that 16GB is nowhere sufficient even for an average user like me, but what about those people who are unlike me in this regard? I am almost 100% positive that Apple will have the next iPhone (7?) upgraded to at least 32GB in its base configuration, next year, but it might be too late and Apple might already have a lot of upset iPhone 6 users to pacify! 

When even at this time iOS requires so much space for a normal operation on the iPhone 5S, how can Apple think that it can get away with only 16GB on the base models of the new iPhone 6? If it was ridiculous a year back for Apple to demand its customers to pay an additional $100 more (on top of the $650 for an unlocked iPhone) for a 32GB iPhone, now it sounds even more outrageous.

P.S: I perfectly understand why Apple decided to keep its 16GB base iPhone 6 strategy, i.e., to maintain or lessen the reduction in its profit margins, but Apple being Apple, must have found another way to tackle both the company's high profit margin requirements and maintain what it is historically known for and is best at, i.e., customer satisfaction... 

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Reviews are in...

The iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus go on sale this Friday in the US and iOS 8 is going to released tomorrow and as usual the reviews are out the evening before and iMore has a good round up of the major reviews here. Now, when was the last time Apple released a new iPhone and received less than stellar reviews? Ummm... never. So I am not surprised to see exceptional reviews for both these phones from almost everyone who has reviewed it. However while you can go to a site like The Verge for an excellent video reviews and a site like Re/code for a written review, what is the point of repeating the same points here? So instead here are some of the things that surprised me about these new iPhones, that might be of interest to you. 

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are Apple's latest smartphones that will go on sale this Friday in the US (Source: Apple.com)

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are Apple's latest smartphones that will go on sale this Friday in the US (Source: Apple.com)

Physical dimensions

  • The iPhone 6 is 4.7" diagonal and the 6 Plus is 5.5" diagonal. The iPhone 6 is around 28% bigger in the front panel surface area than the iPhone 5S. While its usable touchscreen is only 17.5% bigger (diagonally). So all the pre-announcement rumors about the iPhone 6 having a no-bezel body were not true. 
  • The volume says another story though. The iPhone 6 is only 15% more in overall volume than the iPhone 5S, but gains 17.5% more workable screen real estate. The weight comparison between the iPhone 6 and 5S, is almost the same as the volume comparison in terms of the percentages. 
  • If you thought that the iPhone 5 or 5S felt too thin to hold comfortably and hence had to use a case, the iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) feel the necessity of a case even more, apparently not just due to their (light) weights to screen size in inches, ratio, but also due to a "slippery" body design, i.e., rounded edges and an almost edge to edge display.
  • However there is a contradicting impression of the iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus's) thickness. Some reviewers fell that the thinness is a requisite than a good to have attribute. At least a couple of the reviewers made it clear that the humungous size of the iPhone 6 appears less dramatic, thanks to the thinness of these models, compared to some rivals, say like the Samsung Galaxy Note, for example. So it finally looks like, Apple's obsession with thin iPhones has paid off. 

iOS differences

  • The iPhone 6 Plus has a different iPad like version of the iOS 8, where some Apps like Mail, Messages and Settings App for example have a two pane design like the iPad than the one pane design like the iPhone 5S. iPhone 6 still looks similar to the iPhone 5S in its iOS design, though. 
  • However the iPhone 6 Plus also has a different keyboard, but only in the landscape mode where there are more modifier keys like "cut", "copy", "undo", etc., in addition to the usual keys. 
  • Reachability seems to be useful, though sometimes indifferent (software bugs?). But more importantly it is available on both the iPhone 6 models, even the 4.7" iPhone 6. 
iPhone 6 Plus has a different, more optioned keyboard when in the landscape mode (Source: The Verge)

iPhone 6 Plus has a different, more optioned keyboard when in the landscape mode (Source: The Verge)

Performance

  • iPhone 6 Plus has a much better battery life according to Apple and that is pretty clear from the extra available real estate for a larger battery. But the iPhone 6 model has only "slightly" better battery life than iPhone 5S, according to Apple. But according to the reviews, even iPhone 6 has a noticeable improvement in battery life, apparently due to more efficient power management of the new A8 processor. 
  • The speaker on both the iPhones are much louder.
  • Though the iPhone 6 Plus has a significantly improved camera hardware, like the physical image stabilization kit, other improvements in the camera are universal across both the iPhones or in other words, both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have a significantly improved camera performance, compared to the iPhone 5S.
  • The iPhone 6 Plus has a greatly improved screen, thanks to its 401 ppi Retina HD screen. But even the iPhone 6 that has the same pixels per inch as the iPhone 5S has much better contrast.
  • iPhone 6 Plus appears much faster than the iPhone 5S in terms of performance thanks to its higher clock speed, but iPhone 6 seems only slightly faster than the iPhone 5S. However this lesser than expected performance improvement from iPhone 5S to the iPhone 6 might be due to the reviewers not trying any complex Apps, like games on these review units. 
Basic GeekBench comparison of the iPhone 6 models and the iPhone 5S (Source: Macworld.com)

Basic GeekBench comparison of the iPhone 6 models and the iPhone 5S (Source: Macworld.com)

The elephant in the room

But after reading through almost a dozen reviews on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, I can't shake away the feeling that according to many reviewers, Apple might have missed out something, at least till now on these bigger screen iPhones. Dont get me wrong here. All the reviews I have read so far have almost declared the iPhone 6 models as the best smartphones put there. But it seems although that these reviewers are comparing these bigger screen iPhones with the Samsung Galaxy Notes and since iOS 8 does not have the so called pro features that Samsung crams in its Notes, they claim that though there is a big potential for the iPhone 6 models, Apple seems to have made bigger iPhones for the sake of making bigger iPhones without actually taking advantage of actual bigger screens, again at least not yet.

It seems although that these reviewers are comparing these bigger screen iPhones with the Samsung Galaxy Notes and since iOS 8 does not have the so called pro features that Samsung crams in its Notes, they claim that though there is a big potential for the iPhone 6 models, Apple seems to have made bigger iPhones for the sake of making bigger iPhones without actually taking advantage of the bigger screens, again at least not yet... I am not going to disagree here, not without trying these phones out myself. But their logic makes sense to me.

I am not going to disagree here, not without trying these phones out myself. But their logic makes sense to me. From what we know so far, the iPhone 6 Plus has a slightly more "productive" version of iOS on it, while the iPhone 6 has an almost identical version of iOS as the iPhone 5S. Of course this is a software issue and for all we know, Apple can easily wow us further with say an iOS 8.1  release. But for now, these bigger screen smartphones seem to the getting the tag of "the best smartphones" out there but also with a lot more potential to tap. After all we don't know what plans Apple has for these phones in the future, we can only connect the dots looking backwards... 

Samsung has crammed in some so called pro features like use of multiple App windows on the screen at the same time, stylus use, etc., on to its Galaxy Notes, but is this really what we want Apple to do on its iPhones? (Source: AppsNGizmo.com)

Samsung has crammed in some so called pro features like use of multiple App windows on the screen at the same time, stylus use, etc., on to its Galaxy Notes, but is this really what we want Apple to do on its iPhones? (Source: AppsNGizmo.com)

Apple Watch and its battery life

It has been no surprise that many of Apple's critics and followers alike have been skeptical about one aspect of the Apple Watch in particular, its battery life. All the smartwatches out there have an unanimous theme to this conundrum. You cannot have a less than 2" square/rectangular screen that displays vivid colors and have a battery life of more than a day or so without  it being housed in a huge brick like enclosure. Or in other words until we figure out a way to travel faster than the speed of light, we have laws of physics to abide by, in this world! But unfortunately this question remains unanswered even after the Apple announcement last week as Tim Cook only vaguely suggested a less than a day battery life for the Apple Watch . 

Apple Watch has a vibrant color LCD retina display that restricts its battery life significantly (Source: Apple.com)

Apple Watch has a vibrant color LCD retina display that restricts its battery life significantly (Source: Apple.com)

Pebble watch has the best battery life as of now, of around a week. Now now,  how can Pebble have almost seven days worth of battery life on a watch that has similar dimensions as the Apple Watch? The answer is simple, Pebble uses a black and white, e-paper display that consumes way less energy than a LCD, that other smartphones and smartwatches, like the iPhone and the Apple Watch use. So if you need a smartwatch that displays more than two colors, then you are going to have to charge it more often. Most of the Android Wear smartwatches, like the Moto 360, have the same problem too. Of course, I don't like another device in my house (other than my iPhone, my MacBook Pro, my iPad and my work laptop), to charge, but the reality is that battery technology has not evolved as well/fast as consumer technlogy (heck we still can't travel more than fifty odd miles with our Nissan Leaves, can we..) so far.

Pebble Steel smartwatch uses a black and white, e-paper display that consumes way less energy than a LCD hence resulting in almost a week of battery life (Source: GetPebble.com)

Pebble Steel smartwatch uses a black and white, e-paper display that consumes way less energy than a LCD hence resulting in almost a week of battery life (Source: GetPebble.com)

So for Tim Cook to not to reveal the exact battery life of the Apple Watch months before it will actually reach the customers is only understandable. Also Apple's battery life numbers are almost always accurate and in fact most of the real world battery life of its products far exceed the official number Apple provides. So for Apple to officially declare that the Apple Watch's battery life is so and so they need a respectable number of hours. Also remember when Intel released its extremely power smart processors last year, the Haswell processors? Apple's MacBook Airs blew their Windows counterpart by almost 2X more battery life for comparable hardware specs. The reason as I mentioned at that time, is the tight integration of Apple's hardware and software or how well the software optimizes the hardware's performance. Hence Apple could still well be in the process of optimizing the Apple Watch's battery life by tweaking its software. So attribute it to any of the above mentioned reasons, Apple Watch's battery life is going to be less than a day and I would rally be surprised if it ends up being more than 24 hours at best.

Initial reaction to the Apple Watch... falls into two camps: those who have only seen photos, who think it looks ugly and big, and those who have actually worn it, who realise it’s surprisingly light, and not oversized.
— The Guardian

However much us Apple fanatics would like to see Apple create magical devices out there, Apple cannot turn in miracles. The Apple Watch as it is, is being criticized of being too bulky (though most of the people who actually go to use it in person have changed their minds) and there is no way for Apple to make a Watch that does as much as what a smartwatch is expected to do and make is thin and on top of that make its battery last for days. I wish all this would happen though! 

Until we figure out a way to travel faster than the speed of light, we have laws of physics to abide by, in this world!

Four Million iPhone 6 (and 6 plus) pre-ordered

Apple after releasing a generic statement on the response for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus being great, a few days back, today announced that they had more than four million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders in the first 24 hours. While this number is impressive, some perspective makes it even better. While iPhone 5S and 5C did not have the pre-order scheme, the iPhone 5 did and it was pre-ordered by more than two million in the first day. So technically the iPhone 6 models have doubled in their pre-order demand. Also Apple sold (not pre-ordered) over nine million iPhone 5S and 5C last year. So it will be interesting to see how many iPhone 6 models, Apple sells in the opening weekend. Another thing is that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not yet available to pre-order in China due to regulatory reasons. Note that China is the biggest market (in terms of number of potential customers and number of iPhones sold there so far) for Apple. Either way just like every other iPhone Apple has released so far, this one seems to be getting a grand reception. Now if only I can get my hands on a real iPhone 6 and a 6 Plus (instead of paper cut outs), to decide which one I want to buy and go stand in the queue!  

While this many people waiting out side Apple's flagship NY store for the iPhone 6 on September 9th (10 days before they can actually buy one) is impressive, some of these people have being wanting in this list from as early as August 31st! (Source: Mirror.co.uk)

While this many people waiting out side Apple's flagship NY store for the iPhone 6 on September 9th (10 days before they can actually buy one) is impressive, some of these people have being wanting in this list from as early as August 31st! (Source: Mirror.co.uk)

Apple Intro Video - Perspective

Since last year Apple started the habit of kicking off events with an introduction video that talks generally about the company and its motivations. Last year's one called "Intention" received critical acclaim both for the message and for the design. It was close to 90 seconds long and kind of hit the right chord. This year, at the new iPhone and the Watch event, Apple showcased another such videos, called "Perspective". This was almost three minutes long and tried to create a similar vibe as the last one, but I think fell short.

Apple's latest intro video for the iPhone and the Watch unveiling even on Tuesday called "Perspective" (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

Apple's latest intro video for the iPhone and the Watch unveiling even on Tuesday called "Perspective" (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

Apple's last year intro video called "Intention" (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

Apple's last year intro video called "Intention" (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

There were a couple of issues with this video, one that it was too long and because of its length some things that were said (or showcased) seemed a little too vague. Don't get me wrong, most of it was true and apt, like when the video stressed than Apple doesn't care about being the first in doing anything, it cares about being different in a better way, and are relentlessly optimistic about being able to change the world, etc. But when the video is almost twice as long as the last time, and it appeared as though Apple had to fill in with phrases that could have been avoided. 

This video was too long and because of its length some things that were said (or showcased) seemed a little too vague
This time though the video is almost twice as long as the last time and it appeared as though Apple had had to fill it in with phrases that could have been avoided. (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

This time though the video is almost twice as long as the last time and it appeared as though Apple had had to fill it in with phrases that could have been avoided. (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

The second one oddly (as Apple is known for its design focus in anything it does) was with the design elements in the video itself. The last one, "Intention" was cleverly designed with graphics that were fluid, modern and kind of jived well with iOS 7 that was unveiled in that event. But this one was weird from the beginning. First of all it relied on using a kind of illusion of seeing different things in a room at different angles, that were total gibberish when viewed from one angle but made a coherent statement when viewed from the right angle. This is not a new technique by any means but that doesn't stop anyone from insinuating Apple, that it ripped off their idea (via MacRumors). But other than that, I felt that some of the colors and schemes used appeared garish and un-Apple like, I would almost say a little ugly, like the ones shown in this post! Anyway these are marketing materials and like Ads some of them strike the right chord (Apple's holiday-themed 'Misunderstood' iPhone ad wins Emmy for 'Most Outstanding Commercial' - via AppleInsider) while some flop miserably. There is nothing more to this than a lesson learnt for Apple to take away, I think.  Also though I have heard a lot of people echoing the same sentiment about this video as mine around the Internet, I am sure there is at least one person out there who loved this video and that is perfectly fine, as after all beauty (and design) is in the eye of the beholder! 

Some of the colors and schemes used appeared garish and un-Apple like
Some of the colors and schemes used appeared garish and un-Apple like (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

Some of the colors and schemes used appeared garish and un-Apple like (Source: Apple's official YouTube channel)

Another fledgling industry rescued by Apple?

I posted my thoughts as a customer, Apple Pay recently. But what about Apple's partners, the biggest banks and financial institutions, what role did they play in this service? A recent New York Times article sheds more light on this. This article also talks about how this project was kickstarted by Apple as early as Jan 2013 and how everything was kept under extreme wraps till the announcement a few days back. We expected nothing less from Apple in terms of secrecy anyway! Now what about the banks involved in this with Apple? There have been news going around saying Apple was able to negotiate lower transaction costs for this collaboration and again knowing Apple, this only makes sense. But similar to what happened to the Music and the Entertainment industry, Apple's partnership/intervention will only lead to a better situation for everyone involved eventually, in my opinion. The banks were in dire need of some modern day technology advancements and who other than Apple can deliver something this big in such a massive scale... 

For the banks and credit card networks, Apple Pay could threaten some revenue streams, as the technology giant looks to assume a more central role in the financial universe. But the eager participation of banks and card companies suggests both Apple’s clout, and the recognition among financial institutions that they face broader challenges from upstart technology ventures, many of which are not as eager or willing as Apple to work with the incumbent financial industry.
— The New York Times
Apple Pay (Source: Apple.com)

Apple Pay (Source: Apple.com)

Where is the demand - in the 4.7" or the 5.5" regime?

Smartphone share based on screen size (via TechPinions)

Smartphone share based on screen size (via TechPinions)

Apple's best quarter in terms of pure sales has always been the holiday quarter (in USA). Last holiday quarter Apple sold more than 51 million iPhones alone. And this time thanks to the latest iPhone upgrades from the company, analysts expect Apple to sell around 65 million or some even more than 70 million iPhones. Question is whether Apple can produce so many phones in a short time to meet the demand and this has always been the question. After all if your demand is higher than your supply, it is a good thing, isn't?

Our educated guess is, in Asia and markets where phablets sell well, the mix will be 65% iPhone 6 Plus and 35% iPhone 6. In the US and Europe it could be switched — 65% iPhone 6 and 35% iPhone Plus... We are hearing about some early surveys and, to my surprise, there is a lot of interest in the 5.5 inch iPhone.
— Tim Bajarin (TechPinions)

Anyway this TechPinions article rounds up well on what the iPhone sales split between the 6 and 6 Plus might be and how it would depend on the country. For example in Asia everybody expects the 6 Plus to sell equally or better than the 6 and in US the 6 might outsell the 6 Plus by 2 to 1. There are two things I have noticed around me and around the sites I visit on the Internet on this topic. One is that the interest in 6 Plus is much higher than what I (or for that matter anyone) expected. Almost 9 out of 10 people I spoke with want the 6 Plus, mainly for its better internals (like bigger battery and better camera). But also the select few who actually got to see the phone close enough or some even luckier ones that got to hold the phones in hand, quickly changed their minds from the 6 Plus to the 6, citing the humungous size of the 6 Plus. So I think for people who have never used a "phablet" before, you are going to be surprised how big the 6 Plus actually is. My advice is make sure you try to use and handle both of the models before you make a $1000 purchase (like this Verge guy). 

Why not an iWatch?

The biggest question from Tuesday's Apple keynote was obviously on why Apple decided to name its smartwatch the Apple Watch instead of the iWatch? To go along with the announcement Apple also named its payment system, the Apple Pay and not the iPay or something. Is this a coincidence or some trademark issue or something else? Here is an interesting take on this question, over at CNET

Apple’s not saying (on why the samrtwatch was named the Apple Watch and not the iWatch), but some analysts believe the Apple Watch and Apple Pay represent the Cupertino, Calif., company’s efforts to start a new era — one separate from Steve Jobs.
— CNET
Why did Apple name its smartwatch, the "Apple Watch", instead of the "iWatch"? (Source: Concept Apple Watch design by Itswithakay.deviantart.com before Apple announced its official take on Tuesday)

Why did Apple name its smartwatch, the "Apple Watch", instead of the "iWatch"? (Source: Concept Apple Watch design by Itswithakay.deviantart.com before Apple announced its official take on Tuesday)

I don't agree with some of the other things in this post though, for example as to how the iPhone line has expanded under Tim Cook and that would not have happened under Steve Jobs. As I have stressed the point under a different post, iPhone line expanding is just a natural progression, like the MacBook or the iPod line expanded under Steve Jobs, once they had matured enough as products. To call this out and claim it is unique to Tim Cook's Apple does not make sense. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between Apple under Cook and Apple under Jobs has been the approach to devices. Jobs kept Apple’s product line trim, releasing one iPhone each year to fit all customers. But last year, Apple released new colorized iPhones alongside its premium 5S device, and this year it launched two models with different screen sizes, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.
— CNET