Apple Unveils New iPhones, Brand New Wearable Device

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2011 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures during the introduction of the iPhone 4S, at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. is finally using its $98 billion pile of cash to rew... FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2011 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures during the introduction of the iPhone 4S, at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. is finally using its $98 billion pile of cash to reward shareholders, saying it's instituting both a dividend and share buyback program. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File) MORE LESS
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CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Along with larger iPhones, Apple is poised to unveil a wearable device — marking its first major entry in a new product category since the iPad’s debut in 2010.

The move is significant because of recent questions about whether Apple still has a knack for innovating following the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple is turning to the past as it lays out its future. The company is holding the event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, the same venue where Jobs unveiled the industry-shifting Mac computer 25 years ago. The Cupertino, California, venue is near Apple’s headquarters.

As for the iPhones, which still represent the main source of Apple’s profits, larger models should help the company compete with Android devices.

Here’s what’s coming out of Tuesday’s event:



Apple’s new wearable device has been dubbed the iWatch. It’s likely to be a computerized watch or bracelet to help people monitor health, manage homes and even buy merchandise.

Consumer electronics companies have yet to demonstrate a compelling need for smartwatches, while bracelets have largely been niche products aimed at tracking fitness activities. Apple’s device is expected to do more and do it well.

Consider the company’s track record: Music players, smartphones and tablet computers existed long before Applemade its own versions. But they weren’t mainstream or popular until the iPod, iPhone and iPad came along. Under Jobs, Apple made those products easy and fun to use.

Apple may use Tuesday’s event merely to announce the wearable product, along with the price. There’s speculation that the device wouldn’t be available until early next year, though Apple was expected to start taking advance orders during the holiday shopping season.



As Samsung made its Android smartphones gradually larger over the years, Apple’s iPhone had been stuck at 3.5 inches, measured diagonally, until it got a slight boost to 4 inches in 2012.

Now, Apple is expected to increase that to at least 4.7 inches. It might even release a 5.5-inch version. The gadgets won’t be as big as Samsung’s latest flagship phones — 5.1 inches for the Galaxy S5 and 5.7 inches for the Note 4 — but they will be large enough to neutralize a key advantage Samsung and other Android manufacturers have had.

Notably, Samsung’s Note phone isn’t getting bigger this year. Last year’s Note 3 was 5.7 inches. Instead, Samsung is emphasizing other hardware features, such as a sharper screen. It’s also releasing a model with a curved edge to display weather, time and other information on the side of the phone.



Though much of the attention has been on new gadgets, the software powering those gadgets is getting its annual refresh. Apple considers iOS 8 to be its biggest update since the introduction of the app store in 2008.

Existing iPhone and iPad users will be eligible for the free upgrade, too. Apple takes pride in pushing existing customers to the latest software, allowing app developers to incorporate new features without worrying about abandoning existing users. With Android, many recent phones can’t be upgraded right away because of restrictions placed by manufacturers and wireless carriers.

Among other things, iOS 8 will let devices work better in sync. For instance, it’ll be possible to start a message on an iPhone and finish it on an iPad. With an upcoming Mac upgrade called Yosemite, it’ll be possible to continue working on that same message on a Mac computer as well.

The new iOS software will also let people do more things without jumping from app to app. For example, if a text message comes in as you’re composing an email, you’ll be able to pull down the text from the top edge and send a reply, all without leaving the email app.

A new keyboard aims to predict what you’re about to type, going beyond standard spell-checking. You can install keyboards from outside parties, too, something Android already allows.

In fact, Apple is opening up more of its features to outside developers than in the past. The fingerprint sensor on iPhones won’t be restricted to Apple’s own services, for instance.



Apple is rolling out the HomeKit and HealthKit systems. The idea is to turn Apple’s products into a suite of digital servants that do everything from monitoring a person’s eating habits and exercise routines to turning on the coffee maker in the morning.

Again, Apple isn’t first in offering home and health monitoring systems. But consumers haven’t rushed to buy those systems partly because products from various manufacturers don’t always work with one another. With HomeKit and HealthKit, Apple is seeking to create some unity — with Apple’s devices serving as a hub.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for adamw adamw says:

    Josh, please hire a proofreader. The headline is misleading. It left out the word “may”.

  2. Live by the commodity fetish, die by the commodity. Only it shouldn’t be the customer doing the dying, it should be the seller. Having had an iPhone 5 nabbed from my hands in a restaurant, and immediately thereafter having met a woman who had had the shit beat out of her for her iPhone, Apple really has to install that kill switch. The “Find My iPhone” app is inadequate to discourage criminal lust for this number-one “must have” item.

  3. Get those clicks, headline.

  4. They do have a kill switch now. If someone steals your phone and doesn’t have your Apple ID password, the phone is useless to them. Not sure why people haven’t heard about this more, since it’s a great feature.

  5. iJOBS is dead, long live the King.

    The dynamic state of hand held devices aside, this is really a click bait fluff piece.

    The suppositions allude much, even the crafty mention of ‘other’ technology without a back story that is not exactly moral high ground to cover.

    There were a few posits over the last couple of years indicating that peak phone, would arrive around 2015/2016.

    Oh, in CA there is now a rule to have a brick switch but others worry the cops can blank an entire area (all mobile devices) say for a 99% reunion tour.

    The computer business is not even mentioned perhaps because MACS have been eclipsed and are about to be second tiered by new PC related technologies, MOBOs, maxi CPUs etc.

    Of course, the computer segment is miniscule and adherents will go to their graves using MAC but for folks doing film editing, even with the latest MAC, how to manage or invest in 4 and 5 K based hardware, or portable editing on set film making is about to hit the accelerator.

    So yes, when Apple leads and does great things, that inspires innovation, in some cases enough for Apple to have to chase every now and then.

    Keeps 'em on their toes.

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