Apple put on quite the show at its big event on Tuesday.
But once the hype settled and the cheering died down, we were still left scratching our heads over several key details that Apple sidestepped.
Here are some of the things Apple failed to mention.
From a design standpoint, why did Apple make the jump to larger phones? Apple usually has a good explanation on the reasons behind any radical change to its devices, but it was silent as to the reasoning this time around.
Not only are both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus larger than any previously released iPhone, the new lineup failed to refresh the 4-inch iPhone, meaning if you want the latest iPhone, there’s no choice but to go bigger.
Of course, those who are a fan of smaller phones can still pick up an iPhone 5S for only $US99, but what happens next year? The late Steve Jobs famously said, “No one is going to buy a big phone,” and this departure seems motivated by only one thing: money.
What is the battery life on the Apple Watch? Apple was suspiciously silent about the battery life on its new wearable during the presentation, and previous reports have indicated Apple was aiming for a multiple-day charging cycle, but that the company was running into issues.
A recent report from Re/code, however, says the Apple Watch’s battery will last “about a day,” though that could improve by the time the watch launches next year.
Why does the iPhone 6 camera protrude out from the device like a sore thumb? The iPhone 6 is the first iPhone that won’t sit flat on a desk, and that’s due to the iSight camera, which protrudes outward from the back of the phone. Apple could have easily made the iPhone 6 a hair thicker (and maybe do the same to the battery), but it didn’t.
While some speculated that a protruding lens could be used for attachment accessories, somehow it’s tough to imagine Apple shedding its past simply to offer more accessories.
What about that whole iCloud leak thing? Apple CEO Tim Cook did respond a few days before the iPhone 6 announcement, promising to increase iCloud’s security features, but the whole incident wasn’t mentioned during the keynote.
Of course, reminding people of a blunder probably isn’t the best way to persuade people to move on, but it’s interesting that Apple didn’t at least attempt to soothe people who are wary with some new safeguards.
What is the killer feature of the Apple Watch that will persuade someone who doesn’t wear a watch to buy it? Tim Cook has been highly critical of past attempts by competitors to create a compelling smartwatch, but this hardly looks different than other smartwatches. Sure, it’s well crafted, and the attention to detail is top notch, but it’s still essentially a thick, square screen strapped to your wrist.
Like the iPad, the answer could lie with the overall experience of the Apple Watch itself, and Real Touch messaging could turn out to be the killer app, but let’s take a look at a few key details we do know.
- The battery life is currently worse than other smartwatches out there
- It can’t be used without an iPhone nearby
In an interview last year, Tim Cook indeed set the bar high for an Apple wearable. “For something to work here, you first have to convince people it’s so incredible that they want to wear it,” Cook said.
“If we had a room full of 10- to 20-year-olds, and we said ‘Everyone stand up that has a watch on,’ I’m not sure anyone would stand up,” Cook said, pausing a moment before taking an iPhone out of his pocket. “I don’t see it. Their watch is this.”
So, what exactly will be the convincing factor of the Apple Watch?
The answer probably lies in Apple’s ecosystem and impressive influence in the industry.
Sure, the Apple Watch probably looked a little uglier than most people imagined, but Apple has the power to get developers involved, developers who will hopefully create some of those unique and compelling experiences that would convince a 13-year-old with an iPhone that he needs a watch, too.
Apple will continue to innovate, but perhaps at a slower pace than we expected under the leadership of Steve Jobs.
That’s why, even with some looming questions left in the air, Apple will likely sell more iPhones than ever, and the Apple Watch is probably going to sell well, too.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t expect more.