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Is Apple the best of the bunch?

By Staff Writer
By Ashleigh Brown, journalist, Justmoney
 
Security concerns surround the new Apple iPhone 6 and Smart Watch launch after the hacking of several celebrities’ iCloud accounts, which resulted in some having nude pictures of themselves released having their nude photos leaked to the world. Furthermore, Apple iPhone users only account for 12.3% of South African smart phone users. So how popular will the new Apple products be? 
 
The new Apple products are centred on health and fitness, and mobile payments, with their underlying message being: ‘Trust us’. “Apple introduced the world to several category-defining products, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, and once again Apple is poised to captivate the world with a revolutionary product that can enrich people’s lives. It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made,” says Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.
 
Price of an apple
 
A new iPhone 6 will set you back by at least R10, 699 (see table below), while predecessors can cost around R 7 999. The iPhone price is steep when compared to other competitors including the Samsung S5 at about R7, 745, the Nokia Lumia 1020 at R5, 699, and Blackberry Z30 at R5, 599. 
 
Apple Watch 
 
One of the most anticipated Apple products is the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch sees Apple venture into new markets and follows Samsung, Sony and other smart watch brands.  
 
“Apple Watch will enable you to communicate in new ways right from your wrist by sending and receiving messages, answering calls to your iPhone, and with Digital Touch, sending something as personal as your own heartbeat,” says Apple in a press release.
 
As the watch is conveniently located, it allows for a quick glance at all your updates; fast replies to messages and to track your movement and heart beat as you go. The watch, however, will only be compatible with iPhone 5’s or higher. The expected retail price in South Africa is set to start at R4000 (see table below). 
There will be three distinctive categories to the smart watch: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. Further information on the difference between each edition has not yet been released. 
 
“Apple Watch comes with 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analogue faces to new faces like the dynamic Time-lapse face; the Astronomy face with its interactive, real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the solar face, a contemporary sundial. Apple Watch can be personalised in appearance and capability with additional information such as upcoming events, moon phases or your activity level, enabling millions of possible configurations,” says Apple. 
 
Apple Pay
 
The company has also launched Apple Pay, adding to the other options of mobile wallets. 
 
“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduce Apple Pay, an easy way to securely pay for physical goods and services in stores or apps with just the touch of a finger. Users can pay securely and conveniently in stores by simply holding the phone near the contactless reader while keeping a finger on Touch ID; there is no need to unlock your iPhone or launch an app. 
 
“With Apple Pay, you can also make one-touch purchases within apps, without having to enter credit card or shipping information. All payment information is kept private, encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Element, a chip inside the new iPhones,” says Apple.
 
However, Apple is a little late to the payment party. Near-field communication (NFC) which allows for the flow of information between two devices was first introduced on Google phones four years ago. NFC technology has been running on many Android and Windows phones, allowing for wireless payments for a while now. 
 
The major concern with Apple Pay is the security measures. “Security is at the core of Apple Pay,” says Cook when he introduced the new mobile payment method. However, with the recent leak of celebrity photos, as well as iCloud phishing schemes, there are still worries about how safe the mobile wallet will be. 
 
Apple Pay will only be available in the United States of America, and has not been announced as to when it will be introduced to the rest of the world. 
 
iPhone 6
 
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with more rounded and bigger designs than their iPhone predecessors. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 6 plus has a 5.5 inch screen. 
 
These two new models will also be running the new Apple ios8. The new ios8 will bring software, such as health and payment options together, in order to better integrate with the Apple Watch. Furthermore, the ios8 will allow all apps to have the biometric scanner in order to unlock or to make payments, instead of the traditional five key passcode. 
 
Also announced was the iPhone 6’s ability to process a core game. Super Evil Megacorp – whose mission statement is to “to destroy the productivity of mankind with endlessly entertaining games. We challenge the notion that touch screens are for harvesting crops and slicing fruit. Secretly, tablets are all deadly weapons waiting to be put to use” - says that they are using the visuals and touch controls of Vaniglory’s to change how games feel about mobile devices. 
 
Expected iPhone 6 prices in South Africa 
 

 

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

iPhone 5s

iPhone 5c

Apple Watch

 

 

 

 

 

R 4 000

8GB

-

-

R 8 999

R 7 999

-

16GB

R 10 999

R 9 999

 

 

-

64GB

R 11 999

R 10 499

 

 

-

128GB

R 12 999

R 11 999

 

 

-

Source: applesnews.co.za prices correct as of 10 September 2014. 

 

As Apple iPhone users only make up 12.3% of the South African Smartphone market, according to the South African Mobile Report of March 2014, only time will tell how well the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch will do. 
 
Furthermore, the products are quite expensive, in light of the many more affordable smartphones entering the market at the moment. However, Apple is confident that they can bring a “personalised” product to help its users better navigate through life. 
 
 

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