The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced on Tuesday, which means that eager techies have already predicted what Apple will announce in their highly secretive junket.
Among the most popular rumors is that the iPhone will get slightly bigger, boasting a 4.7-inch screen instead of the standard 4 inches. There’s also rumors that there will be a second, even larger 5.5-inch model.
With the larger sizes comes a larger price tag. The jumbo model is expected to be $100 more, meaning the main version will be $199 with a two-year contract while the larger offering will retail at $299. However, the larger phone will supposedly come with a flat sapphire crystal display to prevent cracked screens and a new 128GB storage option, in addition to other upgraded features. People will be able to get their hands on either phone later this month.
While it’s groundbreaking territory for the iPhone to have two different sizes, Jack Narcotta, analyst at Technology Business Research, Inc., said the company is simply playing catch-up to its competitors who already offer bigger screens, like the Samsung Galaxy Note and other Android models.
“It’s more noteworthy (no pun intended) that Apple will likely be offering iPhone users a choice. The real story should be Apple’s expanding iPhone product line, not so much the focus on the screen’s dimensions,” he pointed out.
Perhaps more industry changing is the murmurs about Apple developing a mobile payment system, dubbed the iWallet, using NFC (near field communication). The mobile wallet will allow shoppers to use their smartphone to pay for their goods without having to carry cash or cards, and the company has reportedly signed agreements with Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said this move reflects what customers want in their tech devices today: ultimate utility.
“Remember the smartphone is growing in importance,” Kagan explained. “Today we don't leave home without our keys, wallet and smartphone. Tomorrow all we'll have to remember is the smartphone. It will do everything. It will open doors and start cars. It will have our driver’s license and credit card information with the mobile wallet features.”
Bustling under the radar is the iWatch, which is also expected to be announced Tuesday. A smartwatch could do everything including providing biometric data for health and fitness apps to helping people synchronize across all their devices. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s hire of a sleep research in Feb. 2014 suggests that its betting health tracking will be one of the big draws of the new wrist accessory.
While tech-minded people are excited about the wearable device, Narcotta admits that the average person isn’t raring to get a smart watch, not to mention there aren’t great apps for these devices. However, Apple throwing itself behind the iWatch could turn it into a must-have, similar to how it helped increase the popularity of smartphones and tablets. But the supposed price tag — which ranges from $300 to $1,000 — could determine how many Americans can easily afford one.
Still, Kagan also dismisses that the iWatch will be a game changer for the majority of Americans.
“Even after launch I don't see the iWatch being that important. It will be important but only to a slice of the customer pie,” he said.