Apple goes for ‘bigger is better’ strategy with next-gen handsets

Double-barrel launch unveils 4.7-inch iPhone 6, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus

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Apple goes for ‘bigger is better’ strategy with next-gen handsets The iPhone 6 range features the thinnest, biggest iPhones ever. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 10, 2014

Apple Inc had teased its fan base long enough and last night the wait was over. As expected it launched two handset models: a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, each with Retina HD displays.

GALLERY: iPhone 6 handsets

GALLERY: Apple Watch

ANALYSIS: Just another iLaunch, or a new line in the sand?

Both iPhones feature unibody chassis of anodised aluminium that blends with the display and also bear the distinctions of incorporating Apple's largest-ever screens and being its thinnest-ever handsets.

The handsets are powered by Apple's own A8 chip, which employs second-generation 64-bit architecture, which, Apple has always been keen to point out, is aimed not only at performance but power efficiency.

Other features include iSight and FaceTime HD cameras; enhanced wireless technologies; and Apple Pay, a one-touch payment app that appears to be territory-dependent.

Both models run iOS 8, which comes with new Messages and Photos features, QuickType keyboard, a new Health app, Family Sharing and iCloud Drive.

"[The] iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history," bragged Apple's chief executive Tim Cook. "The iPhone is the most loved smartphone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry and we are making it much better in every way. Only Apple can combine the best hardware, software and services at this unprecedented level and we think customers are going to love it."

GALLERY: iPhone 6 handsets

GALLERY: Apple Watch

ANALYSIS: Just another iLaunch, or a new line in the sand?

With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple stakes a claim to a slice of the phablet market for the first time. Industry research companies have reported that the large-screen (5 to 6.9 inch) sub-category is growing at a faster pace than overall smartphone shipments. South Korea's Samsung Electronics has dominated this category with its larger Galaxy S models and its Galaxy Note range. Meanwhile investors and analysts had been critical of Apple's apparent disinterest in building a competing handset.

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