The embargo is over, the reviews are pouring in. And the verdict?
In a word: homerun.
Earlier this week we learned that Apple had moved 4 million pre-orders of the iPhone 6 in only 24 hours; even more impressive when you realize Apple’s iPhone 1 sold a “mere” 6 million units during its entire run.
Early sales success not entirely surprising
Last year Apple launched a mildly updated 5s. While it was nice enough, many were waiting for something more substantial. That day seems to have arrived. People–consumers and press alike–are fawning over the latest version of the iconic phone. Not only is the hardware all new, but iOS 8 which launched simultaneously promises pretty trick stuff.
Bigger is better
For the first time since launching the original iPhone in 2007 (with a 3.5-inch display), Apple is selling two new versions side by side. There’s the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen. And the iPhone 6 Plus, which comes with a big (even by many of its competitor’s standards) 5.5-inch screen. One caveat reviewers are pointing out is that going big does come at a cost, in the form of reduced battery life. Otherwise, praise seems resounding.
IPHONE 6: WHAT THE PRESS ARE SAYING
Walt Mossberg at Re/Code calls the iPhone 6 “a winner.” He says that it “manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily.” He concludes by saying it’s the best smartphone on the market today.
In a glowing review, The Verge awarded the iPhone 6 an impressive (and rare) score of 9 out of 10. Tech writer David Pierce was particularly fond of the new camera. He referred to shooting slow-motion video at 240 frames per second as “awesome.” He also really likes the new Spotlight which now includes the App Store, web, local, and other search results.
BusinessWeek thinks that the (four year) advantage Samsung has in the market with larger Android phones (such as the Note 3 and S5) is no longer an issue, and could swing potential buyers back to the iOS camp. While that’s a plus, they found the new feature “Reachability” designed to make navigating a large screen with one hand easier, “clunky.” Notifications can sometimes be annoying too, often obscuring apps and content. Ultimately BW believes with the “slick” new software, “killer” hardware, and “amazing” ecosystem, the Apple iPhone is back in the spotlight.
Brad Molen at Engadget notes that the new iPhone faces stiffer competition this go round, noting that Apple “is not breaking new ground” (Samsung was there first). It would be foolhardy he contends for Apple not to take money off the table by introducing up-sized models. Awarding a score of 90 out of 100, Molen praises the design, display and performance. On the downside, the battery life isn’t so great, and the camera lacks image stabilization.
For an overseas perspective we look to The Guardian. Huge accolades once again. 5 out of 5 stars. Verdict: “A beautifully made phone that finally reaches the screen size that many have hankered for from an iPhone, without sacrificing quality.” The only downside noted is the price.
Safe to say when it comes to the new iPhone at least (we’ll have to wait longer to find out if the Apple Watch is also able to bask in glory) Apple, and CEO Tim Cook, still have the mobile mojo.
YEAR END COMPETITION?
Earlier this year several marquee Android handsets hit the market including the HTC One, Samsung S5, Motorola X (2014), and Sony Xperia Z3.
While receiving decent reviews, none, however, have been able to capture the public’s fascination and adoration quite like the new iPhone 6.
Google will likely have the final move in 2014. Analysts expect it to launch a flagship successor to the Nexus 5. Many will be waiting to see if Google can offer a similar offering to Apple Pay which enables consumers to use their smartphone to make wallet-free payments at point of sale (Macy’s, Nike, Walgreens, Whole Foods, etc.).
And, how large will Google go? The Nexus 5 is 5.2-inches. Will a Nexus 6 match the iPhone 6 and feature a 5.5-inch display (or larger)?
For now, all conjecture. While some of wait and see, millions are already snapping up the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at a staggering rate. Google: time is of the essence.
Maybe a post-Jobs Apple has still got the “it” factor. (and by “it” we’re referring, of course, to Jony Ive).