The iPhone 6/6+: A good step in the right direction

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On Tuesday, September 9th, Apple unveiled their next line of iPhone devices to an eager crowd in Cupertino, CA. They showed their iPhone 6, sporting a bigger 4.7-inch screen, and their highly anticipated iPhone 6+, showing off a much bigger 5.5-inch screen. The iPhone 6+ comes with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 which is the first Apple device to sport a full HD display (compared to the iPhone 6’s 750 x 1334 resolution). While the iPhone 6 has the same pixel density as the iPhone 5s (326 ppi), the iPhone 6+ comes with 401 ppi. Since these two devices are Apple’s biggest (two biggest) phones to date, where is Apple looking when it comes to iPhone creation and technology?

Many people have criticized Apple for a long time for being slow to the game when it comes to new technology and overall phone design. When the very first iPhone came to the market on June 29, 2007 it was a total game-changer. Apple was leading the charge of innovation in the smartphone market. Their design was second-to-none and they also had something other phones lacked: a great UI and an enormous (at the time) display. There were other smartphones, Apple just perfected faster than anyone else. It made it a no-brainer to purchase an iPhone in 2007.

Apple might be slow at adding new technology to their devices, but that isn’t necessarily their goal. Apple likes to provide the user with an easy interface that is both stable and efficient. While Android phones have been standard on at least having 2 GB of RAM and at the very minimum a 720p display as of late, Apple hasn’t. The new iPhone 6 and 6+ both only have 1 GB of RAM still, and we are in 2014… Android phones are moving towards 3 GB of RAM as a standard and may even make the switch to 4 GB as soon as the Snapdragon 810 processor is released.

The thing that leaves Apple with being competitive, is their unified design. iOS is not open source which limits the changes developers can make to the device, therefore drastically limits what Apple has to do to make the device stable. This limits the users experience as far as customization, but that isn’t why consumers purchase iPhones. People who purchase iPhones understand it, and know it will be reliable.

Along with their unified OS, their software is designed to specifically run off their hardware, the A chipsets. Many thought that Apple was going to make the jump from dual-core on the A7 processor to quad-core on the A8 processor. We are finding from benchmark tests that it isn’t necessary. Apple’s all new dual-core A8 processor is clocked at 1.4 GHz whereas its predecessor, the A7 is clocked at 1.3 GHz.

As you can see in the benchmark below, the iPhone 5s may not be on the top of the list, but for its hardware it definitely puts up great numbers. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are both sporting a Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz and 2 GB of RAM. For a phone with half the amount of RAM and 1.1 GHz less to put up those numbers, Apple is definitely doing something right.

The release of the iPhone 5s was the first time Apple decided to step out of their comfort zone. They gave themselves a good start with the TouchID fingerprint scanner and continued with the larger 4 inch screen that came originally on the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s was Apple’s last chance at resisting the inevitable; giving into the large screen market. The improvements on the next-gen iPhones seems to take a few key hints from their competitors and consumers. It’s no surprise that many of the Android companies (Samsung, LG, HTC, etc) have started the race to bigger and better screens.

Large screens at first were mocked at, but now it is more and more common to find a screen in the 4.5 to 5 inch plus category for the majority of people. Samsung, one of Apple’s key competitors has showed that large screens can be successful. They showed this with the S series and more extensively in the Note line. The Note phones have been around for years, showing that you can have a big tablet style device but retain much of a phone’s properties.

Apple has been opposed to expanding their display size, but they were missing out on a huge market. The iPhone 5s wasn’t a direct competitor to the Note because of its size, 4 vs 5.7 inches. Seeing the Note 3 sold over 10 million devices in its first two months of being released Apple must have rethought its plan of attack.

The fact that Apple finally caved into producing phones with larger display, leaving 2010 in the rearview mirror is great for the Cupertino, California company. Screen size was definitely holding Apple back. Consumers who liked their hardware and design were stuck at the crossroads if they wanted a bigger display. This left them with an ultimatum: stay with a device they like or move to Android for a bigger display. Apple can now convert those users to stay with Apple with a simple design change.

To go along with the addition of a bigger display, Apple has finally upped their resolution to a respectable full 1080 HD. Apple has long pushed their Retina display as a competitor to full HD because pixel count isn’t everything. Now that Apple has pushed their Retina display to a full 1080 x 1920 resolution, it is a great sign.

Apple has also increased the battery size to the largest capacity ever seen in an iPhone. The iPhone 6 will sport a 1800 mAh battery whereas as its 6+ counterpart will have an enormous 2915 mAh battery. This a huge jump from the 1570 mAh battery that is now seen in the iPhone 5s. Apple has always been great at maintaining battery life, so now that they have finally increased their battery capacity is a great sign. Battery life is one of the most important things consumers look at when buying a new smartphone.

The iPhone 6 and 6+ are showing that Apple may finally get back in the smartphone game as an innovator. Apple was trying to please their current crowd too much and not trying to appeal to the masses. You either hear someone prefers Android or Apple. Now that Apple is going towards more standardized hardware in 2014, it may convert some Android users over. While their specs and hardware are nothing to brag about, there is no need. With their limited hardware, they provide a seamless experience that cannot be duplicated on an Android phone with the same specs.

Hopefully the iPhone 6 and 6+ are a good sign as to what is to come to the iPhone series.

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About Author

I skateboard, listen to metal, write on my website FWNED, autocross, and love messing with new phones. Currently I’m using a Pixel XL running Pure Nexus with ElementalX as my daily driver.