Apple has unveiled a smartwatch, the Apple Watch, and two new handsets that are larger than previous models – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple Watch runs apps, acts as a health and fitness tracker and communicates with the iPhone.
While rival smartwatches already exist, experts said Apple had a history of entering sectors relatively late and then changing their direction.
The iPhone 6’s screen measures 4.7in (11.9cm) and the iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5in (14.0cm) – a change that analysts said should help prevent users migrating to Android.
Apple also announced a new service called Apple Pay, which CEO Tim Cook said he hoped would “replace the wallet” in shops.
The Apple Watch comes in two sizes and is controlled by what Apple calls a “digital crown” – a dial on its side that allows content on its screen to be magnified or scrolled through, and can also be pressed inwards to act as a home button.
The display is a touchscreen that can detect the difference between a light tap and heavier pressure from the user’s fingers. In addition, the device runs Siri – Apple’s voice-controlled “personal assistant”.
It offers a variety of different watchfaces, can alert the user to notifications, act as a heart rate monitor and show maps.
Apple said that apps could be processed on an iPhone, but displayed on the watch in order to extend battery life. It did not say how often the device needed to be recharged.
Although some of these features are available from competing products, one observer said the device had the potential to ignite the wearable tech sector.
Apple Watch – which comes in three different editions – relies on its user owning an iPhone 5 or more recent model.
It will cost $349 – which is more than recently announced Android Wear watches from Motorola, Sony and others – and will not be available until “early 2015”.
While Apple Watch was the most anticipated product, the company’s new handsets are likely to be its biggest earners.
Apple said that the A8 chip featured in the new phones would provide 25% faster compute performance than before.
The improved resolutions – dubbed “retina HD” – mean that the iPhone 6 offers 326 pixels per inch and the iPhone 6 Plus 401ppi. While better than before, the resolutions are still beaten in terms of raw numbers by Samsung’s flagships – the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 – and the HTC One.
New sensors include a barometer, which Apple said would help fitness apps distinguish whether the owner was running up a mountain or along a flatter surface.
The M8 co-processor can now estimate distances as well, which may should also help provide more accurate readings.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available for sale on September 19.
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