4K? For what? iPhone 6S camera ushers ultra-high resolution into mainstream

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Eight apps optimized for 3D Touch on your new iPhone 6S.

SAN FRANCISCO/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores around the world on Friday, kicking off what is expected to be a record weekend of sales as customers scrambled to buy Apple Inc’s marquee product in pink for the first time. Eager buyers – joined by at least one robot – flocked to Apple stores from Sydney to New York and San Francisco, itching to get their hands on new models boasting an improved camera and a screen feature Apple calls ’3D Touch’, which performs different functions depending on how hard a user presses. “It’s very intuitive. Imagine snapping a shot of your kid blowing out birthday candles — and getting video showing the flame going out as everyone sings “Happy Birthday.” Yes, sound is included.

I’m really excited to see what developers do with it,” Leah Bentley, a 22-year-old software developer from Emeryville, California, said inside Apple’s San Francisco store after purchasing her phone. You firmly press on the display to try this new, magical, 3D Touch feature (the first time, you probably do it wrong, and your apps wiggle just like they used to). For all the sophisticated technology packed into the new iPhones, customers interviewed by Reuters were most excited by a more low-tech feature: the ‘rose gold’ finish, a new shade that Apple introduced with the current phone. The novel hue – essentially sparkling pink – accounted for more than a third of early in-store sales, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives, citing conversations with buyers. It’s not just Apple’s native apps that will work with 3D Touch; today a bunch of third-party app makers started rolling out updated versions of their apps that support the feature as well.

One store at least was buzzing, as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook made a surprise visit to company’s store in Georgetown, Washington, to raucous cheers from employees and shoppers. Analysts expect 12 million to 13 million phones to fly off the shelves in the first weekend, up from more than 10 million last year when the launch of the hugely successful iPhone 6 was delayed in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. Apple, whose shares were largely unchanged on Friday, has said pre-orders suggested sales were on pace to beat last year’s first-weekend performance. It usually announces first weekend sales on the following Monday. “I obviously have my work and other things to attend to and can’t spend two days lining up so my boss at work suggested I take one of the robots down and use it to stand in my place,” she said, via an iPad mounted on top of the wheeled robot. Apple has said just a fraction of its customers have upgraded to the iPhone 6 – analysts estimate less than 30 percent – suggesting there is room to grow.

Still, Apple has only about 16 percent of the global smartphone market compared to 81 percent for devices running Google Inc’s Android system, according to tech research firm IDC’s projections for this year. However, taking action within the app is a little awkward in this first implementation — Pin, Heart, and Send options pop up when you press on individual photos, but doing that requires two hands (one to utilize 3D Touch and the other to select an option) and seems to take you to an app page to do it, anyway. More important than customer appetite for upgrades is sales outside the United States, particularly in China, said Aaron Rakers, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co.

Shares of audio chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc jumped 15 percent after iFixit’s tear-down revealed that Apple had used its chips, as it did in previous iPhones. Lacklustre offerings this year from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> will help Apple stand out in the marketplace, said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

You can mute it for an hour using 3D Touch, too. 3D Touch in Shazam pretty much ensures you’ll never miss a Shazam opportunity because it took you too damn long to open the app. He said he expected the 6s to eclipse the 6 “over the long haul.” (Reporting by Pauline Askin in Sydney, Siddharth Cavale in New York, Julia Love in San Francisco and Supriya Kurane, Lehar Maan and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Writing by Lincoln Feast and Robin Paxton; Editing by Stephen Coates, Ted Kerr and Bill Rigby) Carrot Weather technically has 3D Touch capabilities, but it’s pretty basic: pressing on the app icon shows only options for search and location(s), rather then a glimpse of what the weather or temperature actually is. Apple’s iCloud Photo Library service might free up some storage on your phone, but you might be better off buying a phone with more storage to begin with.

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