Pink iPhone proves popular as record weekend sales expected

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Instagram to Dropbox: Apps that are 3D Touch ready for Apple iPhone 6s.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores around the world on Friday, kicking off what is expected to be revealed as a record weekend of sales as customers scrambled to buy’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. But everything else is different, making it a much better proposition to buyers than last year’s phone,” says Chris Smith, writer for Boy Genius Report, a site that focuses on the mobile and consumer electronic markets. As Apple defines it, 3D touch recognises ‘force which enables new gestures like Peek and Pop.’ At the launch event, Apple showed third party apps like Instagram and Facebook already taking advantage of this new feature. 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.

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. One US store at least was buzzing, as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook made a surprise visit to the 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. The stronger screen should also lessen the chances of screen cracks, as Apple claims it’s made from the most durable glass in the smartphone industry, reports Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal. As The Verge reports, “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.” Apple’s iPhones are very popular in China and WeChat is the most popular social messaging platform in the country. 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. And so here I am buying (outright) an iPhone 6s Plus 12 months into a 24-month telco contract because I desperately want to go back to using Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS.

A “deep” press on the email app for example gives you a preview of the email without fully entering the app, whereas a “deeper” press will open the app full screen. 3D Touch also allows for cursor control. “In a text entry field, press on the keyboard and you can slide your finger around as a cursor, to make text editing easier,” says Gizmag. 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. 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. What got cut from the video was that I also wanted a phone with better battery life than the iPhone; my iPhone 5 often went flat at about 12 am while I was out most Friday nights, and it made me super anxious, especially while overseas, when I needed Google Maps to find my way back to hotels when my battery had gone flat. (It took me at least two hours to get back to a hotel once while in New York after my iPhone’s battery died).

It’s always “the most powerful iPhone” Apple’s ever made and so on and so forth, yet we continue to see complaints of batteries not lasting long enough. 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.

Lackluster offerings this year from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will help Apple stand out in the marketplace, said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. While it has amazing battery life — it seriously lasts two days under heavy use, without recharging — its user interface is horrendous, I constantly make typos using it that I wouldn’t make on an iPhone, apps have continuously crashed on me, and Google Now, the search giant’s personal assistant, has repeatedly served up useless suggestions (known as cards) that are irrelevant. Take searching text message conversation histories of someone you haven’t messaged in a while to find out what apartment number they live in so that they can buzz you in (true story).

Only recently did I learn from a work colleague, also a Z3 user, that to see text histories on the Z3 (it differs from Android to Android) you have to go into contacts, find the contact, then press the text message icon. Third-party app developers (think Facebook and Twitter) also don’t seem to pay as close attention to Android apps as they do to ones for iPhone, which often leads to them leaving out features that iPhone users seem to get first. To my friends who said I was making a mistake by switching to Android — Nick, Cory, Brent, James, Chris, Jordan, and just about every single other friend I have, all of whom seem to have iPhones — I’m sorry.

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