Like many Apple customers, I've been coping with a cracked iPhone 5 screen for months now, waiting in anticipation for the company's new iPhone release, and according to The New York Times, we won't be waiting much longer.
The new products will be unveiled next Tuesday (September 9) in the official keynote conference that iPhone aficionados have come to expect each fall, but some of the details have already been confirmed for two new models of the iPhone 6 and a brand new, wearable computer that's been dubbed the "iWatch."
Rumors about the wearable computer watch have been swirling for a few months now, but the Times report confirms earlier revelations from the Wall Street Journal—so it's pretty much safe to say the iWatch is a go. However, the Times' sources say the watch probably won't be available until next year.
Both the watch and the two new iPhone models will feature near-field communication -- or NFC -- which is essentially an e-payment system that allows users to purchase things wirelessly. It's akin to the tap to pay system that's been rolled out in devices made by several other media companies like Samsung, but never adopted by Apple until now. The inclusion of NFC allows the iWatch to go beyond the fitness and health functions that competitors have zeroed in on for similar devices, although it will also include fitness-related features.
The smartwatch will also re-charge through wireless technology—earlier experiments with solar charging reportedly did not pan out. The iWatch is also the first product that Apple's new leader, Timothy D. Cook, has presented since the company's legendary Steve Jobs died three years ago.
The smartwatch will come in two sizes that the Wall Street Journal describes as "a curved organic light-emitting diode screen." The Times reports that it will have "a flexible display panel that is protected by a cover composed of sapphire, a type of tougher glass."
As for the iPhone 6, which the newest edition will almost assuredly be called, the emphasis is on size. Phones with bigger screens, like Samsung's Galaxy, challenged the iPhone 5 quite a bit, so the confirmation of the new phone's specs at 4.7 diagonal inches and 5.5 diagonal inches suggests that Apple is going all in for the big screen model.
To combat potential hiccups for users adapting to a larger phone, the new model will have the option of a one-handed mode. And while the iPhone 5 was sharp-edged and sleek, this forthcoming phone will have the throwback, rounded curves like current iPads. If Apple is using the sapphire glass for the new phones too, it could mean the end of the sad, cracked screens.
Apparently, the glass is stronger than steel and much tougher than the iPhone 5's Gorilla Glass. If that's the case, then the iPhone 6 will certainly be welcomed with open arms. Guess we'll have to wait till Tuesday to find out for sure.