Consumer Electronics

The Apple Event: From American Express to U2 (Update 1)

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Source: Courtesy of Apple Inc.
Update: Two new screenshots said to be of the iPhone 6 that Apple is about to announce appear to confirm that the new iPhones will have a toggle function that will allow owners to use the devices with one hand. The photos at the BGR blog show two views of the iPhone 6 homescreen: one with six rows of large icons and one with seven rows of small icons. By including a toggle, Apple accommodates its legions of one-handed users at the same time that it gives all users more screen real estate. BGR also suggests that the images indicate that the 4.7-inch iPhone will have a 1,334 x 750-pixel display.

Tuesday’s much-anticipated announcement from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to include two new iPhones, maybe an iWatch, and an appearance by Irish rock band U2. Apple itself has, as usual, confirmed nothing except the time (10:00 a.m. PT) and location (the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif., Apple’s hometown).

Apple watchers (and who isn’t one today) are expecting to see a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and perhaps a 5.5-inch iPhone 6L, the smaller one with a sapphire glass cover made by Apple partner GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT). Expectations are also high that the company will introduce what most people call the iWatch as the company’s first wearable device.

Here are some other hardware and software features that have received wide coverage:

  • A mobile payment program — dubbed the “iWallet” by some — that includes partners like American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA), CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN). The system is expected to include a near-field communications (NFC) processor, likely produced by NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI).
  • A 128-GB version of at least one of the new iPhones. DRAM suppliers Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) and even Samsung Electronics are likely beneficiaries of that massive memory requirement.
  • There are recent reports of a rewards program in conjunction with merchants and retailers.
  • A report at The New York Times that Irish rockers U2 will play “a significant part” in Tuesday’s event, even after U2 denied the rumors.
  • A massive 2,915mAh battery for the 5.5-inch iPhone, nearly double the power of the 1,560 mAh battery that is part of the iPhone 5s.
  • A new chipset that some people believe to be a barometric pressure sensor that will be useful in both GPS and navigational functions as well as performing certain health monitoring functions.

Not much longer to wait now for the live stream of the Apple event. We’ll have a scorecard report later.

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