Apple Updates: iPhone 6, iOS 8, Watch and Apple Pay 

Executive Summary

On September 9th, Apple introduced two major devices—the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus to their existing product line, while giving more details on the previously announced and highly anticipated iOS 8 software update. Both new iPhones have larger screens than their predecessors. Hot on the heels of the new iPhone announcement was the small, but powerful Apple Watch. Watch comes with many features of the iPhone, plus a few new ones specific to a ‘wearable’. Apple’s final announcement confirmed the long standing rumors of NFC capabilities. The new iPhones and Watch will be equipped with NFC antennas to allow for easier in-store and in-app payments, called Apple Pay.

Availability

  • iPhone 6 – available for pre-order imminently, in-store purchase from 19th September
  • iOS 8 – available for free download from 17th September.
  • Apple Watch – coming early 2015
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iPhone 6

The all new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with larger screens and heightened display. The latest products come with a suite of features, such as new motion sensors, camera and NFC capabilities, with Apple aiming to revolutionize the health, photo and commerce spaces.

Available for purchase September 19th in –store.

Feature Highlights

  • Sizing
    • iPhone 6 (4.7 inches)
    • iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inches)
  • Technology
    • M8 Motion Coprocessor gathers data from sensors and new barometer to measure steps, distance and elevation changes
    • Increased battery life – up to 50 hours audio time
    • Enhanced landscape mode
  • iSight Camera
    • Advanced camera and video features like focus pixels, face detection, autofocus, noise reduction to create higher quality photos and videos
  • Wallet
    • NFC antenna allows for easier payments without waking your screen
    • Apple Pay – simple checkout interface within app environment. Pay with one click.

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • The new and enhanced iPhone can mean different things for many different parties. Particularly for brands and advertisers, the introduction of NFC payments and Apple Pay might bring mCommerce to the next frontier. With the advent of many ‘tap-and-go’ payment modes, we believe that APAC will be highly receptive to this form of payments. Retailers should look into upgrading their POS systems to include NFC functionality, or even in branded apps and mCommerce sites.
  • Apple Pay combines the Touch ID, Passbook and NFC – this takes mobile wallet and payment solutions to a whole more integrated and interesting level. Apple Pay is backed by most major credit cards in the US so far, and advertisers should research how their apps and other joint third party apps can offer the ability to use Apple Pay to process external payments.
  • Smart Wi-Fi upgrades means users enjoy better network stability, and this could translate to more efficient loading of content on mobile web etc.
  • New hardware upgrades such as the enhanced M8 motion coprocessor which enables 50% faster graphics will allow Apple to compete alongside Android devices like Samsung’s Galaxy series which has long dominated the Asian market. With such enhancements, we foresee more mobile users using the new iPhone 6 and 6+ as mobile entertainment hubs for their daily consumption of apps, videos and games.
  • The iPhone 6+’s enhanced landscape feature coupled with the iPhone’s new large screen that enabled Full HD video viewing, will certainly make mobile videos a more enjoyable activity. Advertisers can leverage on this tech upgrade by providing vivid and engaging video content for iPhone users.
  • The enhanced landscape feature also means that advertisers and brands could adapt their apps to take advantage of this new presentation mode.
  • Prepare for a new wave of selfies – The new iPhone 6+ camera is fitted with optical image stabilization (OIS), front cameras take it better light and feature a new burst mode. 

iOS 8

Apple unveiled the next generation of their operating system at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) a few months ago and it will roll out on 17th September. iOS 8 is characterized by features that allow for seamless communication and interaction between an iPhone and its user. The new system creates synergy amongst apps to allow for smarter phones that learn to adapt to the individual user.

Feature Highlights

  • Interactive Notifications
    • Pull down on notifications to take action
    •  Reply to text, email, calendar invites and push notifications from apps

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • Notifications are now less of a nuisance, and more contextually relevant to users. By adding a layer of interactivity to notifications, brands could perhaps look into creative ways to engage with consumers via push notifications i.e. Partnering with an in-store beacons system to gauge customer response and preference in real-time.

  • Photo
    • All photos live in iCloud across device
    • Introducing photo editing tools: crop, straighten, enhance and add filters
  • Family Sharing
    • Up to 6 members get access to each others music, movies, books and apps
    • Share photo albums, calendars and location

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • This new feature breams with great potential for brands trying to reach multiple people within each family. With share iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases, we anticipate an uplift in app downloads – especially since it wouldn’t cost families more than a one-time app purchase.

  • Brands can effectively reach more users in this manner, because of easier cross-device (through iCloud) targeting giving access to multiple-users.


  • Health & Healthkit
    • Health – dashboard of your personal health and fitness data
      • Aggregates heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, and cholesterol tracked via apps into one hub
    • Healthkit – developer tool that allows for all health and fitness apps to work together
      • Developers can make apps more useful by allowing them to access health data
      • The consumer chooses the health data they want to share with apps
    • Partners: Mayo clinic, Nike+, Epic systems

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • Advertisers in the healthcare and sports industry will be the first to capitalise on Apple’s Health and Healthkit.
  • Advertisers can potentially gain new customer insights in real-time, and use these insights for clever targeting. We expect to see some ingenious uses of this data in the coming weeks and months

  • Spotlight

    • Traditionally used to search within your phone – transitioning into smart service that considers context and location to return results from Wikipedia, News, nearby places, iTunes, app store, iBooks store, suggested websites + movie times

  • Keyboard

    • Predicative typing for message and email – different word suggestions based on what environment you are typing in. Learns to adapt over time to each of your contacts

    • Keyboard opened to developers – users will be able to choose their favorite third-party keyboard experience

  • Continuity

    • Pick up where you left off in text, email, etc across devices

    • Make and receive calls across devices as long as phone is on same Wi-Fi network

    • Leverage your phone as a personal hotspot for Mac and iPads

  • Messages

    • Messages are having an overhaul, with many additional features which are available on other chat apps.

    • Group messaging (name thread, add/remove contacts, do not disturb, leave thread)

    • Share location/whereabouts with contacts – for an hour, whole day, or indefinitely

    • Touch and hold microphone button to record your voice, song, etc – swipe to send

    • Snapchat-like instant video sharing feature

  • SDK

    • Over 4,000 new APIs and services to make apps more engaging

      • Touch ID – Use to log into 3rd party apps

      • PhotoKit – enable photo apps to edit photos directly in camera roll

      • Camera API – camera apps have control over exposure, focus and white balance

      • HealthKit – health and fitness apps have ability to talk to each other

      • HomeKit – control devices in home using Siri

      • CloudKit – developers can use full power of iCloud within their apps

    • Introducing new gaming technology:

      • SpriteKit – create high performance, battery efficient 2D games

      • SceneKit – render game scenes in 3D

      • Metal – Apple’s own graphics API

    • New programming code: Swift

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • Home Kit – This is great news for smart home electronics brands. Brands should work towards creating apps that allow users to control everything in their homes from the screen of their mobile device.

  • Additionally, when partnered with Siri’s voice commands, this can take smart homes to the next level; something we have only seen in movies. This allows mobile to become much more of a utility and a control console in consumers’ lives.

  • Extensibility – Apple has introduced widgets for apps that display information and allows for some interaction within the notification centre. A new feature also includes customizable widgets that allows the user to edit the type of built-in widgets they wish to see. The opportunity for advertisers and brands here is to ensure that their apps are outfitted with a certain level of widget interactivity.

  • Touch ID – This one’s simple – enabling payments with fingerprint recognition – this makes mCommerce hassle-free and some even say, added security. After all, our fingerprints are one-of-a-kind.


  • iBeacon
    • iOS 8 is bringing location-aware app access to the consumer’s lock screen using beacon technology.
    • The process of connecting location-aware apps with consumers and content is becoming more passive – Apple can use your location even when you are not using an app.

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • iBeacon is an incredibly interesting technology that very few brands are currently utilizing. Retailers in particular can target consumers who are in proximity to their stores, with generic or even personal coupons, offers or messaging.
  • According to stats from in-market trials of the technology, the US has seen app usage increase by 16.5 times for users who receive notifications triggered by nearby beacons. Already, beacons are helping to increase usage of location-relevant apps and keep users in the apps for longer.

Apple Watch

Apple also unveiled their newest creation – the Apple Watch. As Apple’s first product designed to be worn, the watch is rooted in personalization, and is meant to be a companion. The Apple Watch is fully customizable to each individual wearer.

Coming early 2015.

Feature Highlights

  • The Digital Crown
    • Multi-functional input device that allows for zooming, scrolling and selecting
    • The crown is “what the click wheel was to the iPod”.
  • Collections
    • There are a range of designs:
  • Time
    • Automatically adjusts to local time when travelling
    • Send personal alerts according to a consumer’s schedule
  • Health/Fitness
    • Activity app - monitors progress and provides motivation
    • Workout app – shows real time data on time, distance, and calories
    • Track progress over time through your iPhone – set goals and earn achievements
  • Communication
    • Always with you, the Watch makes communication more convenient
    • Physical alerts and notifications – vibrates and taps
    • All the same functions we’re used to on our phones:
  • Plus a few new ones:
  • Wallet
    • Use credit and debit cards to make purchases all from your wrist by holding Watch up to the contactless readers within retailers
  • Apps
    • For Consumers: Many popular apps and features appeat in a new way on Watch: Calendar, Maps, Passbook, Music, Apple TV and iTunes (controller), Remote Camera, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, World Clock, Stocks, Weather, Photos, Siri, Settings
    • For Developers: Build apps uniquely for Apple Watch interface with WatchKit

Airwave’s Thoughts

  • New points of data
    • The Apple Watch, much like the Health app, provides advertisers with new data points.
  • NFC + Apple Pay
    • The watch is as intimate a device as the mobile phone. The biggest difference between the two is that the watch is in constant contact with the user’s wrist; this makes the NFC feature a perfect fit with the device. Imagine tapping your watch to gain entry into your office, or tapping on a smart tag and viewing instant information on the watch screen, or your phone.
  • New screen control options – Pressure-sensing technology that differentiates between tap, press and glances (a swipe up from the base of the watch face)
    • This could open up a new range of touch gestures to interact with apps and possibly even ads – especially when on-the-go, so health apps may be the first to utilise this feature.
  • Unlocks new cross-device possibility
    • What is more intimate than a phone? A person’s watch, because it is on them all the time! Imagine unlocking the ability to target users across different devices at different times of the day.
  • Continuity features
    • iOS 8’s continuity feature aids the above point of cross-device targeting. Users can now pick up on previous activities where they left off on other devices. This allows for a seamless transition in the user’s attention
  • Fitness features galore – Accelerometer, GPS technology, Heart-rate monitor
    • Great for fitness/sporting/healthcare brands, they can gain new data points and a better understanding of their consumers.
    • Perhaps in the near future, these categories of data can be used for other industries such as linking health quality with insurance plan premiums.
  • Siri-enabled
    • Integrating Siri in the Apple Watch certainly makes sense. With limited real estate, screen gestures tend to be limited. By enabling voice-recognition capabilities, Apple has the ability to overcome the problem of limited screen size, whilst opening up new opportunities in voice-enabled interactions.
    • We think this may lead to an increase in voice-controlled features. We’re starting to see voiced enabled advertising now, so perhaps this could work with Watch?

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