All eyes on Apple. It has been about four years since Apple introduced a completely new gadget into the tech market. The pressure is on for the world’s largest tech company to deliver on the hype at its “special event” in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday. And much of this hype is being built up by Apple itself.
Executives at the company are promising the best product pipeline in 25 years. Remember that the last product revolution introduced by Apple (the iPad) was ushered in by late Apple co-founder (and product visionary) Steve Jobs. We may finally see if current Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team can deliver the goods.
Here are the five things to look out for on Tuesday, courtesy of Reuters:
iWatch?: Rumors of an Apple smartwatch go back several years, but Tuesday may finally be showtime. The watch, which will reportedly have a flexible screen and come in two sizes, will track its wearer’s health and fitness, double as an electronic wallet and of course, display messages.
The watch is not likely to go on sale until sometime in 2015 and Apple may not even reveal its price on Tuesday. But with rivals such as Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Co already entering the smartwatch market, tech-watchers are anxious for Apple to show its cards.
iPhone 6: Smartphones are Apple’s bread-and-butter, representing more than half of its revenue, and the company is expected to introduce a pair of new models with bigger screens, a sleeker design and wireless payment capabilities. The iPhone 6 will be available with 5.5-inch or 4.7-inch screens, a step up from the current models’ 4-inch screens. There is also speculation that some phones will boast extra-tough screens made from scratch-resistant sapphire material.
Mobile Wallet: Apple has reportedly struck deals with major credit card providers Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and American Express Co. The partnerships, as well as a special communication chip within the new iPhone and smartwatch, would allow consumers to use their gadgets at stores to buy everything from coffee to blue jeans – changing the shopping experience and extending Apple’s reach from the Web to real-world commerce.
Health: Apple’s launch of the “HealthKit” data service earlier this year made it clear that it sees its products helping consumers manage personal health information. By incorporating the HealthKit service into the iPhone 6, and by packing its smartwatch with sensors capable of monitoring physical movements and heart rates, Apple could lay the groundwork for a broader push into mobile healthcare.
One More Thing? Apple’s Jobs was famous for surprising fans with unexpected products at the end of his presentations. Could Cook preserve the tradition with a peek at a long-awaited Apple television, a rumored bigger iPad or a completely unexpected product?