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Apple unveils bigger, faster iPhones

Read time 2min 20sec
At 6.9mm and 7.1mm, Apple's new iPhone duo is the thinnest the company has ever made.
At 6.9mm and 7.1mm, Apple's new iPhone duo is the thinnest the company has ever made.

In one of the most highly anticipated tech events of the year, Apple has announced two new iPhones - but this time they are bigger and faster, rather than plastic and marginally cheaper.

Apple head of marketing Phil Schiller unveiled the company's new handsets - the 4.7-nch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus - at an event in California, from 7pm South African time this evening.

The new phones have sharper and larger displays, confirming longstanding speculation it will move into a market segment dominated by arch-rival Samsung.

Here are some of the finer details:

* The new iPhones will ship with Apple's latest operating system, iOS 8, which has not yet been made available.

* The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by the Apple-designed A8 chip, which has up to 25% faster processing power and up to 50% faster graphics.

* "These are the thinnest iPhones ever made," says Schiller. "The iPhone 6 is merely 6.9mm [and] the iPhone 6 Plus is just a smidge more at 7.1mm."

* The iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1 334 by 750 with 326 pixels per inch.

* The iPhone 6 Plus has a resolution of 1 920 by 1 080 with 401 pixels per inch - full 1080p HD resolution.

* The new iPhones feature ion-strengthened glass.

* Both iPhone 6 models feature a new Retina HD display.

* New software improvements help you take better pictures, says Apple. Camera upgrades include faster autofocus, next-generation local tone mapping, and advanced noise reduction.

* Focus Pixels in the new sensor help iPhone 6 focus faster and better. They determine focus direction and how far to move the lens.

* Both new iPhones have an 8MP iSight camera with new sensors.

Schiller says the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in selected countries (US, UK, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan) from 19 September - "and more soon after".

Both iPhones will be available in three capacities - 16GB, 64GB and 128GB - with US prices for the iPhone 6 at $199, $299 and $399, respectively, and $299, $399 and $499 (respectively) for the iPhone 6 Plus. These are based on 24-month contracts.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, told eNCA earlier today that South Africans can expect a "horrendous price tag" when the phones arrive in the country - which will probably be in early December.

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