Apple announces the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Duh

Tim Cook called it the “biggest advancement in iPhone.” We called it the worst of their long history of poorly kept secrets. 

Two sizes: both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were announced this morning at Apple’s press conference in Cupertino, CA. The iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches, while its big brother is 5.5 inches. That’s 1224 x 740 and Full HD, respectively. They’re both less than 7 mm thick (6.9 mm and 6.71 mm), making them the thinnest iPhones yet.

The phones will be offered in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray, starting at $199 with a two year contract for the iPhone 6 (16GB), with the top configuration being $399 for a 128GB model. The iPhone 6 Plus takes the price of each size up $100, starting at $299. They’ll start shipping on September 19 in the United States, with preorders beginning on September 12.

Retina screen? Forget that — this is the Retina HD. The new screen is sRGB accurate, with a super thin backlight — an IPS crystal display.

A new camera comes in at 8 megapixels and a f/2.2 lens. A new sensor has what apple calls “focus pixels,” essentially giving the phone phase detection, a feature usually reserved for high-end photography equipment. The iPhone 6 Plus gets optical image stabilization. 

Apple’s vision is to replace the wallet with their contactless Apple Pay payment process, built into the new iPhones. Instant payment takes place with Touch ID verification and NFC communication. Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Staples, Subway, Disney, Whole Foods, McDonald’s and many more are already signed on to support Apple Pay.

It runs a new generation A8 chip that gives 25 percent faster CPU performance and 50 percent more energy efficiency than its predecessor. To use that power, developers like Epic, Ubisoft, Gameloft, EA, Square Enix, and Disney have already signed on to make games and apps, with the first to come before year’s end.  Super Evil Megacorp showed off battle arena game Vainglory at the event.

Dale North