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The smartphone battle of the year has finally kicked off with Apple revealing their new iPhone 6 and 6 plus smartphone and a new $349 Apple Watch overnight.

The rectangular watch that will go on sale in 2015 it looks similar to Samsung’s first smart watch

The ‘Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created.’ said Apple chief executive Tim Cook. ‘It’s also a comprehensive health and fitness device [and] is precise, synced to the internet, accurate to within 50 milliseconds.’ he said. 

Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 6 that has a 4.7-inch screen, curved edges and will be available in dark black and gold. The iPhone 6 will start at $199 on a two-year contract for 16GB, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB.

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Also revealed is a top end model called the iPhone 6 Plus that has a 5.5-inch screen and 185 per cent more pixels than the 5S. 

The devices were unveiled by Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Apple’s worldwide marketing, at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College in Cupertino in the USA last night. Also in attendance was Rupert Murdoch and U2.

The new Apple watch that joins similar offerings from LG and Samsung which are already on sale in Australia. It has a completely new user interface that is different from the iPhone interface, it also has a ‘crown’ on the Apple Watch that is called the ‘digital crown’ that can be used to control apps.

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Users can turn the crown to zoom in and out on a map, or scroll a list. The crown can also be pressed to take the user back to the home screen.

Different areas on the watch face can be customised with taps and swipes, and force touches.

A Glances feature shows info users would like to see, similar to Google Now, and is accessed by swiping the screen up from the bottom.

Music can also be controlled on an iPhone through the Apple Watch.

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Built-in is a ‘tactic engine’ that responds to a subtle vibrations users feel on their wrist for notifications.

It understands questions in messages and then offers pre-selected answers, and messages can be dictated to the iPhone.

Users can also talk to the watch and send a voice reply, or have it transcribed to them.

There is no keyboard on the watch, and messages can only be sent through dictation.

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Apple has also unveiled Apple Pay which is a mobile system that works by holding phone up to a generic card reader and pressing a finger on the TouchID button.
The NFC chip is fitted across the top of the phone.

All details are encrypted and the system stores payment information securely.

It uses the Passbook app and cards that are already on file with iTunes can be saved to it.

Users can also take a picture of their own credit card and add it to the account. This is verified by the card’s bank before being accepted. 

New iPhone 6
The new iPhones will have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display screen.

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Apple said that the new phones come with many hardware improvements, including a sharper display, better battery life and improved camera performance.
The most noticeable upgrade for phones is the larger displays. Apple has stuck with a smaller display for its iPhone, even as competitors started making larger screens a standard feature for high-end phones. 

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The Wall Street Journal said that the absence of a large screen was becoming a liability for Apple as it tried to maintain its dominant hold on the high-end smartphone market. Phones with screens larger than 5 inches accounted for nearly 40% of global smartphone shipments in the second quarter, up from 21% a year earlier, according to market researcher Canalys.

Apple’s main smartphone rival Samsung Electronics has pushed aggressively into larger-size smartphones, using the bigger screen as a key differentiator from the iPhone. For smartphones with screens of 5 inches or larger, Samsung is the leader, with 34% of the market, according to Canalys.

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Apple pushed the price of its high-end iPhone higher, even as other manufacturers feel pricing pressure on smartphones. Apple’s iPhone is already more expensive than nearly all of its competitors. Before the price increase, research firm IDC estimated that the world-wide average selling price of an iPhone will be $657 this year, compared with $254 for phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

The iPhone announcement comes as Apple is trying to prove that it can still deliver the type of ground-breaking products that vaulted it from the brink of bankruptcy to become the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization. It established itself as a leading innovator by redefining the mobile phone in 2007 with the iPhone, and the tablet computer in 2010 with the iPad.

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