In San Francisco today, Apple announced its new Apple TV, which will feature apps for your television and a remote with Siri. Buster Hein, news editor of the news website “Cult of Mac,” tells us more.
TED SIMONS: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. Apple today announced a number of new products including a new iPhone and iPad, along with a revamped Apple TV. Joining us now is Buster Hein, the news editor of the Cult of Mac website. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon."
BUSTER HEIN: Thanks, Ted.
TED SIMONS: Good to have you. What exactly did Apple announce today?
BUSTER HEIN: So much stuff. The biggest announcement of the year, the iPhone-6s and 6s-plus. The new apple TV. A giant I-pad Pro, they announced some new Apple Watches, as well, the gold and rose gold options that are cheaper than the sport models.
TED SIMONS: Let's start with the iPhone, because that's really how Apple makes its bread and butter here. 6-S and 6-S Plus, why are they better than previous numbers?
BUSTER HEIN: The new thing Apple is introducing is 3-D touch, kind of allows new types of inputs. It allows the display to sense how much pressure you're putting on it so you can peek inside apps or pop over to apps. It's like adding shortcuts. Giving users a new dimension to interact with it.
TED SIMONS: Bigger, slimmer, smaller?
BUSTER HEIN: Same size pretty much as the 6. They're faster, the display is the exact same, better processor, better camera, more ram, newer and better in pretty much every way.
TED SIMONS: A difference between the 6-S and 6-S Plus?
BUSTER HEIN: No hardware differences, just the size of the screen. The 5.5 inch on the 6-S plus 4.7 inch screen on the smaller 6.
TED SIMONS: Is it the kind of thing where you recommend someone with a 5 or the 5-C, the 5-cheap as I like to call it, to go to the 6?
BUSTER HEIN: It's the best upgrade Apple's ever released. If your smartphone is your main camera like mine is, I think it's worth it for that alone. They upgraded from an 8 megapixel to a 12 megapixel sensor. The photos will look better and it'll be a lot better and easier to use with the new OS, as well.
TED SIMONS: The new iPad Pro is out today. It seems like the iPad has been somewhat stagnant, is that true?
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah Apple's experienced slumping iPad sales for the last two years. iPad Pro is really their effort to kind of re-ignite it and get it into the business space, enterprise users. They are hoping that'll really take off. Plus some partnership they've made with IBM, that's their big play this year.
TED SIMONS: We're seeing the original iPad and the iPad Air and the newest is the big one in the back, huh?
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah gigantic.
TED SIMONS: What is that 12 inches there?
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah, 12.9 inches almost as big as your Mac Book screen. Its got more pixels on it than the Retina Mac Book Pro. Which is a super high end notebook.
TED SIMONS: What's the difference between an iPad Air or just an I Mac air and this 12-inch -- this thing is monstrous.
BUSTER HEIN: The main thing is for work, an IOS 9 comes out later this month. Apple has a bunch of software that makes it so you can look at two apps at once on that huge display. They also have a new Apple pencil that's pressure-sensitive and allows you to do more on that giant tablet. There's also a smart cover keyboard so you can type on it. It's more like a laptop, kind of supposed to bridge the gap between the mac book and the iPad area.
TED SIMONS: The keyboard, that's the same as the cover, correct? What's the other --?
BUSTER HEIN: The Microsoft Surface, they introduced something similar about three years ago. It's very similar to Microsoft's.
TED SIMONS: You don't have to do the tapping on the screen necessarily, you can have the keyboard there and touch and go?
BUSTER HEIN: Yes.
TED SIMONS: Now let's get to Apple TV. This confuses most people, certainly does me but it sounds so promising and could be the future of Apple.
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah. It's the first really serious play to get into your living rooms. They have had the Apple TV for a number of years, but they have called it a hobby. It's basically like turning your giant big screen into an extension of your iPhone. Now the Apple TV will run IOS and the apps on your iPhone, as well. Developers can start to program games just for the Apple TV. You can watch content from Netflix, Hulu, HBO a number of other sources. There's a Siri on it now. You pick up the remote, talk to her, and if she gets what you saying it will pull up the Steven Colbert show. Whatever you want to watch.
TED SIMONS: When I ask for "Arizona Horizon," if it works like this one works now, I'll get a shot of the horizon somewhere over the Pacific.
BUSTER HEIN: We haven't gotten to play with it yet, but they say that they have fine-tuned her.
TED SIMONS: Sounds like Apple will probably start with original content, don't you think?
BUSTER HEIN: That's the rumor, that Apple is looking into creating original content. They made a bid for "Top Gear" which is a really popular BBC show. They have tried to buy a couple of media properties, so with Apple TV, that's the thinking. This is going to be like their really big push to take on Netflix even and HBO possibly.
TED SIMONS: Which means, and I've heard rumors they could be building their own studio for original content. It could be huge.
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah. Their aspirations are huge. They just launched Apple Music with tons of exclusive music deals. You would think a video type of service would make a lot of sense, too.
TED SIMONS: You mentioned the I-watch which -- first of all, is that selling the way they thought it would sell?
BUSTER HEIN: I think so. There are reports it's not selling well, but Apple hasn't released any numbers. They say it's doing better than expectations. They announced two new models today. Mostly, I think, they appeal towards female users. They have a gold version that's $399 now and a rose gold that's $399, as well. The only way to get those earlier was to pay $10,000 $17,000 for those colors. I think their making it more a piece of jewelry for everybody.
TED SIMONS: We've seen a lot of product, a lot of changes. Does this count as Apple's next big thing? Everyone expects the next big thing, but the sales you had years ago, you can't duplicate those kind of sales, can you?
BUSTER HEIN: Yeah. With the iPhone 6-S Apple will break all of its sales records. Mostly because of Android switchers. China is doing really well, it's their second biggest market. So with everything, they didn't even get 80% of users didn't upgrade last year to the iPhone 6. A lot of people are just waiting for a new device.
TED SIMONS: You mentioned China - Apple I think is number 1 in the US iPhone market, but not in the world market. Why is that?
BUSTER HEIN: Android makes cheaper devices, they are easier to get for a lot of people for low-income homes. Apple is No. 1 in the U.S. where you have a bigger middle class. Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, talks about China's growing middle class as a huge advantage. Android still makes $100 phones $200 phones, but the new iPhones are $600 $700. That's the big advantage Android has.
TED SIMONS: Apple really is trying to get into the corporate market, aren't they?
BUSTER HEIN: The iPad Pro is their big play. They are doing great with Mac Book sales in the corporate market, but the tablets haven't taken off as well as they want to. They are hoping the keyboard, the Apple Pencil, the bigger display, the new software, they think that's going to be the magic. There are still laptops that are a lot cheaper than a new iPad Pro, which is pretty expensive.
TED SIMONS: How much is that iPad Pro?
BUSTER HEIN: It starts at $799.
TED SIMONS: Expensive tablet, isn't it?
BUSTER HEIN: A nice little TV-watching toy.
TED SIMONS: Thank you for stopping by, we do appreciate it.
BUSTER HEIN: Thank you Ted.
Buster Hein: news editor of news website "Cult of Mac"