Reign of Apple continues with iPhone 6, Apple Watch

Online Producer

In case you missed it, Apple had another one of its annual self-congratulating release events on Sept. 9. Held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the party included techies, developers, celebrities, its own live streaming and blogging as well as a free U2 album.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “the next chapter in Apple’s history.” Initially criticized for both being Steve Jobs and not being Steve Jobs, Cook is now being praised for returning Apple to its former glory as a revolution-starter, a style-icon and a maker of must-haves.

Though this year’s event looks to have yielded a more promising crop than recent years, time will tell if this year’s hype proves as game-changing as their previous announcements.

There are many questions that will have to be answered.

First, will bigger more Samsung-size phones help Apple ignite another user conversion and pick away at the Android crowd? Or will hobbits, other small-handed people and lovers of small pockets start to find themselves ostracized as smartphones including the iPhone start to sell at 4.7 inches and above?

Besides the big size, some improved battery power and a new sensor, the only other thing worth talking about with the new iPhones is Apple Pay. Apple Pay means iPhones will start functioning as wallets by digitally storing debit and credit cards.

In theory, there will be plenty of participating vendors, so spending money will now be as easy as spending a freshman meal plan. In theory, our information will be secure and Apple will not take advantage of our personal data.

Finally, the Sept. 9 event marked the official merging — wedding date if you will — of the fashion world with the technology world. Tim Cook’s “one more thing” was the long-rumored Apple Watch, Apple’s first wearable.

Beware: it will not be ready until 2015, it works best only alongside an iPhone, and it is as much a “watch” as a Pokéwatch is a watch. Yet as a new money-making category for Apple investors and a new platform for web developers, the Apple Watch is a big deal even if its battery life makes only for a life lived indoors near an outlet.

Apple has a way, not just with fads, but with standards, and it could be that soon, we will all: one, be upwards of $350 poorer (the starting price for the Apple Watch). Two, be more in tune with monitoring our health via Apple Health. Three, be so overcome with guilt that we will feel the need to apologize to that kid in middle school we looked at funny because of their calculator watch.

Yet, perhaps the only real reason that people will buy, pre-order, or wait in line for the new products is because they are members of the cult of Apple. These members live in a world that for the most part ignores that all of Apple’s innovative new products already exist in some fashion (Android has already had mobile payment set up and the year-old Sony SmartWatch is half the price).

These members long ago fell for Apple designer Jony Ive’s simple and sleek aesthetics and accepted Apple’s interfaces as well as its shortcomings as facts of life.

Full disclosure: I am one. I’ve been an Apple user since as long as it mattered and even though my year-and-a-half old iPhone’s recent home button malfunctions accounted for Voice Control initiating 98 unintentional phone calls to mostly people I haven’t talked to in years, I’ll likely always be.

I, like many of you suspect, sold my soul over to Steve Jobs long ago and I’m still at the point where if an Apple keynote says it’s the best, I believe it.