APPLE’S iPhone is like your hair - every year it gets lighter and thinner.
This year, it’s also got bigger. Responding to competition from large-screen Android phones by Samsung, Apple has upped the display size of the basic iPhone 6 from four to 4.7 inches. The new iPhone 6 Plus goes even further, with a near-tablet sized 5.5-inch screen - almost half an inch bigger than Samsung’s Galaxy S5.
Under the hood, Apple has updated its software, opening the way for third-party developers to push out alternative keyboards - a feature Android users have long enjoyed.
The new phones still lack home-screen widgets - Apple remains strictly icons-only - but there are improvements to the photos and messaging apps - you can now give names to conversations and share your location with others. And Apple’s personal assistant Siri can now identify a song playing in the background.
You don’t need an iPhone 6 to enjoy all the new features - the new software is also available free for the iPhone 4s upwards, and for most iPads.
Today, fans finally got their hands on the new handsets. Some began camping outside the Apple store in Regent Street, London on Monday.
Around 30 or so people set up camp outside the Apple store in London’s Covent Garden yesterday, with tents, tables and chairs and even bottles of wine bearing testimony to their dedication.
Among them was Lasse Maroen, who caught a three-hour flight from his home in Bergen, Norway with friends from work to get the iPhone 6.
He said: “I have been here since this morning. We came here last year to get the iPhone 5s. We had such a good time so we decided to go back this year.”
Asked if he was a “technology geek”, he said: “I have been known to buy the new iPhones on the day they come out since the first one in 2007, so pretty much.”
Mr Maroen said he planned to buy the handset outright. The iPhone 6 is expected to start at £539, and the 6 Plus at £619.
Network operator EE has also said it will ensure that customers who had pre-ordered new handsets through Phones 4u, which went into administration on Sunday, would still be able to get them in its stores.
A spokesman said: “All across the country we have set aside iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets, enough for Phones 4u customers who pre-ordered iPhones on EE through Phones 4u.
“If they go into EE stores and show their pre-order receipts they will be able to claim one of the devices.”