Calling it the biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook formally unveiled the new large-screen iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 starts a at $869 inc GST for the 16GB model, $999 inc GST for the 64GB model and a new 128GB model for $1,129 inc GST.
The iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $999 inc GST for the 16GB model, AUD$1,129 inc GST for the 64GB model and AUD$1,249 inc GST for the new 128GB model.
Both models will be available in Australia on Friday 19 September.
Apple said both models of the iPhone 6 have equal or better battery life as the iPhone 5s and have 11 hours of video life.
Cook also released a new mobile payment system called Apple Pay, aimed at replacing wallets, calling the current credit card system with exposed credit card numbers "outdated and vulnerable." However, Apple Pay is only available in the US.
"This is exactly what Apple does best," said Cook of the new payment system, which works at a click of the company's Touch ID sensor and NFC radio.
Stores ranging from Bloomingdale's to McDonald's drive-thrus – but only in the US – are accepting the new Apple Pay payment system, according to Apple. The Cupertino company also is introducing one-touch Apple Pay checkout for ecommerce sites including Target and Groupon. With Apple Pay, Apple boasted that consumers will no longer have to put in credit card information.
"Today we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone," Cook said in front of a crowd of more than 2,400 members of the media. "And I couldn’t be more excited and more proud to show it to you now."
The iPhone 6 comes in two screen sizes. The smaller model of the new iPhone measures out to 4.7 inches, a half-inch larger than the 4.1-inch screen on the iPhone 5. The display of the larger iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, is 5.5 inches. The HD display (1,334 x 750 for the iPhone 6; 1,920 x 1,080 for the iPhone 6 Plus) is made of ion-strengthened glass.
The larger screen takes a page out of Samsung's book, as the Korean conglomerate started the trend of "phablets" in the market in 2011 when it debuted the original Galaxy Note smartphone that featured a screen of 5.3 inches.
"The iPhone 6 release will lead to a very large market increase for Apple," said Raul De Arriz, national government sales manager for Small Dog Electronics, Waitsfield, Vt., one of the top Apple specialists in the country. "As people are looking for bigger screen devices, users of other products will switch over to Apple versions. This solidifies Apple's position at the top of the U.S. market and the top high-end smartphone vendor in the world."
Apple is making good use of its larger screen with its "side-view" app features. As demonstrated at the event, apps will have horizontal views that are different from vertical views. The Apple Messenger app in addition to the CNN app were shown off at the event as having this feature.
Other small changes on the iPhone 6 from previous models include moving the power button from the top of the device to the side, and adding curved edges to the new sleek casing. As expected, the device itself is thinner, measuring at 6.5mm for the smaller iPhone 6 model, while the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm.
The camera of the new iPhone has undergone an upgrade as well. Users may be disappointed to hear the iPhone 6 camera is at 8 megapixels -- the same as the iPhone 5 -- but Apple showed off the camera's new iSight sensor that has a feature called Focus Pixels. This allows the camera to focus twice as fast and take better-looking images. It can better focus on faces for portrait pictures with image recognition technology, Apple said. This is on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple has implemented Optical Image Stabilization technology, making pictures less blurry than before, leading to "Super HD" images. The iPhone 6 runs on a dual-core A8 processor, which Apple said is 50 times faster than the original iPhone. Apple said the new A8 chip is also 50 percent more energy-efficient.
The new phones also feature an M8 co-processor, which features a new barometer sensor. The barometer measures relative elevation such as flights of stairs climbed and will be tracked in Apple's HealthKit app. The new Nike Plus app update also will take advantage of this feature, Apple said at the event.