Apple's latest additions to the iPhone family -- the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus -- went on sale in stores Friday amid reports of lines stretching 10 blocks long at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York. In addition to many other new features, the two new devices sport larger screen sizes than previous models, including the 4-inch iPhone 5 (shown above, left).
The iPhone 6 offers a 4.7-inch Retina HD display (middle), while the iPhone 6 Plus (right) offers a 5.5-inch screen, making them Apple's answer to the larger-screen "phablets" that have become increasingly popular among Android device owners. Upon unveiling the new phone designs last week, Apple described them as "the biggest advancements in iPhone history."
Built with 64-bit "desktop-class architecture," the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come loaded with the new iOS 8 operating system and Apple Pay, a new service for easy mobile payments. Both phones also feature ultra-thin bodies, with the iPhone 6 being just 6.9 mm (0.27 inch) thick.
4 Million Pre-Orders
With lines of hopeful buyers stretching for blocks outside Apple stores, Twitter and news services like Reuters reported that a large number of people in the queues said they planned to resell the devices.
Although some had questioned whether interest in owning the latest Apple device had waned among fans, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are generating strong sales numbers. Reuters reported that more than 4 million devices were pre-ordered on Sept. 12, the first day that option became available. That's reportedly more than twice as many orders submitted for the iPhone 5 when it was released two years ago.
Tweets using the hashtag #iPhoneLaunchDay were heavy on words like "crazy" and "too much." Noted one eager buyer at the start of sales: "The doors have opened! RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!"
Palo Alto Selfies with Cook
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both run Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system, which Apple has said protects users’ privacy and security better than any previous version of iOS. In a statement posted on Apple’s privacy-related Web page, CEO Tim Cook wrote, "On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), e-mail, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode.
"Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."
Cook made an appearance Friday morning at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, to be on hand for the opening day of sales. PCWorld reported that Cook made the rounds, "stopping to shake hands, thank customers and pose for many, many selfies."