Tim Cook has had his first Steve Jobs moment.
With Tuesday’s introduction of the new iPhone 6 line, Apple Pay and Apple Watch, the company’s CEO escaped the public shadow of his revered predecessor. Now the question is: Can he deliver in the same impressive fashion?
The early signs indicate he just might. While Apple’s presentations are usually packed with an amen chorus of fans and tech journalists, the details the company revealed about its next line of phones, its new payment processing system and upcoming smart watch gave a clear sign that Apple is not becoming stagnant, as so many critics had feared.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are almost certain to be hot sellers when they become available on Sept. 19. The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models level the playing field between Apple and its larger-screened Android competitors. The processor and camera improvements are impressive. And the user interface changes the company showed off were promising.
Like the iPhone 5c and 5s, though, there’s no question about which model Apple is favoring. The advantages of the iPhone 6 Plus over the iPhone 6 go well beyond the screen size. The 6 Plus’s optical image stabilization (versus less effective digital stabilization) and a significantly better battery life will be strong drivers to the more expensive model, something that should make investors happy.
While the iPhone will be the company’s cash machine, the most interesting — and impressive — part of the event wasn’t the phone — or even the Apple Watch. It was Apple Pay, the company’s vision of changing how people interact with both brick and mortar and online retailers.