New iPhones unveiled

Updated: 2015-09-10 23:33

By Ren Qi in New York(China Daily USA)

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New iPhones unveiled

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6sPlus during an Apple media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. Beck Diefenbach / Reuters 

When Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook unveiled the newest versions of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus on Wednesday, he also provided some optimistic numbers on the company’s business in China.

“The sales of iPhone grew 75 percent in China (in the last quarter), while the rest of the industry declined 4 percent,” said Cook, speaking at the launch event in San Francisco.

Like their Western counterparts, Chinese users have always been willing to queue up outside Apple Stores for the latest offering.

For the new iPhone, Apple said it used a strong grade of aluminum for the case, similar to one used in the aerospace industry. The company hopes the stronger material will quiet the “Bendgate” backlash, which erupted when some customers complained that their 5.5-inch iPhone 6s’s bent after being sat on.

Apple made other hardware upgrades such as with Touch ID, and to the phone’s processor and camera. Apple said the 12-megapixel camera of the new iPhone would be a major improvement over the 8-megapixel cameras it has used for years. And the 5-megapixel front-facing camera will bring the new iPhone on par with many competing handsets.

Apple has improved its multi-touch capabilities with a feature called 3D Touch, which uses added screen sensors to detect the difference between a light tap and extended finger pressure to open different menus and functions for apps made by Apple and outside developers.

However, some high-tech websites said that it is just a variation of what Apple calls Force Touch on the Apple Watch, which is the same pressure-sensitive capability that calls up secondary menus and actions when you press and hold the screen.

Although Apple released other products Wednesday, such as a new Apple TV and new iPad, the company cannot avoid questions from analysts that Apple overrelies on the iPhone despite the fact that smartphone market is peaking worldwide.

Shares of Apple closed at $110.15 on Wednesday, down $2.16, or 1.9 percent.

“That’s one big concern about Apple, that it’s so dependent on the iPhone,” Jerry Kim, a Columbia University management professor, told The Associated Press.

Also, China may provide more iPhone revenue than the US does, but Apple still isn’t the most popular smartphone maker in the country. That title belongs to Xiaomi Inc, which has many similarities to Apple in both design and marketing but sells its top-end phones at cheap prices.

According to HIS iSuppli, Beijing-based Xiaomi sold more than 60.8 million smartphones in 2014, 15 percent of the Chinese market, while Apple had an 11.5 percent share.

There is speculation that Xiaomi is about to launch a new smart watch to compete with the Apple Watch. According to GizmoChina, the device could sell for 600 yuan (approximately $94).

It won’t be Xiaomi’s first wearable device. The company already has been selling MiBand fitness band. The MiBank tracks users’ movements and sleeping patterns and is popular with Chinese youngsters.