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The most ridiculous stories from iPhone 6 release week

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You may not know this, but there is a hot new gizmo on the market. It’s called the iPhone 6, and it is the must-have tech product of the season. It’s “bigger than bigger.” It’s the best thing ever. According to Apple, at least.

According to everyone else, the iPhone is many things. It instills passionate devotion and inspires the human spirit, moving us to make grand gestures of true love. Do you scoff at such notions? Then pull up a chair, and enjoy these stories from iPhone Release Weekend, because it only happens once a year.

In a moment that could only be described as poetic, Jack Cooksey of Perth, Australia, became the first person in the world to purchase Apple’s new smartphone. He immediately dropped it on live television. The crowd immediately winced in collective sympathy, not for Jack, whose blunder could have been costly — but for the phone, because it had to go home with Jack. READ FULL STORY

Amazon's new tablet reveals are probably no coincidence

On Wednesday, Amazon revealed a number of new tablets and eReaders aimed at every corner of the market. Starting with its $80 revamped Kindle and going all the way up to the $379 Fire HDX 8.9, there’s something for everyone. And hopefully, everyone gets on board—before Apple announces its revamped iPads.

Industry buzz holds that Apple is keeping its tradition of holding an October event for showing off updated iPads, as well as the latest OS X release, Yosemite. Amazon’s newly announced devices are scheduled to ship in October.

Watch the video below for more:

The high-end version of Apple Watch might cost $5K

“Starting at” is a frustrating phrase in tech. It’s a coy way of talking about the way a gadget is going to be priced while also skirting around the subject of whether or not you’ll actually want said gadget at that price. The price a thing “starts at” is rarely optimal—to get the best or most efficient version of your preferred gizmo, you’ll often have to pay more.

When Apple Watch was revealed last week, Apple CEO Time Cook said that the smartwatch would be “starting at” $349—an already hefty price, given the competition. But Cook also announced three “collections” for Apple Watch: Sport, Edition, and vanilla—the differences being in the materials used to construct the watch. Which of these did Apple Watch “start at”? And how high in price would the other two go?

Pretty high, it turns out. READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon's iPhone commercial is kind of like '2001: A Space Odyssey'

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Thanks to its role in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Richard Strauss’ “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” has practically become synonymous with technology. (Need a refresher? Click here. Need a laugh? Follow this link.)

It’s no surprise, then, that the musical number was used in a commercial for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were announced today in a rather grandiose way.

In the commercial, two hands wave the new models through the air, showcasing their flashy, updated features, set to “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” with an Apple twist: Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s charming a cappella rendition of the famed musical number.

The video ends with the tagline: “Bigger than bigger.” Is it? We’ll leave that up to you. For now, check out the ad here:

Apple has made the best phone ever and the best watch ever, says Apple

Apple has finally done it, according to Apple. After years of valiant struggle and terrible defeat—years that saw the beloved techtalitarian super-corporation self-effacingly release embarrassing and ultimately inefficient devices like the chubby iPhone 3G, the lethargic iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5C, widely considered the Octopussy of iPhones by people whose only cultural reference is James Bond movies— Apple has finally created the perfect phone, if Apple doesn’t say so itself. READ FULL STORY

It's real: Apple announces Apple Watch

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It’s time to put some rumors to rest: Apple has finally unveiled its big wearable, and it’s called the Apple Watch.

The device will work seamlessly with iPhones, and has an entirely new interface—one focused on the old-school dial you have on regular watches.

No word on cost or availability yet.

Apple Watch was announced Tuesday morning at Apple’s event in Cupertino, California. For complete coverage, check out our liveblog here.

UPDATE:

In the interest of time, Apple CEO Tim Cook couldn’t go over the Apple Watch features exhaustively, but here are the highlights: the screen can sense touch and force, telling the difference between a touch and a tap. Apple Watch will also give force feedback, and charge via magnet charger in the back.

Apple Watch comes in two sizes, and will come in three distinct collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. Standard, athletic, and luxury, respectively.

Apple Watch is coming in 2015, and starts at $349.

You’ll need an iPhone 5 or later to use it.

The iPhone(s) 6 and more: EW live-blogs Apple's big event

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Have you heard? Apple is going to release a new iPhone today. There are some rumors. Today, they will be rumors no longer.

There’s always a lot of hype around an Apple event, and while some of it may seem frivolous and excessive, it’s not all for the tech-obsessed. Thanks to the manufacturer’s immense popularity, the people behind a lot of the pop culture you know and love often follow Apple’s lead when it comes to bringing media your way. So if you want a peek at all the new ways you’ll be able to obsess over pop culture in the coming year, look no further.

READ FULL STORY

U2 will be at today's Apple event, where the phones have no names

As you might have heard, Apple has a big event today. While the company hasn’t said anything about what will happen at that event, the general consensus is that the company will unveil its latest iPhone at the event, and maybe a few other things. Like U2.

According to The Huffington Post, U2—which is a rock band, not an Apple product, an easy mistake to make—will be present in some capacity at today’s event in Cupertino, California. Some suspect that they’ll be performing; there’s a mysterious new structure right by the venue that could conceivably be a stage. But those in the know claim the band’s appearance is purely promotional.

U2 and Apple do have a history going back to at least 2006, when the company announced a limited edition U2 iPod. So some sort of promo for whatever new products Apple announces today in conjunction with a possible album announcement makes sense.

Apple’s big event begins at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). You can watch it here.

Fitter, happier, more productive: an iPhone 6 rumor report

On September 10, 2013, the iPhone 5S was announced to the world. Ten days later, the phone was released, and immediately thereafter rumors about the iPhone 6 began circulating in earnest. This Tuesday in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Tim Cook will get on a stage, reach into his pocket and finally put those rumors to rest, at least for however many days it takes for the phone to go on sale and speculation about the next iPhone to begin. To paraphrase Rust Cohle, iPhones are a flat circle.

So how will this iPhone compare to its predecessor? What will be different? What will be the same? What else will be announced on that fateful Tuesday?

While the sensible answer to all of those questions is “holy crap, calm down and wait, it’s only four days away,” a large and profitable industry specializing in the speculation about Apple products has sprung up, and it is extremely thorough. Go to any number of websites and you’ll find exhaustive lists of what to expect. Many of these rumors have been repeated consistently enough to be accepted as more or less fact—so much so that even The New York Times jumped into the fray, citing a number of anonymous Apple employees and partners who corroborate the most widely-accepted of these rumors. It’s arguable that Apple is very bad at keeping secrets—but few manufacturers are the subject of this level of constant scrutiny.

That said, here’s what you can probably expect to see this Tuesday:

A new look: This goes almost without saying, but the iPhone 6 will look different. Some say it’ll be curved, but that isn’t likely—it’s expensive, and everyone claiming to have seen mockups of the device seem to agree on a sleeker form factor with softer edges and a screen that has almost no borders. Apple design has long favored devices that look as seamless and uniform as possible, as though they were sculpted from a single piece of metal, so expect a refined, thin handset.

Mobile payments: The iPhone 6 is rumored to finally be the model that incorporates Near-Field Communication tech in its hardware, which means the company is going to make a serious play for mobile payments. Reports that Apple has partnerships with American Express, Visa, and MasterCard give further credence to this particular rumor.

Two new iPhones: Extra large phones with big, pretty screens are in, and Apple is expected to make a bid for this space by releasing the iPhone 6 in two sizes—a 4.7 inch model, and a 5.5 inch model (the current iPhone 5/5S is four inches). Getting into the specifics of what will be different about each model is where details get hazy: a bigger phone means more room for more powerful hardware—or at least more storage space. Some Apple sleuths assert that both models will perform more or less identically, and that space and materials are the only difference, while others are speculating that the larger model will make use of super-tough Sapphire glass for its display. This is one category where we’ll have to wait and see.

The iWatch: Tuesday’s event is widely believed to mark the debut of the first entirely new Apple product since Cook took over the company three years ago. Colloquially referred to as the iWatch (and hopefully actually referred to as something much better than that), it’ll be Apple’s foray into the buzzy world of wearable devices. While a number of companies have entered this space over the past couple of years, the field has been kind of like Lacey Chabert’s character in Mean Girls—always trying to make “fetch” happen. Apple is expected to take wearables from nerd curio to full-blown thing. Expect the iWatch (ugh) to lean hard on HealthKit, and for bloggers to gush about the design. Because, if there’s one thing that the company has managed to keep secret, it’s what the iWatch (ugh) will look like.

Keep in mind: Apple has not, and will not, say a single word about any of this—in fact, the company has not officially ever even acknowledged that these devices exist. As well-sourced as some of these rumors are, they are ultimately just rumors, and none of this may happen. Tim Cook is just as likely to stand on stage and flubber his finger over his lips for two hours for all we know. He probably won’t, but still. That would be something. A thing, if you will.

Apple's 'Misunderstood' commercial: Have yourself a merry little cry -- VIDEO

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Uh oh. You better sack up and secretly edit poignant home movies on your iPhones, pouty teens!

Apple’s new 90-second Christmas commercial just had me sobbing into my own iPhone as I went about my usual antisocial business of splaying out on the couch, ignoring this great big wondrous world around me, and playing with filters on Instagram. Here’s how good Apple commercials are: I didn’t even need to see this one to know I was already obsessed with it — much like your sulky teen won’t ever need to make real eye contact with his relatives to know and eventually show that he loves them (if you’re lucky) (and if you’ve purchased him an iPhone 5S).

Obviously, I did look up at one point… then replayed this commercial again and again. You wanna cry? READ FULL STORY

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