Apple has launched its first smartwatch as well as a new enlarged iPhone, called the iPhone 6 Plus.
At a highly-anticipated event in California, CEO Tim Cook detailed the firm’s latest product innovations, which also included Apple Pay – designed to “replace the wallet”.
Confirming online rumours, the technology giant revealed its first steps into the smartwatch market with the Apple Watch, and although the company would not go into more detail on a launch date beyond “early 2015” confirmed it will be priced at about €360.
“I am so excited and I am so proud to share it with you this morning. It is the next chapter in Apple’s story,” said Mr Cook.
“Apple Watch is most personal device we’ve ever created. It is worth the wait.”
The new iPhone 6 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch screen, compared to the four-inch screen of the current generation iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6, which is also larger, now coming with a 4.7-inch screen. Both devices also have what Apple call “ion-strengthened glass” screens.
Mr Cook called the handsets “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone”.
The larger of the two new devices, the 6 Plus, also allows for apps such as Messages and Mail to be displayed in landscape orientation for the first time.
The firm also unveiled a new processor chip, the A8, which will be used to power new apps and games. Partnerships with game studios including Disney and EA were also confirmed on stage by Apple’s Phil Schiller.
The Cupertino-based firm had been expected to announce two new iPhones, with speculation and alleged leaks appearing online over the last few weeks.
The new iPhone devices will ship on September 19, with the company’s new mobile operating system, iOS 8, becoming available on iPhone 4s and above from September 17.
Both new iPhones will ship on September 19, with the iPhone 6 starting at €699, and the 6 Plus at €799.
Apple also announced its plans to enter the payment market.
Mr Cook said: “Our vision is to replace the wallet and we’re going to start with payments.”
He also called magnetic strips on credit cards “outdated and vulnerable” before introducing Apple’s take on the area.
“We love this kind of problem. This is what Apple does best. We’ve created a new payment process and it’s called Apple Pay,” he added.
The new software uses the fingerprint scanner on your phone and native payment apps to allow users to pay for products by touching their iPhone to payment outlets.
It uses near-field communication (NFC) technology, used in existing contactless payments, and the company’s own Passbook app to secure your details.
The Find My iPhone app would be used to track and suspend your account if the device is stolen.
“We are not in the business of collecting your data”, said Apple, confirming that all Apple Pay transactions are not logged by the company.
Major retailers have already signed up to use Apple Pay in their stores, including Toys R US and Staples.
Online, it is also possible to pay within some apps. For now, the technology is just been introduced in the US.
The Apple Watch was described as a comprehensive health and fitness interface, and the traditional watch crown, which Apple calls the Digital Crown, is used to control the interface.
Mr Cook compared it to the innovation of the mouse on the Mac, and click wheel on the iPod. The crown can be used to scroll through lists as well as zoom in on images and maps.
A huge array of designs and straps were shown on-stage, before the audience rose to give Mr Cook a standing ovation. “It’s incredibly customisable”, he said.
“The Apple Watch works directly with iPhone, but has its own native version of iOS.”
Rivals Samsung launched their first smartwatch last year, and currently have several on the market.
This is Apple’s first piece of wearable technology and also follows on from Google introducing their Glass headset, and Android Wear smartwatches.
The Apple Watch has a flexible Retina display, and the screen can sense force used when tapping it. Apple also confirmed that the device will come in two sizes.
There are three collections of the Apple Watch – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
The new Apple Watch can be completely customised to suit the style of the user, and also comes with Apple’s voice assistant Siri. It will also work with Apple