September 10th – the morning after Apple released the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus and announced the Watch will be released in early 2015. We at Leverate, as a technology company, not only followed the news (like millions of people around the world) but as the news filtered through, heated debates old and new fired up among us. Some would say (usually the Apple proponents) that such passion over a piece of technology is proof how well designed systems become part of our lives.

I thought it would be interesting to share some of the hot topics in a blog and let social media open the Leverate debate to anyone who cared to share their opinions.

Question number 1: Since Steve Jobs passed, has Apple become more and more like Android?

The compelling part of the discussion is that the 6 is now a similar size to Samsung Galaxy and the 6 Plus is like a Samsung phablet. One of the key differentiators for Apple has been that while Android phones were getting so big that you could use them as shelter for the rain for four people waiting for a bus, iPhones still fit in your pocket.

With IOS, many of the features added to 7 and now the new features on 8 already exist on Android. There has also been Android watches for a while already – with Apple we still have to wait.

Many still pointed to the main factors they believe Apple still lead on: ease of use (although this is hotly contested), design and stability.

Question number 2: Is the iPhone 6 Plus a phablet? And what is a phablet anyway?

In the old days, it was each – you had a mobile phone and if you were lucky decent GPRS service. Along came the smart phone, and you had a fully connected computer and camera in your pocket. This was followed by tablets that offered everything other than the phone part of a smartphone on a screen big enough to be useful. But, what if you wanted the phone facilities but a slightly bigger screen to use all the other functions? The answer is a phablet. Recent studies showed that 175 million phablets will be sold in 2014 and 318 million in 2015. By 2018 they will represent almost 30% of the sales of mobile devices.

The need for Apple to be in this market is clear. Up until today (or yesterday), their answer had been the mini iPad, but it had no phone facility. At 5.5 inches, the iPhone 6 plus qualifies as a phablet (defined as 5.5 to 7 inches), but what is the right size for a phablet.

Question number 3: The ultimate question – Android or Apple?

The camps used to be even more polarized than before (see question 1), but it is amazing to note that nearly everyone has a clear opinion. The main downside for Apple appears to be closed system and in particular the dreaded iTunes, with the upside on design and stability. Already mentioned is the size factor, which now nullified, the question begs, has Apple lost a vital edge. Apple wins hands down in one key point – people say they “love” their apple device, there is emotional connection that is rare with Android users for their devices.

Question number 4: What impact will the announcement have on the market?

Leverate is, after all, a technology provider for the financial market. The most obvious effect may be seen on the Apple share price. Overall, the news seems to have been welcomed. There are two areas for concern though – the delay on the Watch until 2015, and no announcement on a new iPad. It will come down to what the market believes.

The second effect is a little more obscure. Most of the components for Apple are made in China and Taiwan. It is believed for each device ordered, $100 is rebated back to either China or Taiwan (depending on the manufacturer of the device sold). If sales of new devices rockets, will there be a knock on effect for the currency pairs USD-RMB and USD-TND, could we see the USD slightly weaken against both as demand for currency to pay manufacturers increase?