Tech Industry

Tech Retrospect: iPhones ahoy, new Kindles too

There are some new iPhones on the streets today, and Amazon has announced a flotilla of new devices. That, plus the latest multibillion-dollar acquisition in our overview of the week in tech news.

It's iPhone day! Hooray! Maybe you've already received yours, maybe you're still waiting in line, maybe you're leaping to the window whenever you hear a delivery truck... or maybe you couldn't care less about it all. Whatever your take on the day, an awful lot of people will be excitedly opening little white boxes today.

While Apple is always a bit coy when it comes to specifics of sales and preorders, the company did say that over 4 million units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were preordered in the first 24 hours. How many sell this weekend remains to be seen, as does the split between the 6 and the 6 Plus. I'd thought we'd see a lot of people opting for the larger device, but if the Web traffic to the respective reviews is anything to go by, the smaller of the two will be the big seller by a wide margin.

Which is for you? Well, I'd recommend you check out our exhaustive reviews of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and, if that's not enough, Scott Stein and I will be providing daily updates of what it's like to live with the phones. You can catch my first installment here, with more to come swiftly, dear reader.

Too many Kindles to count

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The new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Why release one new tablet when you can release three, plus two new e-readers, all at the same time? It certainly does make things interesting for us as we try to write about them all. On the tablet front, the high end is the $379 (£329, AU$394) Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. Aesthetically the same as last year's model, this new one packs a 70 percent faster Snapdragon processor and better Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Too dear for you? Amazon also introduced the $139 Kindle Fire HD 7 and the Kindle Fire HD 6 , which starts at just $99 -- but sadly it didn't give us UK or AU pricing for either.

If you're a lover of E Ink devices, as I am, you'll be happy to see a pair of new Kindle readers, the first being the luxe Kindle Voyage . Up front it looks like the current Paperwhite, but it now features a new, higher-resolution display with a brighter light and etched glass cover. The back is now metal, and there are pressure-sensitive buttons on either side of the display for page turning -- complete with vibration for haptic feedback. All that luxury will cost you, though: $199 in the US (£169, AU pricing unavailable).

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The new Kindle Voyage Sarah Tew/CNET

And, yes, there's a new cheaper option too. The base Kindle now starts at just $79 (£59, again no AU pricing), and while it doesn't have a light or fancy touch buttons, it does at least have a touchscreen now.

Microsoft buys Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion

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Minecraft runs on PCs, mobile devices and video game consoles like the Xbox. Microsoft

The blockbuster, billion-dollar-plus acquisitions just keep on coming. The latest is Mojang, bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. As ever, that's a huge amount of money, but it must be said that when it comes to the younger crowd, Minecraft's brand recognition doesn't fall that short of Disney's. Microsoft's plans for the franchise remain to be seen, but it has pledged to continue to support all the platforms it's currently available on. Yes, even iOS.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus get torn to bits

This week's video is a bit different than usual. In celebration of today's release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus I'm going to share iFixit's teardowns of the two devices. As expected, internally the two are nearly identical, with the big difference being the big battery on the 6 Plus: 2,915mAh. That's hugely bigger than the 1,810 unit in the iPhone 6, and nearly twice the size of that found in the iPhone 5s. Can you expect better battery life in the new iPhone phablet? Yes, yes you can.