Apple unveils the colorful new iPhone 5S and 5C

So many colors you won't know there's really not much else to see...

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
September 10, 2013
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The iPhone 5S and 5C have arrived! And they’re…exactly what we all expected. (First World problems: pouting because there were no surprises in Apple’s latest iPhone event.)

As Apple gears up to ship its 700 millionth iOS device and preps for the release of iOS 7 on September 18, the company took the stage Tuesday morning to reveal its two new iPhones.

"Business has become so large that this year we are going to replace the iPhone 5 and we're going to replace it with not one, but two new designs," Cook said. "This allows us to serve even more customers."

(This seems to be implying that the high-end smartphone market is reaching a saturation point, which Cook denied in Apple’s last earnings call.)

Let’s start with the iPhone 5C:

The low-priced iPhone will feature a plastic back and glass touchscreen. The back and sides are all made of one piece of plastic, so there will be no seams or joints. The phone is made using a single piece of polycarbonate, which is then fitted with a steel structural frame, and is eventually finished with a lacquer hardcoat.

The iPhone 5C will come in five new colors: green, white, blue, yellow, and red, and each phone will come with color-matching wallpaper. Apple specially designed custom cases for the iPhone 5C that feature a grid of holes in the back so that the original color peeks through.

The device will be powered by the A6 chip and will have better battery life than earlier iPhones. It will also have an 8-megapixel iSight camera, five element lens, FaceTime HD camera plus FaceTime audio. It will also be power efficient and support Bluetooth 4.0.

The 16GB version will be available for $99 and the 32GB will retail for $199 on a two year contract. Which I guess is considered cheap?

Now onto the iPhone 5S.

As expected, the iPhone 5S will come in black, white, and gold. It will also run the all-new 64-bit A7 chip.

“Today, we’re going to see that Apple will move the mobile computing world from 32-bit to 64-bit in one day,” said Phil Schiller.

The A7 chip is 2x faster than previous generations and handles graphics 2x faster. Schiller showed a graphic revealing that the iPhone 5S CPU performance is a whopping 40X faster than original iPhone, and graphics performance is 56X faster than the original.

There’s also a new chip called M7 that works with A7. M7 is a motion processor—an accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass all in one. It continually measures motion data and can determine whether you’re walking or driving, which will be a big boon for health and fitness apps.

And onto the camera: it will be sharper than previous generations, with a 15% larger sensor area, and a larger f/2.2 aperture.

The camera sets the light balance and focus before you take the picture, and the Autofocus Matrix finds sharpest image out of multiple pictures.

The flash has two LEDs, one white and one amber, to analyze lighting in the room and adjust the flash color accordingly.

The camera also comes with auto-image stabilization. It takes multiple photos at once and combines the sharpest parts of each image so you don’t get blurry photos.

There’s also the new burst mode: you can hold your finger on the shutter and it takes 10 frames per second. And now there’s Slo-mo: you can take 720p HD video at 120 frames per second for a snazzy slow-motion video.

And finally: the fingerprint sensor. Apple’s calling it Touch ID and it scans the subepidural skin layer to identify the device’s owner. It comes with 360 degree readability, which means it can read a fingerprint from any angle. It can also be used to make iTunes purchases instead of entering your password. It’s built into the home button, which is made out of sapphire crystal and acts as a lens to focus the sensor on your finger. It can also read multiple finger prints from any orientation.

All fingerprint data is encrypted and locked in A7 chip. It’s never accessible by software, and it’s not stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud, so the NSA will never be able to access it (probably).

The 5S is arsenic free, mercury free, BFR free, PVC free, and is “highly recyclable.”

The battery life includes 250 hours of standby, 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing, and 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.

Both the iPhone 5S and the 5C will go on sale on September 20, but preorders will start September 13.


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