Far more than a simple upgrade

Here are your new iPhones: iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c


They’re here. The new iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C have been unveiled at Apple’s event today after weeks of previous leaks. Let’s start off with the one everyone’s likely to buy, the iPhone 5S.

The iPhone 5S, while it shares mostly the same case as the iPhone 5, is a completely different beast under (and even outside of) the hood. For starters, there is an A7 CPU under there which Apple claims is the first 64-bit CPU in a smartphone. This adds up to a 40x performance boost and a 56x boost in the graphics department – as a side note, iOS 7 runs OpenGL|ES 3.0 just like the new Nexus 7. There is also a dual-LED flash with different coloured LEDs so that pictures turn out much better. And of course, there’s new case options: there’s the existing white and silver color, but there’s also white and gold. The original all-black color seems to have been discontinued and replaced with a black and gray color scheme dubbed “Space Black”.

On the 5S, the home button has been blanked and there is now a metal band around it. This is the new fingerprint sensor and can scan your finger up to a resolution of 500ppi and can even scan sub-epidermal layers. The metal band is not the sensor; just an activation switch to turn on the sensor. The actual sensor is built right into the home button. The fingerprint authentication can be used to authenticate with anything that supports it, which at this point is only going to be Apple’s own apps such as the App Store and the iTunes Store. The home button itself is made out of sapphire, just like the camera lens, so it won’t scratch. Stored fingerprint data is also stored locally, is encrypted and will never, ever be uploaded to iCloud.


Now, the older iPhone 5 is being discontinued today. Usually, Apple reduces the price of the previous generation price but that isn’t the case this year. Instead, the iPhone 5 is being replaced with the iPhone 5C, an iPhone aimed at the low-cost market. It is essentially the same old iPhone 5 except with a plastic case and a slightly improved front-facing camera, which Apple is calling Facetime HD. The 5C, if you’re not aware, is a polycarbonate iPhone that comes in white, blue, pink/red, yellow and green and was designed so you wouldn’t see a single seam anywhere. You can also pick up different cases to put your 5C in for a mere $29. This reminds me a lot of the Nokia Lumia lineup, but shh, we shouldn’t talk about the competition here.

You can pre-order your iPhone 5S or 5C on September 13th, and pickup or buying will be on September 20th. By the end of the year, the new iPhones will be out worldwide and on 270 different carriers, which is a huge feat. The 5S will cost you $299 for a 16GB model and $399 for a 32GB model while the 5C will cost you $99 for a 16GB model or $199 for a 32GB model on the usual two-year contract. Curiously, the iPhone 4S will also be sticking around and cost $0 on contract. Off contract, the iPhone 5S will run you $649, $749 or $849 for a 16, 32 or 64GB model, respectively, and the 5C will run you $549 or $649 for a 16 or 32GB model, which is not cheap and is nowhere near the rumoured $450 price point. I guess “C” doesn’t stand for “Cost-reduced” at all…

Source: The Verge (1, 2), Apple Store (iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C)