At a media event in Cupertino, Calif., Tuesday, Apple confirmed rumors by unveiling two new iPhones: the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. The company also set the release date for iOS 7, saying the new mobile OS would be available free for all compatible devices on Sept. 18, two days before the phones start selling.
Shortly after opening the show, Apple CEO Tim Cook brought SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller on stage to talk about the new iPhones.
The 5S resembles the iPhone 5, but comes in new color finishes: silver, gold and “space gray.” (There’s no more “black” iPhone, though the gray one has a black face.) They will start at $199 (and sell up to $399) with a two-year contract, and will be available on Sept. 20.
This phone has had a massive overhaul inside the case, despite its cosmetic similarity to its predecessor: A new camera, core chipset, motion processing system, even a fingerprint scanner for security and ease of use.
It runs the powerful A7 chipset, and runs 64-bit software, for all you nerds out there. It’s not only twice as fast as the existing iPhone 5, but it’s 40 times faster than the original iPhone, released in 2007.
Before going into additional specs, Apple gave a stunning demo of “Infinity Blade III,” which will be available when the iPhone 5S ships.
The other new under-the-hood feature is an M7 chip, a “motion coprocessor” that accesses sensors without waking up main chipset. This will mean more efficient exercise apps and other active/location services.
The 5S battery life is equal or better than predecessor, 10 hours for most activities including video, and 40 hours for music only.
The 8-megapixel camera has been redesigned with larger optics and a larger sensor. As Schiller says, “bigger pixels make a better picture,” so the megapixel race takes a back seat. (Says Apple, but it rings true.) The “True Tone” flash adapts to lighting conditions better, and provides more natural light.
The camera’s burst mode gives you 10 frames per second, if you want to get GIF crazy. It selects the best of the 10 in realtime. In video mode, there’s a 120-frame-per-second slow-mo mode, and you can even toggle back and forth between slow mo and regular 30-fps shooting within a video.
The 5S has an integrated fingerprint scanner called the Touch ID, which can log you into your phone without a password, and also lets you make purchases in iTunes and provide your password in supported applications with the touch of your finger.
What’s coolest (geekiest?) is how Apple integrated the touch sensor into the iPhone 5S’s Home button. It’s basically a high-resolution camera with a sapphire lens.
And Apple assures us that the fingerprint ID data will not be stored on any servers or even on your iCloud account, so I suppose that means it’s not reachable by NSA.
The cheaper iPhone 5C comes in five colors, and will sell at a starting price of $99 in the U.S. (with a two-year cellular plan). It’s “unapologetically plastic,” says designer Jony Ive. And the bold colors can be paired with equally bold rubber grip cases to create funkier looks.
It has an 8-megapixel camera, an HD FaceTime camera, and the latest wireless networking, including 4G LTE cellular data and Bluetooth 4.0.
Earlier, Cook announced that by next month, 700 million iOS devices will have shipped, and invited software SVP Craig Federighi to share the iOS 7 news. But first, he discussed the features, which the company first revealed in June.
Highlights Federighi walked through are new, charmingly stereophonic ringtones, device-to-device file sharing, iTunes Radio (new Daft Punk song!), the revamped photo manager (with “year view.”)
The key news: iOS 7 will be available for free on Sept. 18, for qualifying iPhones, iPods — and also iPads. (There was a fear that the iPad version would be delayed.)
Cook announced that Apple would make Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie free to anyone purchasing a new iPad, iPhone or 5th-gen iPod Touch.
Packed into a smallish auditorium at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., reporters are here to witness the unveiling of the newest iPhones. The forecast calls for an iPhone 5S, a high-end upgrade to the current model, and an iPhone 5C, a newly designed, plastic-bodied iPhone that could sell cheaply enough to open new markets in Asia, Eastern Europe and around the globe. Those may be exciting enough — accompanied as they are by the pre-announced iOS 7, a stylish, functional revamp of the mobile OS — but we’re hoping Apple might have some additional surprises up its sleeve.