The iPhone 5c is little more than a repackaged iPhone 5; the internals are essentially the same as those found in last year's flagship, while the rear is constructed from plastic instead of aluminum. The iPhone 5s, on the other hand
, cements a consistent pattern for Apple. The company has shown no intentions of reinventing the wheel (or, the phone) every year. Instead, they seem content doing so every other year, with the in-between years offering up an enhanced "s" version of last year's phone to tide consumers over. It's almost akin to Intel's "Tick-Tock" manufacturing model actually, though semiconductor architecture is a whole different ball of wax versus mobile consumer products, obviously.
The question then, of course, is this: is the "s" strategy enough? Early on, pundits slammed the iPhone 4S for being a warmed-over, gently-refreshed iPhone 4. The phone went on to become Apple's best-selling iPhone until the release of the iPhone 5. No doubt, those same pundits will be watching to see if the iPhone 5s can do for Apple what the iPhone 4S did
in late 2011. Will consumers see the 5s as a big enough upgrade, or will they be inclined to wait until the iPhone 6 emerges?