Apple Officially Unwraps Plastic iPhone 5C, Aluminum iPhone 5S, and iOS 7

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News Posted: Tue, Sep 10 2013 2:56 PM
Whether it's intentional or not, Apple's pretty bad about keeping secrets related to new product releases, so much of what you read here will essentially boil down to recaps and confirmation of past rumors and speculation. That said, the Cupertino outfit today announced two new iPhone models, the high-end iPhone 5S made of anodized aluminum, and the more affordable iPhone 5C built from polycarbonate plastic.

iPhone 5S


Starting with the former, the iPhone 5S retains the same overall look and feel with its anodized aluminum body, diamond cut chamfered edges, and 4-inch Retina display. Rumors of a larger display proved unfounded, though Apple did change up the color scheme a bit. The iPhone 5S comes in gold, silver, or "space gray," each of which sports a two-tone finish that you've probably already seen in leaked photos.

The most significant upgrade is the A7 processor. This is a 64-bit chip, making the iPhone 5S the first smartphone ever to rock a 64-bit foundation. Apple says the iPhone 5S offers 2X faster CPU performance than the previous generation iPhone and 2X faster graphics. In short, everything you do on the new flagship device should be quicker and smoother.

iPhone 5S Gold

Apple upgraded the rear-facing iSight camera to 8-megapixels with a larger f/2.2 aperture and a new, larger sensor with 1.5μ pixels for improved sensitivity and low-light performance. It also boasts a two-tone flash.

The other big reveal is the new Touch ID system. Apple built a fingerprint reader into the redesigned Home button that now features a laser cut sapphire crystal with a capacitive touch sensor. All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored in the Secure Enclave in the A7 chip, not in the cloud.

Everything else is pretty standard far (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and so on). The new models will be available September 20th for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) with a two-year service contract.

iPhone 5C


Apple also unveiled the iPhone 5C. This is really a retooled iPhone 5, but made from polycarbonate plastic and available in several color options. It features the same 4-inch display and A6 processor, has an 8MP iSight camera, an improved FaceTime HD camera. In addition to plastic construction, there's a steel reinforced frame to keep it sturdy, though it also serves double-duty as a multiband antenna.

iPhone 5C Blue

"iPhone 5c is everything iPhone 5 was and more, in an all-new design packed with great features," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "iPhone 5c is designed with a beautiful polycarbonate enclosure that looks and feels so solid in your hand."

The iPhone 5C will come in blue, green, pink, yellow, and while and will be available in the U.S. for $99 (16GB) and $199 (32GB) starting September 20th (pre-orders kick off September 13th). You can also order iPhone 5C cases in blue, green, pink, yellow, black, and white for $29.

iOS 7


Finally, Apple introduced iOS 7 with a completely redesigned user interface. It's been built to take advantage of 64-bit technologies in the iPhone 5S, including a native 64-bit kernel, libraries, and drivers, though it's also backwards compatible with 32-bit apps via Xcode support.

"iOS 7 also provides deep integration with the new Touch ID sensor and takes full advantage of the new iSight camera sensor to enable new features like automatic image stabilization, Burst Mode and Slo-Mo video with 120 fps.," Apple said. "Combined with the new Camera App in iOS 7, iPhone 5s provides up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture and better dynamic range. iOS 7 is designed to complement the gorgeous exteriors of iPhone 5c, with matching wallpapers and translucency that carry the color through the entire experience."

iOS 7

Apple says there are 200 new features in iOS 7. To name just a few, the Notification Center is now available from the Lock screen, there's improved multitasking that allows you to switch between apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and a new method to quickly and easily share content with nearby people called AirDrop.

iOS 7 will be available as a free software update starting on Wednesday, September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and iPod touch (fifth generation).
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BurntChz replied on Tue, Sep 10 2013 3:28 PM

So, what happens to the iPhone 5 now? They announced pricing for the 4s, 5c, and 5s, but nothing for the original 5. What gives? Are all the iPhone 5's out there going to just vanish or self-destruct (triggered by some super secret tech built into the thing)? Will the iOS 7 upgrade brick my year-old phone? They usually cut the price of the previous model to $99 on contract, but now with the new plasticy 5c starting at that price point I guess they don't want to compete with the original 5. Maybe I have a collector’s item now. :)

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HanyangXu replied on Tue, Sep 10 2013 3:59 PM

The 'C' stands for Cheap and the 'S' stands for Superfluous I guess...

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Sep 10 2013 4:44 PM

Why oh why didn't you release a larger screen device Apple?? Still stuck at 4 inches. Hard to believe actually in a sea of 4.5, 4.7 and 5-inch smartphones.

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sevags replied on Tue, Sep 10 2013 10:20 PM

I am REALLY glad Apple stuck to a 4" screen!!! If they want to sell a phablet they can design one but they can't throw out a high end phone in favor of a phablet! It's either both, or 4" only since apple is thing to sell phones and not micro tablets!

HOWEVER.... Still no NFC?? No .11ac wifi?!?!? Same poor build materials and bad paint jobs?!?!? An ugly ass gold color which seems to be tailored towards women?!?! Only upgrades I actually see are the A7 SoC and fingerprint reader that I could care less about.

Looks like I will be waiting for a flagship 4"~ WP8 device before I upgrade (you listening MS/Nokia?)

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HanyangXu:

The 'C' stands for Cheap and the 'S' stands for Superfluous I guess...

^LOL^ I really don't care what the case is made of because I would just slap a protective cover on it anyway, but I think that fingerprint button is a great feature. Hopefully Apple didn't somehow obtain some flaky patent on fingerprint unlock.

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AjayD replied on Wed, Sep 11 2013 5:23 AM

The new camera/flash should make for some of the best quality photos of any cell phone available and the fingerprint scanner sounds like it has a lot of potential. Yet, Apple was stubborn and chose not to go with a larger screen. I understand there are people who want a small 4" inch screen, but many do not.

Why not offer both the 4" model and another model that has around a 4.7" screen? Apple could have at least gone to something like a 4.5" screen, by minimizing the top, bottom and side bezel, without really increasing the overall size of the phone.

Guess I will just have to hope HTC comes out with something new or refreshes the One with a Snapdragon 800 processor and a better camera sometime soon.

 

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sevags replied on Wed, Sep 11 2013 10:15 AM

Super Dave; I would never carry my phone without a protective case.. That said it doesn't mean your phone is protected. The aluminum case on my iphbe5 has dented even through my heavy duty case and the black paint has nearly all rubbed off around the edges and the back side looks pretty dull and speckled with the silver color showing through. This may not change the function of the phone but it severely effects the resale value not to mention my flagship phone looks like crap outside of it's case now.

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the "C" actually stands for "Crap" and the "S" stands for "Shit". Apple has done some upgrades, but being stuck with that tiny screen still limits the phone sooo much, Apple has souch impresive tech specs, but upgrade there phones only about once a year and fall behind on the tech front after only a month or two. Angry birds and Fruit ninja suck on a 4" screen, and forget about watching movies, or editing the videos you just shot with that impresive new hardware, that screen is just too damn small

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sevags replied on Wed, Sep 11 2013 7:06 PM

Clayton; it's subjective, for many of us the screen size is perfect and for some people it might even be too big! Not many of us watch full-length movies on our phones! it is a huge battery drain not to mention most people have a monthly datacap that wouldn't allow more than a few movies a month anyway. Angry Birds sucks on a 4'? what about gameboys/DS's they are pretty small yet they are used for gaming and you can argue that those games suck compared to playing them on a TV but it isn't very practical to carry around a TV everywhere just like it isn't practical for everyone to carry around phablets.

As for the upgrade cycle you are correct but this is the way apple has ALWAYS done things! It isn't limited to their phones. Take their macbook lineup for instance, the day of release they are often benchmark and feature leaders but a few months into all their product cycles that hardware is surpassed by the competition even though they continue to offer the same hardware often for a year or more without an update OR a price drop. That's why I would only consider buying apple hardware at or near launch when it is worth every penny but a year into it I would not buy that same product with more powerful and cheaper alternatives being available from competitors. That's just apple no changing it any time soon they don't like saturating the market with dozens of SKU's, this keeps R&D spending to a minimum and it nets larger profits per device at the end of their life cycles. Good for Apple, bad for consumers.

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