Following the tech industry you get used to hearing a certain amount of rumors about Apple products with great regularity. This approaches a fever pitch when Apple does announce an event and we went into tonight’s keynote with a number of rumors swirling, from the likely – iPhone 5 with fingerprint sensor and cheaper plastic iPhone to the possible – an Apple iWatch or a new iPad to the very unlikely an AppleTV set. The tagline was that it should “Brighten everybody’s day”.
So what dd we get? The event was live streamed in Beijing, Berlin and Tokyo so we were all working off liveblogs.
The Introductory Stats
iOS 7 was talked about and the featured were summarized – a refreshed UI Control Center, Notification Center and over 200 other changes. Most importantly we finally got a release date for September 18th for the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2, iPad mini and iPod touch 5th Generation and up.
iWorks – Apples’s mobile productivity suite containing Keynote pages number iMovie iPhoto were all made free for people buying any new iOS device. To be clear if you already have an iPhone you will not receive the suite.
The 5S is the expected upgrade to the iPhone 5. The 5s will be available in gold, white and black. The CPU will be the new A7 which has 64-bit desktop architecture. 2x general purpose registers. Over one billion transistors. Physically it looks near identical to the iPhone 5 except for a larger home button that has a special ring around it. The phone also has a new M7 co-cpu which works with very little power it continuously measures the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope and is designed for health and fitness.
Battery life is improved slightly to 3G talk time: 10 hours. 10 Hours LTE browsing or 250 hours of standby.
The camera has a new five-element Apple-designed lens with an F2.2 aperture and better sensor pixels for increased low light sensitivity. The flash is now dual LED and adjusts its color to match the color temperature environment. A burst mode has been added with an auto best shot analysis. Slow motion video at 720p 120FPS has been added.
Before the keynote it was fairly widely accepted that a fingerprint scanner would be included in the 5S and indeed Apple did introduce it – it is called TouchID. The home button will have a touch capacitive sensor built into it that scans 360 degrees with a 500ppi level of detail. The idea is that you just touch your home button to unlock the phone or authenticate purchases. The system can handle multiple fingerprints and can by bypassed by filling in your password at any point.
Prices will start at 16gb for $199, 32gb for $299 or 64gb for $399 in the US on a two year contract. Leather cases at $39 will be available in multiple colors and the 5S will be available for preorder on Friday the 13th. The phone will be available to buy on September the 20th in the US, UK, China and 6 other countries and will roll out worldwide worldwide in the next couple of months.
A new design based on the iPhone 5 which is more ‘fun and colorful’. Available in Green, white blue pink and yellow, the whole back and sizes are uni-body poly carbonate plastic and the front is a single glass panel. Apple also making custom rubber cases with numerous cut outs similar colors. Stats wise the 5C has a 4 inch retina screen an A6 CPU (like the 5) and battery slightly larger than the iPhone 5’s. The 5C has a 8 megapixel front facing camera a 1.2MP back facing camera for video conferencing. Connectivity wise it has LTE on many world bands although it wasn’t specified if the UK would be one of these. Local connectivity is dual band wifi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Prices were announced for the US as 16gb $99 and 32gb $199 on a two year contract and $549 and $649 unlocked. The cases to be are $29 each.
Apples event today gave us very few surprises. The 5S looks to be a worthy successor to the iPhone 5 with the addition of the fingerprint readers and will probably sell well but does not have any wow moments. The 5C is clearly meant to be a cheaper version of the iPhone and has a impressive specs but at $549 and $649 (£469 and £549) off contract may just be too expensive to hit its market.