iPhone 5s and 5c by Jameson Thies
On September 10th, after months of rumors circulating about Apple’s upcoming products, it was finally announced that Apple would release two new iPhones. The 5s is Apple’s new flagship phone, and the 5c is Apple’s cheaper iPhone. Both of the phones use Apple’s new operating system, iOS7. The question is, are these new phones good enough for Apple to remain ahead of Samsung and HTC?
First let’s take a look at the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s is a collection of small improvements on the iPhone 5. The new processing chip is the A7; it runs 31% faster than the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. It is also a huge step forward because is the first time that Apple has put a 64 bit processor into one of its mobile devices. The 64 bit processor can process twice as much data per second than the iPhone 5’s 32 bit processor. Fortunately, the 64 bit processor is backwards compatible and can still run programs designed for a 32 bit processor. Alongside this advancement is the M7 motion sensing co-processing chip. The M7 is design to handle all of the iPhone’s motion sensing responsibilities and is exclusive to the 5s. Another great feature of the 5s is the slow motion camera. It has the ability to record video at 120 frames per second, slowing it down to 0.25X speed.
Externally, there are only 3 significant changes- the new home button, the dual flash, and the color schemes. The new home button doesn’t have a small square on it any longer and also has a metal ring around it. It looks nice, but the main feature of the new home button is the Touch ID system. The Touch ID system allows people to scan their fingerprints with the new home button and use it as a password to both enter their phone and to purchase things on the App Store. It’s a very slick, but some might argue unnecessary, addition to the iPhone tech. A more significant improvement to the iPhone is the dual-flash system. The new dual-flash uses one warm light and one cool light that are supposed to match tones in order to not alter the color of the picture. Different types of lighting have different casts of color (called color temperatures), and most cameras adjust for indoor lighting (which is cooler and thus yellower than normal outside light) by shifting the white balance. However, when flash is used to take indoor pictures, the white balance is set to normal daylight conditions, resulting in a yellower, unnatural picture. Dual flash takes care of this issue by providing two simultaneous sources of illumination for enhanced contrast control. Finally, there is a new color for the new iPhone. It will be coming in black, white, and gold. Some will argue that the gold is more of a champagne color, but regardless of this quibble it is the bestselling of the three so far.
Usually Apple sells a year-old iPhone for $99; however, due to the expense of creating an aluminum shell, Apple has decided to create a plastic iPhone called the iPhone 5c, with the ‘c’ standing for color. It comes in green, blue, yellow, pink, and white. It is much closer to the iPhone 5 than it is to the 5s, and uses the same processing chip and camera. Basically, the only difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c is the exterior.
iOS7 in my opinion was the most important thing announced by Apple on September 10th. It is the single biggest advancement in iOS since its release. Nothing has undergone a complete overhaul, but almost everything has experienced at least some small change, from the lock screen to the format of apps to the different fonts. Many of the icons have changed as well. The most notable changes, however, are all the new features- things like multi-tasking and folders- that have now been implemented into iOS. One of the more prominent of these new features is that now, when you swipe down anywhere, it goes to Apple search, and when you swipe up, it brings up a menu where you can change music and brightness. This menu also allows you to turn on a flashlight or open apps like your clock, calculator, and camera.
Overall the new iPhones and their operating systems are a solid leap from last year’s Apple products, and will be sought out by the market that Apple has cornered so well. They should both sell well for the next year until Apple updates its lineup once again in the fall. Still, the question remains- is it enough? Are these advancements enough to keep Apple customers satisfied? Or has Apple lost its ability to innovate? The answers will depend upon Apple’s competitors, and on Apple itself.