Yes, I know. By now you've likely heard all you wanted to hear about the latest offerings from Apple and chances are you don't really want to hear any more about it but what the competition is doing is always something you have to be aware of.
As we noted earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook and team took to the stage to announce the company's latest iPhone, only this time around things were slightly different.
There ended up being essentially two new hardware revisions announced, which consisted of the iPhone 5s and the 'unapologetically plastic' and colorful iPhone 5c. So what does each offer? Let's take a quick look.
Although it might be a bit hard to tell when looking at the Apple website, the freshly introduced iPhone 5s is their new 'flagship' device that offers a lot of what was previously available on the original iPhone 5. Design wise, the styling hasn't changed dramatically with the exception of a new home button that features a fingerprint scanner dubbed Touch ID and the offering (and discontinuation) of color variations. Below is a quick run down of the some of the more relevant specs. You can hit up iMore for the full list.
- Colors Available: Space Gray, Gold, Silver
- Display: 4-inch widescreen Multi-Touch display, 1136x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
iSight camera: 8 megapixels with 1.5µ pixels, Wider ƒ/2.2 aperture, True Tone flash Burst mode and slo-mo video and 1080p recording
Facetime Camera: 1.2MP photos (1280 by 960), 720p video recording
Touch ID Fingerprint identity sensor: Put your finger on the Home button, and your iPhone unlocks. Your fingerprint can also approve purchases from iTunes or the App Store.
A7 and M7 chips: The new 64-bit A7 chip delivers up to 2x faster CPU and graphics performance. And the new M7 motion coprocessor handles specific tasks to make iPhone 5s even more power efficient.
To say the new iPhone 5s is more of the same is somewhat accurate but to be fair there is some new and interesting stuff packed in there for sure. The new camera options are sure to be a pleaser for many folks and the Touch ID thing, while tried before in some ways on previous devices, would be pretty awesome assuming it works as it should. I hate having to enter in passwords and I know I'm not alone there.
If you paid any attention to the latest Droid announcements or even checked on the Moto X info, then you know having a totally separate coprocessor to handle smaller tasks is the latest buzz talk. Motorola has their 'X8 Mobile Computing System' and now Apple has their M7 chip. As Apple puts it 'The new M7 coprocessor is like a sidekick to the A7 chip. It’s designed specifically to measure motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass — a task that would normally fall to the A7 chip.'
Overall, Apple did with the iPhone 5s what most people expected them to do and has become the norm for them. They uploaded a bunch of the internals, added some new features, and pushed it out the door. Is it a bad thing? No, it's not. That method works for them and make no mistake about it, people will buy these things by the millions. Even on Twitter, a lot of folks were proclaiming they'd be upgrading for the camera alone. And as always, pricing for the devices stays in line with the 16 coming in at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 on 2-year contracts.
The iPhone 5 is dead, Jim. It's done. Discontinued. In its place comes the iPhone 5c and it's pretty much an iPhone 5 with a colorful makeover and a somewhat lower price, though not as low as some had speculated ahead of launch. It will be $99 for 16GB and $199 for 32GB on a 2-year contract but if you're not into those then you're going to be looking at $599 for the 16GB and $719 for the 32GB. A far cry from the affordable / cost-effective offering many had hoped for.
Apple did up some fancy videos explaining the whole design process and the materials used on the device but perhaps Jony Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President, Design said it best when he noted the device as being unapologetically plastic and Nokia wasted no time calling Apple out on the color choices. Additionally, Apple rolled out some fancy new cases and such for the devices to match color which is always nice considering having accessories and the like on launch day is always a good thing.
Other than that, I don't really have much to say about the iPhone 5c. It's like an iPhone 5 with some arguably ugly colors to match the arguably ugly colors on iOS7 that you can keep safe in some arguably ugly colored cases for cheaper than the iPhone 5s. The most curious and interesting thing about it all is why instead of going the normal path of simply reducing the iPhone 5 cost, they decided to launch a plastic, rainbow colored iPhone 5c in its place and dropping the iPhone 5 altogether.
And for those of you concerned with the specs of it all, here's how everything compares when stacked up next to each other. In this case we used the BlackBerry Z10 as a comparison because of the similar form factor, though I must stop here and say it actually feels great to have a device with some real specs behind it to compare to. Previously, it was always older BBOS devices, so a BlackBerry 10 device with nice specs up there looks great.
The Wrap up
So, to wrap this one up, Apple kept things pretty normal and on their expected trajectory. Most of this stuff has leaked ahead of time anyway and there were very few surprises left, unlike the days of old. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm all for trying out other devices and this time around, I'm once again left a bit under whelmed. I don't really have that urge to rush out and buy any of the devices come September 20th when they go on sale, but eventually, I'll pick an iPhone 5s up when I get around to it. Those are my thoughts on it all, what do you guys all think? Drop your comments below and let us know and if you're looking for more info, check out iMore!