It has been close to a year since the iPhone 5 was released back in September 21, 2012, but on Tuesday Apple Inc. announced the release of its upgraded flagship version iPhone 5S, along with a cheaper plastic version dubbed the iPhone 5C.
Many of the rumors concerning Apple's new product line-up proved to hold true, as images of a gold-colored iPhone device has been circulating the Internet for weeks, as well as talk about a cheaper version of the iPhone expected to build a wider audience in emerging markets such as India and China, to name a few.
The iPhone 5C is made of hard-coated polycarbonate plastic and comes in five different colors: green, blue, yellow, red and white. Along with an optional case, meant to compliment the colors and costing an additional $29, you are able to match different colors and end up with a total of, "30 fun combinations," as Apple puts it on its product page.
Like the iPhone 5, the 5C has a 4-inch display, is steel reinforced, and has a multi-LTE band antenna. The device will cost $99 for a 16GB version, or $199 for 32 GB, along with a two-year contract. The iPhone 5C will go on sale on Sept. 20, with pre-orders starting on Sept. 13.
The flagship iPhone 5S saw a moderate update, receiving Apple's new 64-bit A7 chip, making it the first 64-bit smartphone on the market. Among the upgrades were also a new motion sensor chip branded M7, a better camera with 1.5u pixels designed to capture more light, as well as burst mode, auto-white balance, and true tone flash to better illuminate objects in a dark environment. The camera also features a new image stabilizer and slow-motion video.
Another rumor that had been floating around was that the new iPhone would have a fingerprint reader. Apple has indeed incorporated a fingerprint sensor dubbed Touch ID, albeit built-in into the home button instead of utilizing the touch-screen, surprising many.
Technologically, the sensor is the most advanced in a smartphone to date. The sensor scans sub-epidermal skin layers and has 360-degree readability, improving finger recognition each time the sensor is used. It is only about 170 microns thin, with a 500 ppi resolution, meaning it is able to capture extremely fine detail of a person's finger prints.
The fingerprint sensor can be used both to unlock the phone as well as to make purchases. Apple promises that no finger print information is ever transmitted wirelessly, but isolated completely within an internal chip on each device, ensuring the information does not fall into the wrong hands.
The iPhone 5S will come in three varieties. You can pick up either a 16 GB version for $199, 32 GB for $299, or 64 GB for $399, with a contract. The phone will go on sale on Sept. 20, with no information on pre-orders.
Meanwhile, apart from the two new devices in Apple's product line-up, the company also announced the much anticipated update to its mobile operating system iOS, dubbed iOS 7, which will be available for download on Sept. 18.