Overnight Apple also announced the new iPhone hardware. Coming in two models the iPhone 5S and 5C, there’s some minor incremental adjustments, but the most impressive is the new home button. Built into the home button of the 5S is a fingerprint reader which can authenticate the user not only at the OS level, but Apple are providing the API to 3rd party developers.
This means your bank is likely to update their app with support to login just with the tap of your finger. The technology works in 360 degrees, which roughly translates to, it doesn’t matter where you put your finger, it’ll read it. As the home button has been prone to failure in the past, let’s hope Apple engineers have also made it more reliable.
The iPhone 5S also got the new A7 processor which is said to be twice as fast, as well as a dedicated M7 processor which can integrate with fitness apps while using virtually no power to track things like the accelerometer. Apple also announced the A7 will run both 32 and 64-bit apps, which they claim is the first smartphone to do so. With the amount of addressable RAM being the primary motivator for desktops moving to 64-bit, Apple failed to detail why this was important on a mobile.
One new feature for iOS, but not for the industry is the ability to film slow motion (120fps) video, great for slowing down high speed motion. Those Android users will be quick to point out they’ve had this for a while.
While we expected to by calling the new colour champagne, Apple went with gold as the official new colour for the 5S, but your choices of colour don’t stop there. The new iPhone 5C was added to the lineup and replaces the current iPhone 5 model. The C stands for colour officially, with your choices being Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, White, but its also cheap. Made of plastic rather than the aluminum body found in the 5S, the phone has an updated processor, but virtually the same specs in terms of camera as the current iPhone 5.
During the event, Apple conveyed a lot on information on what they were delivering, but failed to explain why they were making a number of their decisions. Introducing a new cheaper skew was thought to be a strategy to enter the developing world to address those that can’t afford the top iPhone. Instead the announcement came off more about matching what the competition are offering in terms of choice.
Pre-orders will go on sale this Friday 13th September, while existing Apple users can upgrade to iOS7 on the 17th September. The new phone hardware will be available on the 20th September.
It’s definitely an incremental change for Apple and to some degree that was expected given we’re in the S year, while major revisions to the hardware is typically kept for the full version number. Looks like we didn’t get any wow moments that will shake up the industry. iPhone users can now choose to upgrade to the 5S, wait for the iPhone 6 next year, or look at the plethora of options on other platforms.
Props to Sonny Dickson who had been leaking the casing designs for months now, his source is a good one as it was spot on with the 5C colour choices as well as the gold 5S colour.
After pre-ordering the Lumia 1020 this week, there’s certainly nothing in this morning’s announcement that made me regret that decision. I have to give it to Nokia who was quick to release this graphic during Apple’s event, which refers to them ‘discovering’ colours.
Apple have updated their website to reflect the new products and while the didn’t live stream the event (at least not in Aus), then you can watch the event on replay. More info @ http://www.apple.com/au/