The Apple event you've been waiting for finally came. Live from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Time Cook unveiled the long-awaited cheap iPhone and its many, many color options. He also unveiled the shiny, faster, newer iPhone 5S.
We followed the all of the very important news from the Engadget, The Verge and Ars Technica liveblogs. Tim Cook told the audience of gathered tech reporters that they normally drop the price of the current iPhone when they unveil a new one, but this year that's not happening. Instead, Apple is replacing the iPhone 5 with two new phones (the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C). Here's what you need to know.
- The new white, gold and "space grey" (aka black) iPhone 5S's are made of high-grade aluminum and chamfered edges with glass inlays. So, the same as before mostly. But also newer.
- The phone will be powered by the new system-on-a-chip A7 processor, which will apaprently make this twice as fast as the iPhone 5.
- It's also powered by a 64 bit chip, the first smart phone to reach that level. That will make things like switching filters on Instagram a whole lot faster. (There's also potential for N64 Goldeneye ports, so, you know, watch out for that.)
- There's also a new M7 "motion coprocessor" that can tell apps whether you're stationary, walking, driving, or doing who knows what. It's Apple catering to running apps, basically. It can handle small tasks without waking up the dominant A7 chip.
- The camera doesn't carry any more megapixels than the one in the iPhone 5, but they did resign the lens. The lens has F2.2 aperture now, and a 15 percent larger active area. There's also a dual LED flash on the back now: one flash is white and the other is amber. This way the phone can measure different combinations to get the right flash. There's also a new burst camera feature that can capture 10 different frames per second and lets you choose the best one. (This feature is popular for sports photography, or anything with lots of motion.) A new slow motion option lets users take 720p HD video at 120 frames per second, too.
- Apple just unveiled "Touch ID," the new fingerprint security sensor. It comes embedded in the phone's new circular home button, and can read your sub-epidermal skin layers. The fingerprint sensor can be used to unlock the phone and make purchases in the iTunes store, which is pretty cool. Here's a breakdown of the sensor's construction:
How Apple integrated Touch ID sensor into iPhone 5C home button pic.twitter.com/vSuDFkUQhw— Wilson Rothman (@wjrothman) September 10, 2013
- The Touch ID stores your information on the phone's A7 chip and can only be decrypted with the Touch ID software. What that means is your fingerprint never hits the iCloud, is never on Apple's servers, and is therefore a lot harder for any snooping government agencies (or anyone, really) to access.
- The new battery supports up to 250 hours of standby, or 10 hours of 3G talk time, or 10 hours of LTE browsing. They say it's better than the 5.
- The iPhone 5S will be $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for 64GB on a two-year contract.
- The iPhone 5S will be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the U.K. on September 20.
They're doing the iPhone 5C first.
- The iPhone 5C comes with a black glass front. The back, though, is a single piece of hard-coated polycarbonate that comes in white, blue, green, pink and yellow.
And here they are, in all five colors! iPhone 5C pic.twitter.com/OuhD8qQZKd— Wilson Rothman (@wjrothman) September 10, 2013
- It's almost the same as the current iPhone 5, except it has an updated Facetime HD camera on the front, better battery life and expanded battery life.
- Apple is also really excited about the new cases they've made for the iPhone 5C from a special silicone rubber. The backs of the cases have holes cut out so it looks like a Connect 4 board.
The iPhone 5C will $99 for 16GB and $199 for 32GB on two year contracts.
- The iPhone 5C pre-sale starts on September 13, and it will be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the U.K. on September 20.
- The Apple site confirms the iPhone 5C will cost you $549 for 16GB and $649 for 32GB when not subsidized by a contract. This is not what people had in mind when Apple said something about a "cheap" iPhone.
Some updates on the operating system Cook ran through on stage. Some of it is old, other stuff is new. Let's get down to the big stuff:
- New ringtones are coming!
- A male voice for Siri is also on the way.
- The mobile versions of the iWork suite, iPhoto and iMovie are all free to download with iOs 7.
- iOs7 will be available on September 18th, and will be supported on the iPhone 4 and beyond, the iPad 2 and beyond, the iPad mini, and 5th-gen iPod touch.