On Sept. 10, Apple held one of its annual keynotes to introduce its new mobile phone offerings. The event kicked off with Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, giving some updates on its retail stores and the annual iTunes Festival in London. The festival features many award winning artists performing concerts during Sept. These concerts are free and can be live-streamed or downloaded on most Apple devices.
The keynote then moved to the newest revision to Apple’s mobile platform, iOS 7. The update includes countless changes to the way customers use their iPhones such as a new user interface, updated Siri functionality, and 64-bit architecture. The beta of the software was only in the hands of developers but was officially released Sept. 18.
Next, Apple decided to change up its usual repertoire by announcing not one, but two new iPhone products. The first of which added a much needed touch of color and more durable casing than the iPhone 5. The result is the iPhone 5C. The 5C has a colored plastic back enclosure with steel reinforcements built inside. Besides the obvious aesthetic changes, the specs inside are identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 5.
The change to plastic is actually a great move by Apple. By offering a cheaper material, Apple lowered the price to cut into Galaxy S4 sales. The iPhone 5C will be available in five colors, two storage sizes (16 and 32 gigabytes) and cost $99 and $199 respectively with a standard two year contract.
The second iPhone Apple announced is dubbed the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S has a plethora of improvements and new features that give Samsung and Nokia a run for their money. Phil Schiller, senior vice president of marketing at Apple, described the three key features to this new device.
The first is an all-new A7 processor that has a 64-bit architecture and an accompanying M7 chip to handle all motion related activities in the device. The 64-bit nature of the processor means that the system can handle many more complex operations more effectively. It also enables the phone to use OpenGL-ES 3.0 (desktop class graphics) natively.
The second innovation that comes to the 5S is the camera system. Apple increased the aperture of the lens, which allows more light to hit the sensor. They also increased pixel size in order to improve dynamic range and decrease picture noise in low light conditions. Added features found in the camera system includes the ability to use a dual LED flash to give the user much truer colors and tones, auto image stabilization, burst mode (10 fps), and slo-mo (120 fps).
The third and most innovative feature is Touch ID. Touch ID is essentially a sensor embedded in the tactile home button that can read your fingerprint to unlock your phone and make purchases in the iTunes and App Stores. The sensor reads your fingerprint at 500 pixels per inch for a high definition image and can read it in any orientation. The Touch ID sensor knows when to scan your print by using a stainless steel detection ring lining the button and activates the sensor automatically. The print itself is secured within the A7 chip and is not given to other apps or backed up in iCloud. The iPhone 5S was released on Sept. 20 in three colors (Silver, Space Grey and Gold) and three storage configurations (16, 32, and 64 gigabytes). The event then closed with Elvis Costello performing a few songs from his new album.