The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c releases have been keenly awaited for a long time. Finally, Apple put an end to the circulation of rumors and speculation by announcing the launch of the 2 new phones yesterday and also brought the great news of an affordable phone to millions of iPhone enthusiasts around the world.
Keynote event unveils the new iPhones 5S and 5C
Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, who took over from Steve Jobs after his passing away, made the announcement in a jam-packed auditorium consisting of hundreds of media persons and officials. The keynote event began with Tim Cook welcoming everyone including audiences watching online in Germany and China. After a preliminary announcement of the launch, a band took the stage and entertained the audience for a few minutes culminating in a huge round of applause.
Tim Cook announced changes in retail, including the new look of the Stanford Shopping Center Apple store that has served 5 million customers in the past 9 years. It was quite clear from the photograph that was displayed on screen that the new structure is quite an architectural marvel with a pavilion and glass on 3 sides. The new store is said to be 8 times the size of the earlier store.
Craig Frederhigi, the head of software engineering at Apple took the stage to talk about the completion and noteworthy aspects of IOS 7. Starting with the lock screen to gorgeous animations and the way the device responds to motion, Craig discussed vivid details like the new swipe up screen that brings up controls and a pull down screen that brings up a notification center - which even recommends where you need to go and the traffic conditions en route! He also displayed the new search as a new, pull down screen that also obtains information from Wikipedia, the web and photo search. He then went on to give the audience a demonstration of the massively improved Siri with a high quality male and a female voice.
The new camera app is supposedly the best yet amongst iPhone versions and enables location and time sorting. The most beautiful display in the presentation was of all the images in the iPhone camera roll displayed on one screen. The app makes it possible for you to view your sorted pictures on a single screen with tiny images forming the entire collection of images on the screen. When you push your finger down on the screen the small images pop up from the screen one after another and you can choose whichever one you want to see in full screen. At the end of Craig's presentation he gave a demonstration of various new ringtones all of which were musical and very pleasing to the ear.
The new iPhone devices were the main attractions of the event. Before unveiling the new iPhones, Tim Cook explained the need for replacing the iPhone 5 with 2 new models - with one of them a cheaper version of the premium one aimed at kids and people on a tight budget.
What is new in the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C?
To start with the new iPhone signals the advent of fingerprint technology in mobiles. Touch ID, as Apple has named its fingerprint sensor, does away with the need of putting in a sometimes hard-to-remember pin code and can be identified by a thin circle around the home button. However do not think this would be a safe way to engage in online transactions like shopping or using your online bank account - you would certainly need additional security for these transactions. But what it does work well for is Apple's own iTunes Store, a good start which will make users familiar with the concept of fingerprint identification on their phones.
Apple has made waves with the launch of its first affordable phone, the iPhone 5C, which is said to be especially targeted at prospective Chinese customers given the surge in affluence in China. The 5C has a beautiful black screen and what makes it even more attractive are the five bright colors which it will be available in. Apple has also introduced the use of plastic on the iPhone body, something that has not been seen before. The plastic is metal-reinforced which makes it strong enough to withstand daily use and is expected to protect the iPhone from any accidental damage.
What exactly is different between the 5S and 5C?
Well, first and foremost it is the price. You will be able to buy the 5S on contract basis for $399, $299, and $199 for the 64, 32 and 16 GB versions respectively, while the 5C will be available for $199 and $99 for the 32 and 16 GB respectively. In effect you will be paying two thirds the price of the 5S 32 GB if you buy the 5C 32 GB. The unsubsidized version will cost you $749 for the 5S vs. $649 for the 5C.
The second big difference is with the processor. The 5S gets the A7 64-bit processor with a graphics chip, an M7 motion related chip, a unique fingerprint sensor and a 4-inch retina display. Apple has claimed that the A7 processor will make the iPhone several times faster than previous versions. The 5C on the other hand, gets the A6 processor with only the 4-inch retina display.
Last but not the least the 5S comes in somber colors like gray, silver and gold whereas the 5C comes in bright colors like green, yellow, pink, white and blue. The gold shade is aimed at pleasing Chinese customers who consider gold a sign of prosperity.
The launch has been considered a subdued event as compared to previous launches by Apple. Of course it is an undeniable fact that the presence of Steve Jobs was a large factor in ensuring the success of Apple's launches when he was around. But even with the latest cutting-edge features Apple seems to have disappointed a section of iPhone enthusiasts who were expecting much more from their favorite phone.
Apple has a lot to worry about now even though the iPhone seems to have unshakeable followers worldwide. Besides Samsung's astounding success with its Galaxy range of phones and tablets, Nokia also presents a looming threat especially after its acquisition by Microsoft. With a majority of computers using some version of Windows, the Lumia range of phones is sure to get a boost in the marketplace.
How the success of the new iPhone 5S and the 5C compares with the success of new models of its rivals, the Galaxy and Lumia, only time will tell.