Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced two new iPhones, including an ‘iPhone 5C’ that comes in five colors and starts at $99, priced to bring one of the industry’s costliest smartphones within reach of the masses in poorer emerging markets. The pricier “5S” also comes in three colors and sports expected improvements in processor speed and iOS7 software features along with a fingerprintscanner that can unlock the phone with just a touch. The cheaper phone goes on sale online on Friday, while the pricier gadget can be pre-ordered on Sept. 20. CEO Tim Cook told an expectant crowd at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters he expects Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to ship the 700 millionth device – an iPhone or iPad – based on iOS mobile software sometime next month.
Apple’s iPhone 5C:
The phone will be available in Green, White, Blue, Red, and Yellow shown with a polycarbonate case, but is otherwise very similar to the iPhone 5, including processor and display. Analysts have previously anticipated that the A5 processor would be used to lower the BOM. Analysts note that the polycarbonate case appears to be well machined and has a good look and feel. The phone does not feel “plasticy” in hands.
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The iPhone 5C will have battery that is slightly larger than iPhone 5, but will have the same 8MP camera as the iPhone 5. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) representative mentioned that the iPhone 5C will support more LTE bands than any other phone in the world.
On contract pricing will be $99/$199 for 16GB/32GB, while off-contract pricing shows $549 and $649, respectively for the 16GB/32GB models. The cases will be $29 each. The iPhone 5C will first launched in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and UK as well as territories Hong Kong and Puerto Rico. In addition, NTT DoCoMo will be included in the Japan offering for the first time.
Apple’s iPhone 5S
The phone will be available in Gold, White and Black and will be powered by the A7 processor as expected. The A7 processor is the first 64-bit processor used for a phone and is 102 sq. mm. The new iPhone was discussed as being 40x faster than the original iPhone. Apple added what is called M7 ‘motion co-processor’ that measures sensor data such as accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, thus will understand when the user is walking, stationary, driving or running. This will allow for fitness apps to be easily integrated. The M7 processor may also be a prelude to an often mentioned iWatch. Battery life was deemed equal or greater than the iPhone 5, with up to 10 hours of 3G talk time.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spent a lot of time discussing improvements to the camera system (iSight) as well as security – fingerprint sensor (Touch ID). Regarding the camera, it uses two LEDs to better match color of lighting. Automatic image stabilization, burst mode, slow motion have all been added as well.
Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint scanner security system, will use fingerprint sensing in the home button. It is envisioned to not only unlock the phone, but also allow for iTunes purchases. In a brief demonstration, the fingerprint sensor was easy to use / set-up.
iPhone 5S on contract pricing will be $199/$299/$399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB, while off-contract pricing shows $649, $749 & $849, respectively for the 16GB/32GB/64GB models. Apple-made leather cases will be $39 each. The iPhone 5S will first launched in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and UK as well as territories Hong Kong and Puerto Rico. In addition, NTT DoCoMo will be included in the Japan offering for the first time.
Apple’s iOS 7
As previously announced at its World Wide Developers Conference in June 2013, and highlighted as the most significant change in its operating system since the iPhone introduction in 2007, the company announced that iOS7 will be available on September 18th. As a reminder, with a big focus on design and user interface, iOS7 incorporates full redesigns in apps such as Weather, Messaging, Calendar, Mail, Notification Center and others.
The company demonstrated 10 new features/apps. One notable feature was the ability to easily upload photos to Flickr and other sites. The company also introduced image-filter technology that would mirror that found in Instragram and Facebook (albeit this capability has been available w/in iPhoto on Macs).
Apple’s new iOS 7 provides multi-tasking for all applications, as well as intelligent scheduling, opportunistic and coalescing updating, and push notifications. The iOS 7 design utilizes a layered approach with enhanced movement integration, including a 3D home screen (which makes app icons slightly shift depending on the angle the iPhone is being held) and significantly enhanced tabbing capability within Safari.
The company also introduced AirDrop for integration with any applications that include share-sheet capabilities. In terms of Camera and Photos, the company announced the integration of four cameras that are easily swipeable. Photo organization has been enhanced.
Apple also introduced a new Siri interface, as well as integration with Wikipedia, Twitter, and web search results from Microsoft Bing. New with Siri, Apple is introducing iOS in the Car – the ability to integrate the iOS interface onto your in car display. Apple announced the following car manufacturers will be supporting iOS integration in the car in 2014: Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Acura, Chevrolet, Infiniti, Ferrari, Volvo, Jaguar, and Opel. iOS 7 will be free starting Sept. 18 on iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (5 th gen).