11 September 2013

Apple unveils two new iPhones


Apple unveiled its two new iPhones last night at its HQ in California: the 5s and the 5c.  Both iPhones officially go on sale in the UK on the 20th September.


The hotly anticipated launch had been seen as Apple’s answer to the growing dominance of rival Samsung, particularly in Asia where it has struggled to maintain market share.  But analysts were disappointed that price hasn’t been pushed even lower.  Without a contract, the iPhone 5c will start at £469 for the 16GB model – just £80 cheaper than the new iPhone 5s.


The new flagship 5s model will come in the traditional Apple colours of silver and slate grey as well as a new golden hue, and will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model and £709 for the 64GB model.


Apple's Senior Vice President Phil Schiller introduced the 5s’ fingertip scanner - named Touch ID - which, he said, would provide a "simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger."  This security feature is built into the home button and uses a laser cut sapphire crystal along with a sensor to take a high-resolution image of a user's fingerprint.


According to Apple, the technology can "intelligently analyse" the print to provide accurate readings from any angle.  All fingerprint information is encrypted and the firm has insisted it will never be stored on Apple servers.  Beyond unlocking the phone, the feature can be used as a secure way, using a finger swipe, to approve online purchases, from the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store, Apple said.


The cheaper, plastic-backed 5c model comes in a range of five colours - a first for the iPhone -and will cost $99 (£63) over a two-year contract or $736 (£469) as a one-off payment.





The iPhone 5c


Like the iPhone 5 it is designed to replace, the new 5c model features an A6 processor and an 8-megapixel iSight camera, though the front-facing camera has received a slight upgrade.  The sides and back of the phone are crafted out of a single hard-coated polycarbonate shell; this shell holds a steel frame that doubles as the 5c’s multi-band antenna.


iPhone 5c cases


You can opt to buy a soft matte case to complement the 5c’s glossy exterior, giving you even more colour combinations to work with.  The mobile itself is available in blue, green, white, yellow and pink, and the cases are available in white, pink, yellow, blue, green and black.  At 124.4mm x 59.2mm x 8.97mm it’s slighter higher, wider and thinner than the iPhone 5 (123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm).  It’s also a touch heavier — 132g rather than 112g.


You can think of the 5c as an iPhone 5 with a number of minor tweaks, and whilst early speculation suggested the “c” in the new iPhone’s name stood for “cheap”, this hasn’t proved to be the case: the 16GB will set you back £469 SIM-free while the 32GB model costs £549 SIM-free.  The official cases shown off at the Apple event are available for £25 apiece.


The iPhone 5s


On then to the real star of Apple’s press conference, the iPhone 5s.  Apple’s Phil Schiller emphasised three main points during his presentation: the phone’s powerful internal components, its upgraded camera and the fingerprint sensor named Touch ID.


The 5s is powered by an all-new 64-bit A7 processor — the first 64-bit CPU to be seen in a consumer phone — and Apple is promising twice the speed and graphics performance of the iPhone 5.  There’s also something completely new: the M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass built into the phone.  Among other tricks, the M7 chip can tell when you’re walking, running or driving a car, and you can expect to see this functionality used by a wealth of health and fitness apps in the coming months and years.  In terms of size and weight, the 5s matches the 5 exactly, and it looks almost identical too.


Much is being made of the new and improved camera built into the 5s. Like its predecessor, it produces 8-megapixel snaps, but Apple has improved the lens and internal components for better sensitivity and improved low-light performance.  There’s a larger aperture, a larger sensor and a two-tone LED flash capable of 1,000 varying combinations, so turning on your phone’s flash won’t distort the colours in the scene you’re shooting.  There’s also an integrated burst mode that can take a series of photos and present you with the best one almost instantaneously.  Video capabilities have been improved too, with the 5s capable of shooting HD 720p video at a slow-motion rate of 120 frames-per-second.


Finally, Apple introduced Touch ID, the fingerprint sensor technology built into the iPhone 5s’s Home button.  You can use your unique fingerprint to unlock the phone and buy apps from iTunes — the company is promising this data will be encrypted and remain on your handset.  It can recognise fingerprints from any angle and can distinguish between you trying to scan your finger and pressing the button as normal.



The 16GB iPhone 5s costs the same as the 32GB iPhone 5c — £549.  You can get the 32GB model for £629 and the 64GB model for £709 (all SIM-free).  Three colours are available — grey, gold and silver — and again there is an official line of cases on offer for £35 each — beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and red are the choices here.  Apple claimed a battery life that’s slightly better than the iPhone 5 for both the 5c and 5s, so it would seem you might still be running out of juice after a full day of normal usage.



New Operating System - iOS7


The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will come with iOS7 already installed, and the operating system was shown off again at the iPhone launch event. If you’re not familiar with its new features, they include improved search, better notifications, a more comprehensive Siri app, enhanced multi-tasking as well as a radical new look and much more besides.  The software will be pushed out to consumers on the 18th of September.  What’s more, anyone buying a new iOS7 device will get the iWork suite of apps (that’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote) as well as iPhoto and iMovie free of charge.


« Go back

BridgeOne supports the Poppy Appeal, organised by the Royal British Legion to raise funds for serving and ex-Service personnel and their families.
You can make donations HERE