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iPhone 5S and 5C – Here we come

iPhone 5S_AppleSo Apple finally revealed what most of us have expected. The 5S once
more underlines the minimalistic, yet appealing way of style. While
the iPhone 5 came in two colors, the 5S now has a third, golden case.
For sure not everybody’s taste but hey, looks great anyways.

And the innards?

5SWell, what has already been speculated in many forums, on websites and gadget portals has come true. The iPhone 5S features a fingerprint unlock (zesty!) and no matter how you put your finger on, it always recognizes your identity. Apple trusts it so much that the Touch ID, as Apple calls this new feature, can even be used to authenticate you in the AppStore.

I must admit, this is indeed a cool feature and yes I was often annoyed when I had to retype my lenghty password for the AppStore twice because I had a typo due to the sometimes inaccurate touchscreen or my to speedy fingers. Despite many rumors that the Home button could get a bulby warp outside, the Home button is now separated from the housing by a metal ring that also is part of the recognition technique. The button itself looks flat to me but images sometimes tend to mislead your recognition!

Okay so the Home-Button no longer is a plain, stupid switch anymore but what about the other innards?

The display hasn’t changed in resolution. In my opinion it’s okay though other smartphones already use FHD displays. The urge for higher resolution displays is given, true but higher resolution means a higher possibility for “dead” pixels and/or subpixels. Not to mention a powerful graphics processor to feed the resolution with the GUI fluid.

On the other hand, Apple claims that the graphics render 56 times faster yet leaving the question open related to which iPhone. The iPhone 1 or the iPhone 5?

Speaking of the processor, the iPhone 5S now has the A7 SoC and M7 co-processor on board. What – you may ask now – a co-processor? Are they serious? Another power-sucker?

The SoC is the first 64Bit processor built into a smartphone (although I am not sure if one can really benefit from this as there are not many apps that use an x64 architecture anyways. We’ll have to wait until the programmers are porting their Apps to x64 capability. Housing 1 billion transistors on approx. 100 squaremillimeters – impressive – but enough for the possible customers?

Okay, now we know that the iPhone 5S comes with a co-processor but what exactly does the M7 motion co-processor as Apple names it?

Since geotagging, GPS, motion sensors and gyrosensors nowadays use lots of CPU power, the only way to increase battery lifespan is to deactivate those features.

The M7 now takes all these tasks when they’re really needed and goes into hibernation when they’re not used. Sounds great but if this will work reliable? We’ll have to wait until first thorough tests come and test the battery run time with various test scenarios. Some Apps are already reworked to take advantage of the M7 coprocessor, which allows programmers access the positioning events more easily as the M7 co-processor already delivers readable output. So this task is no longer constantly handled by the main processor leaving it more processing time for the main tasks.

And what about the memory? Well, nothing special here, which is indeed a bit disappointing. For those who hoped to find 128GB in the new phone models, will be faced with a 64GB maximum memory configuration, non-expandable, of course.

Even the RAM is limited to 1 GB again, which makes me, once more, ask, why use 64bit then when you don’t need it? 64Bit has mainly been involved to allow computers address more than 4GB of RAM these days as memory got cheaper and bigger by time. Most applications today built now extensively use 64bit native coding, allowing applications to even fulfill the biggest tasks in RAM. No more annoying out of memory error messages from applications, or, what Windows has done later, swapping memory on the ways slower harddisk.

Come on, Apple, 2GB RAM wouldn’t have been an unsolvable thing as today’s memory  chips are so darn small that you can even squeeze 4GB on one single small chip today! Speaking of that, Nokia’s new upcoming flagship, the Lumia 1520 (Bandit) will provide a whopping 3GB RAM to Windows Phone 8. Now many of you may say, that’s because Microsoft cannot code well and demands much more RAM for proper running. Sure, the MS Apps may not be as optimally programmed as those from Apple but that’s not the main point here. We speak of the possibility to make proper use of the 64bit extension. Though I still wonder if there’s an App that gobbles up that much RAM anyway (maybe the sometimes sluggishly behaving Facebook App).

And the storage? Even there I must say that today’s memory technology is so advanced that you can squeeze in lots of it on small room. While other smartphones give users the option to snick in a 64GB memory card, the iPhone 5S still has no option for that (and probably never will!). Come on, Apple! An 128GB option would have given the 5S a real benefit and another “must urgently update” reason. Even Nokia has learned it’s lesson and equipped the Lumia 1520 with a slot to pop in microSDXC cards up to 64GB. I like that as you can virtually increase storage to unlimited size then (though having more than two microSDXC’s with you may not be too convenient and the loss of them with probably some intimate pictures may loosen an avalance of shame…). I still wonder if Nokia/Microsoft will make it possible to use an in-time encryption on the memory card so that it won’t be readable when lost…

Okay, we have already spoken about the screen not offering a higher resolution. The reason is clear. A new resolution would have made it necessary to adapt the Apps all again and another form factor than the actual 17.75:10 (iPhone 5) or the 3:2 (iPhone 4 and older) would have made it necessary to redesign the Apps. Even today, there are many Apps that cannot benefit from the additional space, the iPhone 5 is providing. Well, gotta have to live with that. Since the 5S was speculated to have an IGZO display insead of the old IPS technology in the iPhone 5, the question is if they really have involved this new technology as it would make room for additional battery capacity or for other components.

So now back to the shell of the iPhone 5S. If you don’t see the Home button or if it ain’t the gold version, you can’t tell an iPhone 5S and an iPhone 5 apart from each other. The haptics may be the same as the weight and size are already the same. And once more I must admit that the haptics of the 5(S) cannot compete with the iPhone 4. I miss the sort-of-classy-monolithic style with the glass back giving the iPhone 4 series it’s unique yet alluring touch.

As initially mentionned, the new gold version (probably made for the asian market demand as gold is a trend color there) is the ONLY identifier for you when you have no direct view on the Home button. If I would buy the iPhone 5S, I’d go for the golden version which will probably be sold out first. Everything new is sold out first upon launch. And when you have followed the media in the last time, then you’ll have spotted news about customers already camping at the Apple Store in New York just to be one of the first in line to get hands on the new iPhone(s). “Same procedure as every year, Tim!” – to make a bit fun of Apple using a text-line from “Dinner for One”.

And what about imaging? Yes, there we have an update. A 5-lens sensor slightly larger than in the iPhone 5, allows for an Aperture of ƒ2.2 and even better imaging in dark environments. The backlit sensor technology is new and also used in modern DSLR cameras to improve ISO value for faster shutter times in dark environment. The camera will have to withstand a series of tests and compete with Nokia’s PureView technology now which has set a new level when it comes to smartphone imaging. And to be honest: The camera used in the Lumia 1020 for instance has set a new standard. Nokia always was a step ahead when it came to imaging with smartphones but they lost connection when the original iPhone was released back in 2007. The radical turnaround with the Lumia series and the once again cooperation with Zeiss Optics made it possible for Nokia to outwit it’s competitors also once again. So the iPhone 5S will for sure get a lot of attention here when test magazines will take shots and compare it with the Nokia Lumia for example. What sounds interesting, is the Burst mode, letting you take 10 pictures per second!

The video part did not receive much update. Still the same 1080p/30fps (FHD) capability as the iPhone 5 did already, probably the imaging stabilizer will close up to Nokias PureView IS used in their 920 and 1020 (and the upcoming 1520). You can now take still images during the video session as Android has already implemented. A slowmotion function shall allow you to make, who’d guessed this, slow motion videos. Interesting is, that the iPhone 5S will be able to shoot 120fps at VGA (640×480) resolution. If this makes sense has to be tested out anyways

The connection part is the already-known Lightning connector. Nothing new here and on the other hand, thank you, Apple, for not bothering us with another addon purchases.

The networking part has received no updates. NFC? Naaah… don’t need it, don’t have it. So if you’re using NFC or intend to use, then you’ll have to lure at Android or Nokia as they have NFC enrolled with their newer smartphones already. NFC would have added the iPhone 5S another “urgently-must-have”-feature especially since NFC is evolving fast. I wonder if the WLAN speeds will raise with the new processor inside but I don’t expect too much of it. Basically, 50Mbit/s is the maximum the iPhone 5S/iPad 4 can gobble of a well-equipped WLAN. With LTE being capable of delivering up to 150 Mbit/s. however, the 4G chip should allow more speed to pass thru. Otherwise I see no sense to book a big data rate price plan when the iPhone can’t make use of it anyways! LTE worldwise is supported so no big surprise here. Everything else would have been ridiculous anyways (such as the LTE lapse in the iPad 3 these days where the iPad 3 could use LTE only in the USA and other countries using the LTE USA-frequencies).

New leather cases are also available giving the beau a new way of touch. If the new cases also snuggly fit to the “old” iPhone 5 is still unknown as is the price, Apple will call in Switzerland. US customers will have to for over 849 simoleons for the 64GB, 749 simoleons for the 32GB and 649 simoleons for the 16GB model. The US Apple Store online is taking pre-orders from September, 20th – I guess that’ll be the day when Apple’s servers have to proove if they can withstand the incoming rush online. Most store sites don’t when it comes to new gadgets! Oh and did I mention, that EU customers will laso have the opportunity to pre-order the iPhone 5S from September, 20th? But you’ll have to fork over a whopping 699 (927 US$) to 899 € (1192 US$). YIKES!

Okay, enough babbled about the 5S, let’s have a closer look on the iPhone 5C, shall we?



5CThe 5C is Apple’s Answer to Nokia’s (and probably other competitors’) coloring world of smartphones. Though the hardware is a plain iPhone 5 repacked into a poly carbonate case, Apple still wants to have 599 US$ / 599€ for the 16GB and 699 US$ / 699€ for the 32GB model! A hefty price tag for a midragne class targeted smartphone as high end smartphones from the Android and Windows section have a similar or even lower price tag. Let’s see if Apple will succeed with this aggressive price suggestions. Only the really color-loving people will probably go for the 5C while those, who like a decent looking phone will either go for the (hopefully slighty cheaper than the 5S) classic iPhone 5, but be careful: Apple will withdraw the iPhone 5 from it’s stores so you will have to find a local store selling the remaining iPhone 5 stock. Expect some price drops when the 5S hits the stores.. But hey, it’s the people, who decide, what to buy

iOS 7 will be enrolled with the new devices and available for iPhone 4, 5, 5C, 5S and iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4. For iPod there’s also an update available: The newer iPod Touch devices will also benefit from the new iOS… we’ll see on September 18th, when Apple will make iOS 7 ready for updating.


Oh, one more thing™: The Apple Stock share didn’t show enthusiasm and dropped below the psychical 500US$-border per share.But on September, 20th the world is looking at all Apple Stores when people are trying to get hands on the new gadgets. And later on when the quarterly finance reports are done, the sale figures will properly reflect the acceptance of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

A sideshow: Will iOS now be named after the processor being released? So will we see an iOS8 only then when the A(/M8 processor is released? We’ll see when Apple is about to bring out new devices.

Oh and finally not to forget: There was not any word about a possible iPad 5, iPad Mini 2 also using the A7/M7. Guess, we’ll have to wait up for another keynote from Apple to see news there. But for now: Why update from an iPad 4 anyways? If it wasn’t for the Touch ID feature…


Okay, although the device update isn’t as THAT spectacular what we have probably expected, the videos from Apple somehow dodge the iPhone 5S into the direction of the “Must-have”-area.

Watch the videos (FullHD – MP4) here:

The magic behind the Touch ID Home button:

The all-new photo sensor and the iOS7 photo features:

September 11, 2013 Netspark - 1580 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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