Apple iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S now official: a few surprises in both hardware and software

By on September 10, 2013, 1:00 PM
apple, iphone, ios 7, iphone 5s, event, iphone 5c

Apple on Tuesday unveiled two new iPhones during a special presentation held at the company’s campus in Cupertino, California. As rumors leading up to the event correctly speculated, the iPhone 5S will be Apple’s flagship handset for the coming year while a budget model known as the iPhone 5C will cater to cost-conscious buyers after the same iOS experience.

The iPhone 5C will be a direct replacement for the iPhone 5 and is made with all the technology of that device. Specifications include a 4-inch Retina display with full sRGB and an integrated touch layer, the same A6 processor found in the iPhone 5, an 8-megapixel rear iSight camera with BSI sensor, hybrid IR filter and 5-element lens, a new front-facing FaceTime HD camera with better low light support, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a higher capacity battery and support for more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world.

The shell is constructed of a hard-coated polycarbonate material with a reinforced steel structure inside for extra strength. The back and sides are built from a single part so there will be no visible seams, part lines or joints. It’ll be available in green, white, blue, pink and yellow priced at $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB variant – both with a two year service agreement. Off-contract pricing is said to be $549 and $649, respectively.

The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, is powered by a first-of-its-kind 64-bit A7 processor. Apple says this chip offers two times the amount of general purpose registers, double the number of floating point registers and over 1 billion transistors in a 100 square mm die size. The chip, which runs OpenGL ES 3.0, is said to be backwards compatible with 32-bit applications. Overall, Apple claims it is twice as fast as the A6 found in the iPhone 5 in terms of CPU and GPU performance and up to 40 times faster than the original iPhone in terms of CPU performance and 56 times as fast on the graphical side.

Alongside the A7 is a new motion co-processor called M7 that continuously measures data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. This helps enable a new generation of health and fitness apps.

Another key feature of the new flagship is the camera. It consists of a 5-element, f/2.2 aperture lens with a 15 percent larger sensor surface area. The new camera app can automatically adjust white balance and exposure while creating a dynamic local tone map. It can also perform autofocus matrix metering and will auto select the sharpest of a series of photos.

You may have noticed the dual flash setup in leaked images leading up to today’s event. This is something Apple calls True Tone which is said to solve the problem of clashing color temperatures (think skin tones, etc.). Elsewhere we find auto image stabilization and a 10 frame per second burst mode.

As for video recording, the new camera captures HD video at 720p at 120FPS and can also perform slow motion at 120FPS. Panorama photos pack 28-megapixels with the ability to adjust exposure levels automatically as you pan.

Security is also paramount on the iPhone 5S with the inclusion of a fingerprint reader dubbed Touch ID. The 170 microns thin sensor is built right into the sapphire-coated Home button and scans the sub-epidermal skin layers at 500 PPI resolution. It features 360-degree readability meaning it can scan your finger (or fingers, as it supports multiple digits) from any orientation.

It’s not just for unlocking your phone, however, as Touch ID is deeply integrated into iOS 7. For example, you can now use your fingerprint to authenticate iTunes purchases without having to enter your password every time you buy something.

Battery life on the iPhone 5S is rated for 10 hours of 3G talk time, LTE browsing, Wi-Fi browsing and video. 3G browsing clocks in at eight hours while music will play for 40 hours. The phone should last for up to 250 hours in standby, we’re told.

The iPhone 5S retains the same pricing as the current iPhone 5: $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB variant and $399 if you want a 64GB unit. The 8GB iPhone 4 will linger around for another year as Apple’s free offering (with a two-year contract).

The iPhone 5C and 5S will be available for pre-order starting this Friday, September 13, through all four major wireless providers in the US. Handsets will launch a week later on September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. They will be available in 100 countries and on 270 carriers by the end of the year.

iOS 7 will be available for download free of charge starting September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (5th generation). iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages and Numbers are free on the App Store for qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated after September 1, 2013.




User Comments: 29

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Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Hmm How much is the 5c to buy outright?

Staff
Jos Jos said:

@Fbarnett hasn't been announced yet, should be up on Apple's website soon. Since it replaces the iPhone 5 my guess is it will be $550 off contract.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't know if I'm going mad here but the story ends in "developing..." and no details about the 5s?

I guess they haven't been announced yet?

Edit, never mind, I'll refresh the screen every 5 minutes

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

@Fbarnett hasn't been announced yet, should be up on Apple's website soon. Since it replaces the iPhone 5 my guess is it will be $550 off contract.

The 5s replaces a Iphone 5

The 5c is a cheaper version I heard it was 300 to 400 but nothing official

2 people like this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The 5s replaces a Iphone 5

The 5c is a cheaper version I heard it was 300 to 400 but nothing official

Did you seriously not read the article?

"The iPhone 5C will be a direct replacement for the iPhone 5 and is made with all the technology of that device.

And...

"priced at $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB variant - both with a two year service agreement."

Can't believe I just had to quote that...

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

^ That was hilarious. Anyways, I would like to know more about this iPhone 5S.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Ok yes I can read the article. But as I stated a lot of other articles just say it uses the uphone5 hard hardware and since its plastic it would be cheaper. Since when would a plastic cheaper phone be a direct replacement for their flagship phone? Don't mean to cause a argument.

I would never own this crap but my daughter wants one and I want to buy it outright.

Thanks all

3 people like this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ok yes I can read the article. But as I stated a lot of other articles just say it uses the uphone5 hard hardware and since its plastic it would be cheaper. Since when would a plastic cheaper phone be a direct replacement for their flagship phone? Don't mean to cause a argument.

I would never own this crap but my daughter wants one and I want to buy it outright.

Thanks all

1) It's Apple

2) If the prices in the article are correct then logically, this will cost the same as the iPhone 5 outright

3) You'd be mad to buy one of these if that truly is the price

4) It's Apple

1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh lord, I can just imagine how the forums and comments on other sites will be blowing up... Apple fanatics have used the "it's so plasticky" argument against many of the low and middle end Android handsets, and now the shoe is on the other foot. Carnage shall ensue!

JC713 JC713 said:

64bit CPU? Awesome. I was really hoping that they would change the Settings and camera icon in iOS7 though.

Overall, awesome to see that the iPhone 5S actually makes sense. S for Speed.

As for the iPhone 5C, I would rather take the iPhone 5 with an aluminum body. I really dont get why they replaced it.

I wonder if they have finally increased the RAM to 2GB in the 5S.

Cueto_99 said:

Please correct "And for the first time, iWorks, iPhone and iMovie will be made available free of charge for all iOS 7 users."

It should be iPhoto.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

In case you haven't been hitting that refresh button, we've now added mostly everything there's to know about the handsets (at least for now) with high-res pictures.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Im interested in the 5S model, sounds like a nice improvement all around, I agree with the comments though, whats with the iPhone 5 rehash at that price lol.

JC713 JC713 said:

Im interested in the 5S model, sounds like a nice improvement all around, I agree with the comments though, whats with the iPhone 5 rehash at that price lol.

Yeah, the plastic body<Aluminum body. I dont get it. I guess they want a bigger profit margin vs if they had the iPhone 5 for $99.

JC713 JC713 said:

In case you haven't been hitting that refresh button, we've now added mostly everything there's to know about the handsets (at least for now) with high-res pictures.

Any word on if the 5S has 2GB of RAM vs 1GB?

But what is the point of 64bit if you only have 1GB of RAM?

howzz1854 said:

I like how the 5C is basically a shelless iphone with a polycarbonate casing, which most users buy after they buy their iphone for casing protection. they basically just installed a case for you right out of the factory. seems like a very practical piece of hardware. I am not sure what the outter casing material is made of for the 5S, if it's still the same glass based material. if so, I would venture to guess the 5C will be a more physically durable phone to have than the 5S, that's if the 5s still has the glass outter shell.

JC713 JC713 said:

I like how the 5C is basically a shelless iphone with a polycarbonate casing, which most users buy after they buy their iphone for casing protection. they basically just installed a case for you right out of the factory. seems like a very practical piece of hardware. I am not sure what the outter casing material is made of for the 5S, if it's still the same glass based material. if so, I would venture to guess the 5C will be a more physically durable phone to have than the 5S, that's if the 5s still has the glass outter shell.

Well, buying a case kind of takes the prettiness away from the phone, but a case is necessary if you do not have one of those replacement plans.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Kudos to Apple on the 64 bit chip, they were the first to put one in a PC too if I remember right. Their presentation showed the benefits for games and 3D graphics.

Not too surprised on the pricing for the 5C though. Apple doesn't release inexpensive products. A low price tag conveys a certain cheap-ness of the product, and Apple will protect their brand, even if it means far fewer customers in emerging markets. The 32GB 5C is the same price as a 32GB HTC One. And Apple STILL prices their phones $100 apart for 16GB of storage. When will people stop putting up with this?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting. Got my iPhone 5. See how the price and performance of both new models equates. Maybe replace my missus iPhone 4S with a 5c

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I can't imagine the battery life being very good when you actually come anywhere close to using that cpu to its full potential...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Underwhelming update to say the least. Camera is still 8mp lol. If your on welfare and food stamps, you too can have the new iphone, the 5C.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Last-gen iPhones usually drop $100. So iPhone 5 should be $550. Yet, iPhone 5C is $550. Same specs, zero new features, heavier.

Wat.

mctommy said:

The 8GB iPhone 4 will linger around for another year as Apple?s free offering (with a two-year contract).

Shouldn't they give money with the iPhone 4 and free for iPhone 4S? Because who would want iPhone 4 for free when you should be able to get the iPhone 4S for free.

2-year Contract prices:

iPhone 5S - $199.00

iPhone 5C - $99.00

iPhone 4S - $0.00

iPhone 4 - $99.00 rebate (or something like that)

Tokido said:

iPhone 5C 16GB will cost $599 unlocked according to Canadian Apple Store. $720 for 32GB...

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Little bit pricey there, however they cant give out the phone for free, but im confused at this pricing scheme as well.

Xyvis said:

There's a typo in the article. The iPhone 4s will be free, the iPhone 4 will no longer be available when the new phones are released, you can see on the Apple website that the iPhone 4 is no longer listed.

Acespaces Acespaces said:

To be totally truthful I was hoping a little more from apple along spec wise. Disappointed a tad bit but that gives chance for competition to obliterate apple and force them to step up their game in my eyes. The beauty of a competitive market.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm glad Apple aren't going along with the stupid megapixel race for the camera and focusing on actual image quality and low light shooting. 120fps 720p video will be amazing and I'm a bit surprised more isn't being made of this.

The pricing structure for extra storage is still going to be a tragedy though. Should have been 32/64/128GB in this day and age.

Guest said:

Last-gen iPhones usually drop $100. So iPhone 5 should be $550. Yet, iPhone 5C is $550. Same specs, zero new features, heavier.

Wat.

They are trying to squeeze more profits from would-be older models. So they're retiring the iPhone 5 and replacing it with this atrocity of iPhone 5C. Since it's made of cheaper materials, they can get higher margins off of it. Personally, I'd take an iPhone 5 over iPhone 5C any day.

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