iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iOS 7 and Touch ID – all you need to know

iphone5sApple’s latest iPhone event on Tuesday September 10th has brought us the two new devices we expected — and, frankly little else.

I think it would be fair to say that there were few surprises at the comparatively subdued event.

Apple has replaced last year’s iPhone 5 with two models: the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5s is the high-end device which includes a 64-bit A7 chip, an enhanced camera, and a fingerprint sensor called Touch ID, whereas the 5c is the colourful stablemate which will cost $99 on a 24 month contract in the states.

iPhone 5s

Finally, the heavily leaked iPhone 5s is official — and it comes in gold!

There are also silver, and a darker “space gray” versions of Apples flagship smartphone. New colours aside, the biggest changes are internal, with a new A7 chip that’s been re-engineered for 64-bit architecture.

Apple claims this will make the 5s several times faster than its predecessor. The camera has been updated with a new, larger Apple-designed sensor and a host of other features, and as rumored, the home button is now also a fingerprint scanner.

The iPhone 5s starts at $199 on contract for a 16GB model. But Apple’s hoping to convince you that it’s worth the money thanks to its high-end design and a list of fancy specs as long as your arm.


The iPhone has always had one of the most popular smartphone cameras, and Apple is hoping to keep that accolade.

While the 5s is still equipped with an 8-megapixel camera, Apple’s new f/2.2 aperture sensor is 15% larger than the previous one. There’s also a redesigned flash that can blend its two LED lights to preserve a scene’s natural colour balance.

Apple has mated this hardware with a series of software features, adding things like a 28-megapixel panorama creator and a burst mode that captures a series of pictures and picks the best one.

Apple may not be emphasising camera quality quite as heavily as Nokia, but if it looks to be taking the needs of today’s lens-monkeys very seriously.

Touch ID

Apple has also confirmed the ‘they’re doing what?’ feature of the iPhone 5s: a fingerprint sensor built right into the home button.


Called Touch ID, it’s a substitute for the traditional PIN or password, with a thin capacitive sensor layered on top of the button.

While the obvious use is unlocking your phone, it can also be used to verify purchases and can handle multiple fingerprints from different users. In light of the current fears about data security, Apple’s promising the fingerprint will only be stored locally; the company says you’ll never see it uploaded to iCloud or any other Apple server. Feel better? Hmmm….

iPhone 5C

The long-rumored iPhone 5c starts at $99 on a two-year contract, and marks Apple’s return to colour. The multicolored iPhone is built from a single piece of polycarbonate, and is available in green, white, blue, red, and yellow.

Jony Ive described the phone in his trademark way, noting that it’s “beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”


The phone features a 4-inch Retina display, A6 chip, and an 8-megapixel iSight camera (the same as the iPhone 5), as well as an improved FaceTime HD camera on the front . Also available are custom, soft-feel rubber slipcases for $29 each based on the iOS7 color scheme.

Though it is indeed a cheaper iPhone, the difference is more dramatic on contract – if you want to buy it unlocked, it starts at $549, in comparison to the $649 5s.

iOS 7

Most of iOS 7’s features were revealed at WWDC back in June, and there weren’t any real big surprises this time around.

The important bit was this date: September 18th, the day that customers with existing devices can get the latest version.

Anyone with an iPhone 4S, iPad mini, second-generation or newer iPad, or fifth-generation iPod touch will have the option to upgrade, and Apple’s throwing in a free set of its productivity apps for new iOS device buyers.

iTunes Radio, the Pandora-like streaming music service, will also roll out on the 18th.

This release date is a couple days before the iPhone 5s and 5c come out.

Will you be trading your current phone in?

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