Apple has launched two new iPhones: the iPhone 5s, featuring 64-bit desktop-class performance; and the less expensive iPhone 5c.
However, the much-anticipated launch – almost a year after the last iPhone upgrade – left some analysts disappointed.
Ronald Klingebiel, assistant professor of strategy at Warwick Business School, comments: “The new iPhones are innovative, but they are still iPhones. Strategically, the direction seems unchanged.
“The lower-end iPhone is to address price competition in an increasingly commoditising market, but the likes of Lenovo and ZTE achieve sufficient quality at much lower cost.
“At the upper end, the business model is about to change,” he explains. “There is a chance that the majority of value capture, which had migrated from the handset to the combination of OS and app store, will move on to apps themselves, reducing the cut for middle men.
“New entrants are gearing up to prise open the tight lock between handsets, operating systems, and app stores: Sailfish, Ubuntu, Firefox, and even Tizen offer next-generation operating systems that support the trend towards interoperable html-based apps. This could lead to an unbundling of the industry value chain and reduce Apple’s possibility to extract value from the iOS-app store nexus.”
The iPhone 5s features the new A7 chip, making it the world’s first smartphone with 64-bit desktop-class architecture.
New features include an 8 megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and Touch ID, a new way to simply and securely unlock the phone with the touch of a finger.
iPhone 5s comes with iOS 7, engineered for 64-bit technology and featuring new features (see accompanying article).
“iPhone 5s is the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world, delivering desktop class architecture in the palm of your hand,” says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing.
“iPhone 5s sets a new standard for smartphones, packed into its beautiful and refined design are breakthrough features that really matter to people, like Touch ID, a simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger.”
The A7 chip offers up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, while delivering good battery life. In addition, the iPhone 5s includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency.
Developers can also access new CoreMotion APIs that take advantage of M7, so they can create even better fitness and activity apps that go well beyond what other mobile devices offer. The M7 motion coprocessor continuously measures your motion data, even when the device is asleep, and saves battery life for pedometer or other fitness apps that use the accelerometer all day.
The new 8 megapixel iSight camera features a larger f/2.2 aperture and a new, larger sensor with 1.5µ pixels for better sensitivity and low-light performance, resulting in better pictures.
These improvements, along with the Apple-designed image signal processor in the A7 chip and the new Camera app in iOS 7, provide up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture, automatic image and video stabilisation, and better dynamic range.
In addition, iPhone 5s introduces the new True Tone flash that variably adjusts colour and intensity for over 1 000 combinations, so photos taken with a flash appear more natural. iPhone 5s also includes a new Burst Mode, Slo-Mo video with 120 fps, a new FaceTime HD camera for better low-light performance and audio-only FaceTime calls with iOS 7.
The new iPhone 5s features a thin and light design that includes an anodized aluminium body with diamond cut chamfered edges, a four-inch Retina display and glass inlays. It is available in three metallic finishes including gold, silver and space gray. To complement iPhone 5s, Apple designed premium leather cases in six colours—beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and red.
iPhone 5s supports up to 13 LTE wireless bands, with download speeds up to 100Mbps. It includes dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support for up to 150Mbps and Bluetooth 4.0.
The new phone delivers 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of Web browsing on WiFi and LTE networks and up to eight hours on 3G networks, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
Tipped as the less expensive iPhone alternative, the new iPhone 5c comes in five colours: blue, green, pink, yellow and white.
“iPhone 5c is everything iPhone 5 was and more, in an all-new design packed with great features,” says Schiller. “iPhone 5c is designed with a beautiful polycarbonate enclosure that looks and feels so solid in your hand.”
iPhone 5c features a new design crafted from a single, hard-coated polycarbonate body with a steel reinforced frame, which holds the internal components and also doubles as the iPhone 5c’s multiband antenna.
The iPhone 5c connects to high-speed networks with support for up to 13 LTE wireless bands, with download speeds up to 100Mbps. It includes dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support for up to 150Mbps and Bluetooth 4.0.
The iPhone 5c delivers 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on WiFi and LTE networks and up to eight hours on 3G networks, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.