Apple has unveiled two new iPhones: the 5S and the budget 5C version.
These are the phones the company hopes will win back customers lost to Google’s rival Android system, but shares of Apple Inc fell 2.3 per cent as investors remained cautious about the stiff competition faced by the Californian firm’s products. Earlier in the day, the stock declined as much as 3 per cent.
At Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, chief executive Tim Cook focused on the success of the iOS Apple operating software, which he says will be the world’s most popular operating system. The new version, iOS 7, is a radical update and is available for many current iPhones from 18 September, for free. It looks so bright, fresh and inviting you might feel you don’t need a new phone.
The iPhone 5S is near-identical in styling to last year’s super-slim model. Except there’s a new colour finish: gold. This will divide customers but it’s subtler than might be expected and better in reality than images suggest.
The main innovations include the fingerprint scanner which nestles where the home button sits on other iPhones. It’s used to secure your phone and to save you inputting your password when you buy stuff from the iTunes store. Google has previously included face recognition software in some Android phones but this proved too insecure. We’ll see if the iPhone system works better.
There’s a new motion sensor chip which will take advantage of the current fad for fitness apps. A new camera system uses larger pixels for better picture quality and advanced focusing capabilities. Some of the features are found on other smartphones but Apple, typically, makes them especially easy to use.
Apple says the new processor makes it twice as speedy than the iPhone 5, and 40 times the speed of the first iPhone. This year there was something genuinely different on offer as well: the iPhone 5C. This is the budget version of the iPhone aimed to win market share in emerging markets, especially China.
It has an impossibly glossy casing (choose from pink, blue, white, yellow and green) and without a contract it will cost £469, significantly cheaper than previous iPhones at launch. It’s a 4G handset too.
Some will feel it’s not cheap enough, however. Both phones go on sale on 20 September.
Key features on Apple's iPhone 5S
Apple has described the new iPhone 5S as the "most forward-thinking smartphone in the world".
The device's features include:
- An 8-megapixel camera.
- Touch ID, allowing users to unlock their phone with the touch of a finger.
- A 64-bit A7 chip which is said to be twice as fast as the iPhone 5.
- A new slow-motion video and FaceTime HD camera.
- Support for up to 13 LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless bands and download speeds up to 100 Mbps.
- Ten hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and LTE networks, up to eight hours on 3G networks, 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
- iTunes Radio, a free internet radio service based on the music users' listen to on iTunes.
The iPhone 5S comes in three colours - gold, silver and "space grey" - and has a retail price of £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB and £709 for the 64GB. It will be available in the UK on Friday September 20.
Apple unveils colourful newcomer
The introduction of the iPhone 5C marks Apple's first departure from high-end devices.
Here is a look at the cheaper model.
- The 5C comes in five vivid colours - blue, green, pink, yellow and white.
- It is modelled on the iPhone 5 and features a four-inch retina display and an eight megapixel camera
- It is equipped with a new FaceTime HD camera and the iOS 7 operating system, dubbed "the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone"
- The polycarbonate body comes with a steel reinforced frame
- The 4.9in (124.4 mm) phone is 2.33in thick (59.2 mm) and weighs 4.65oz (132 grammes)
- Apple has said the phone is compatible with more 4G bands than any other smartphone in the world
- The handset delivers 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks; up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and 4G networks and up to eight hours on 3G; up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
- iPhone 5C will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £469 for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB model.