Apple Announces New iPhone 5S

By  //  September 10, 2013

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ABOVE VIDEO: The big new feature on the 5S is the built-in fingerprint sensor. Touch ID, as Apple calls it, is part of the device’s home button. 

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA –  Today, Apple executives announced its new iPhone, the iPhone 5S, during an event at its Cupertino, California headquarters on Tuesday.

Just a few hours after it concluded on Tuesday, Apple made its keynote presentation — at which it unveiled both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c — available online for all to view.

Just a few hours after it concluded on Tuesday, Apple made its keynote presentation — at which it unveiled both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c — available online for all to view.

“In the past, when we’ve launched a new iPhone, we lowered the cost of the old iPhone, making it more accessible to new people. But this year, we’re not going to do that,” said Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook.

The iPhone 5S will be the same size as its predecessor, the iPhone 5, with a 4-inch screen. Big screens are all the rage these days, and Apple is rumored to be working on phones with larger screens, but physically, the iPhone 5S looks very similar to last year’s model.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

The phone includes Apple’s new A7 64-bit chip, and Apple describes the 5S as the “world’s first and only smartphone” with a 64-bit chip.

Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, described the device’s CPU and graphics as twice as fast in speed as the iPhone 5. The chip also packs a series of other performance and graphics enhancements. In addition to the A7, the phone includes the M7 motion coprocessor. The M7 “continuously measures motion data,” and includes the phone’s accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.

But the big new feature on the 5S is the built-in fingerprint sensor. Touch ID, as Apple calls it, is part of the device’s home button. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the long-rumored feature would make its way into Apple’s flagship device. Touch ID can be used to unlock the iPhone 5S merely by touching the sensor, and can also be used for other purposes, such as authenticating iTunes purchases.

The phone includes Apple's new A7 64-bit chip, and Apple describes the 5S as the "world's first and only smartphone" with a 64-bit chip.

The phone includes Apple’s new A7 64-bit chip, and Apple describes the 5S as the “world’s first and only smartphone” with a 64-bit chip.

For those concerned about security, Apple claims the stored fingerprints are encrypted and secured, and that the fingerprint data is “never available to other software” and never sent to Apple’s servers or saved in iCloud.

The fingerprint system’s hardware consists of a tactile switch, a Touch ID sensor, a stainless steel detection ring, and a laser-cut sapphire crystal to prevent scratching.

The 5S will ship with the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7. This latest iOS is notable for its abandonment of the company’s traditional “skeumorphic” design, which often utilized digital illustrations of real-life objects.

The new operating system relies on a brand new “flat” user interface, giving the iPhone its first major visual overhaul since the device launched in 2007. The software has been re-engineered for the iPhone 5S’s 64-bit processor.

“In the past, when we’ve launched a new iPhone, we lowered the cost of the old iPhone, making it more accessible to new people. But this year, we’re not going to do that,” said Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook.

The device will come in three colors: silver, gold and a “new space gray.”

The camera on the 5S is an improvement over the iPhone 5 as well. It includes a new Apple-designed lens and has a “15% larger active sensor area.” The flash on the new phone has two LEDs which work together to improve photographic color balance. iOS 7 has been designed with multiple enhancements to take advantage of the improved optical system. As if that weren’t enough, the iPhone 5S can shoot 120 fps slow-motion video!

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In terms of battery life, the 5S boasts 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback, and 250 hours of standby time.

The company will continue offering the iPhone 4S as well, with an 8GB model available for free with a two-year contract. (Apple image)

The company will continue offering the iPhone 4S as well, with an 8GB model available for free with a two-year contract. (Apple image)

The phone will be priced based around two-year contracts: $199 for a 16GB model, $299 for a 32GB model, and $399 for a 64GB model. The iPhone 5S will be available for pre-order on September 13th, and it will officially launch on September 20th.

Apple also announced color cases for the iPhone 5S which will be priced at $39 a piece.

The iPhone 5S was announced along with the lower-cost iPhone 5C. Together these models will replace the iPhone 5 in Apple’s lineup. The company will continue offering the iPhone 4S as well, with an 8GB model available for free with a two-year contract.


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