Apple Delivers the Goods Or Does It?


Well, basically, yes, it does.   But not much else.

At a media event on September 10th on the Apple Cupertino campus, Apple CEO Tim Cook and company unveiled two new iPhones, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S.   And other than discussing iOS 7, that was pretty much it.

iphone 5cBack on May 28th at the D11 conference, Walt Mossberg commented to Tim Cook, “Apple is a company capable of changing the game. It has been a while.”   Tim Cook’s reply was, “We’re still the company that is going to do that. We have some incredible plans that we have been working on for a while.”  So were any of those plans or products revealed at Apple’s September 10th media event at their Cupertino headquarters?

The Apple never-ending rumor mill predicted two iPhones — the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C.  The iPhone 5S was expected to be the evolutionary next step from the iPhone 5.  The iPhone 5C was to be a ‘cheap’ phone to provide Apple with a way to penetrate the lower-priced markets.  Also predicted by some was an iPad 5 as thin as the iPad mini but there was no iPad in sight.  There was also some talk of an Apple TV software upgrade but that didn’t happen either.


First things first. iOS 7 will be rolled out for free on September 18th. Supported devices include the iPhone 4 or later, iPad mini, iPad 2 or later and the 5th generation iPod touch.

iphone 5sThe iPhone product suite will consist of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and the iPhone 4S. I was a little surprised that the iPhone 5 was ditched in favor of the iPhone 4S since the iPhone 4S still uses the 30-pin connector. I thought this would be Apple’s chance to go all Lightning.

 

Below is a comparison on the two new models along with the iPhone 4S.

Feature

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5C

iPhone 4S

ColorsGold, Silver, Space GrayBlue, Green, Pink, White, YellowBlack, White
Display4-inch Retina4-inch Retina3.5-inch Retina
ExteriorAluminumHard-coated polycarbonateAluminum
ChipsA7 chip with 64-bit architectureM7 motion chipA6 chipA5 chip
Touch IDHome buttonNoNo
iSight Camera – Megapixels8 with 1.5-micron pixels88
iSight Camera – Aperturef/2.2f/2.4f/2.4
iSight Camera – FlashTrue ToneLEDLED
iSight Camera – Burst modeYesNoNo
Video – Slo-Mo YesNoNo
Video – Take Still PictureYesYesNo
Video – Zoom3X3XNo
FaceTime – Photos1.2 megapixel1.2 megapixelsVGA-resolution
FaceTime – Recording720p HD720p HDVGA-resolution
LTEYesYesNo
ConnectorLightningLightning30-pin
Capacity16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB16 GB / 32 GB8 GB
Price (with 2-year contract)$199 / $299 / $399$99 / $199Free
AvailabilitySeptember 20thPreorder – September 13th; Available – September 20thNow

All three models support Bluetooth 4.0, Siri and FaceTime audio.


The outer shell of the iPhone 5C is reinforced with an internal steel structure that also serves as an antenna.

The motion chip in the iPhone 5S continuously measures motion data and identifies user movement.  The thought is that will be integrated into fitness apps to make them more useful.

The True Tone flash of the iPhone 5S determines the proper flash needed for the best picture.  According to Apple, it is the first of its kind on any camera, not just a smartphone camera.

So, the Burst mode on the iPhone 5S is pretty cool.  If you hold down the shutter button, the camera takes 10 photos per second.  When you go to your Camera Roll, the best picture out of the series is presented to you.  You can review and choose any other pictures in the series.  The iPhone 5S also supports slow motion video recording.


Apple found that roughly 50% of iPhone users don’t lock their devices.  To make it less cumbersome to unlock the iPhone 5S, a touch sensor has been integrated into the Home button.  Known as Touch ID, it has also been integrated into iTunes and the App Store, allowing purchase authorization with the touch of a finger instead of requiring a password.

The iPhones will initially be launched in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.  By the end of the year, Apple expects the phones to be available in 100 countries with 270 carriers.

So, to revisit Walt Mossberg’s question above, I think that Apple is still capable of changing the game.  But while there are some really nice and cool features in the new iPhones, I don’t exactly see them as ‘game changers’.  So maybe there are more game changers to come, like the much-rumored iWatch or Apple television.

About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at Junovo.com.