Wow, the headlines in my RSS reader suggest the new iPhone 5Ss is being very well received, with lots of superlatives. Here's the respected John Gruber on the Daring Fireball website: "This is what innovation, real innovation, looks like." He rebuts arguments that Apple has lost the ability to innovate and argues that the refinements in the iPhone 5S show real innovation. He offers a very detailed review of the camera, Touch ID, and the 64-bit architecture, including benchmarks showing how much faster the iPhone 5S is than the iPhone 5.
Now that the new iPhones have been launched, the rumor mill is gearing up for the iPad launch. Apple's previous introduction of new iPads was in October of 2012, so it seems very likely this year's iPad event will again be in October. A French website recently said that gossip indicates the date will be October 15. See the Google translation here. Whatever the date, it will be interesting to see what Apple announces. Quite a bit is known about the forthcoming fifth-generation iPad, but the next iteration of the iPad mini remains a mystery. And it's also a mystery whether the new iPads will incorporate some of the iPhone 5s features, such as Touch ID and the M7 chip.
By now you probably know that the A7 processor in the new iPhone 5S has a 64-bit architecture that makes it twice as fast as the iPhone 5. And I've previously posted on what the implications are beyond the greater speed. In a word, 64-bit is simply much more robust and positions iOS devices to have the horsepower necessary to run the same sort of sophisticated programs as those on a desktop computer. Why is 64-bit better?
While opinions vary about Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S Home button, there does seem to be a consensus that Apple will yet again be successful in bringing a new technology to the mainstream in an area where others have failed. Other smartphones have used biometric sensors, but according to a Reuters report on Yahoo News, those offerings have largely flopped because the sensor was inconveniently located on the back of the phone and would often take a number of tries before it would work. Apple, in its trademark way, has made biometric security simple and effortless.
T-Mobile has announced its pricing for the new iPhones, and it's definitely an appealing option. You can get the iPhone 5C for $0 up front and the iPhone 5S for a $99 down payment. Then you make monthly payments on top of the $50/month plan for unlimited voice, text, and data. For the iPhone 5C, you'll be making 24 monthly payments of $22/month. The total cost of the phone ends up being $528, which is less than Apple is charging. And the cost of your monthly plan will be $72/month. BUT, here's the sweet part.
Apple generally exerts tight control over the price retailers charge for Apple products, but in a somewhat unprecedented move is allowing Wal-Mart to sell the new phones at a discount. You can get the 16GB iPhone 5C for $79 (regularly $99) with contract and the iPhone 5S for $189 (regularly $199). According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 5C will be available for preorder in-store at that price beginning September 13. But if you're in the market for a 5S, you'll need to wait and buy one in the store on September 20.
The new iPhone 5S will be up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5, thanks to its 64-bit architecture. While a 64-bit processor is common on desktop computers, the iPhone 5S is the first phone in the world to have this architecture. Apple demoed Infinity Blade III to show what this powerful chip can do, from loading complex environments nearly instantly to supporting graphics with four times as much detail.
I was feeling jaded, as if I pretty much already knew most of what Apple would be announcing. I was wrong. Some of the features of the iPhone 5S are stunning—and show that Apple hasn't lost its vision. I was especially impressed with the camera (and I'm no photography buff). Some of the features don't exist on any other phone, or even any other camera, in the world. I'll leave it to the experts here to tell you more about it, but here's what I came away with.
Enthusiasm for Tuesday's event continues to build, with Cult of Mac reporting that customers wanting the new phone were already starting to line up yesterday at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York City. As much as we know about the new phones, there's still a lot that we don't, especially about the 5C. So interest in Apple's announcement remains high.
According to the website Electronista, a post by China Telecom accidentally confirmed that Apple will be announcing the iPhone 5S and 5C next Tuesday. As if there were any doubt by now. Details on the new iPhone 5S continue to emerge, including some clues about the Home button/fingerprint sensor. According to AppleInsider, it appears that Apple will place a subtle silver ring around the Home button to differentiate the fingerprint-enabled button from its appearance on the other iPhones.