In addition to the spanking new iPhone 5C, everyone’s favourite Californians lifted the lid on another shiny new iDevice tonight.
No prizes for guessing; it’s the iPhone 5S, which stands proud as the new flagship iPhone. Sounds like a bit of a beast, actually.
While the iPhone 5C is “For the colourful”, the iPhone 5S is described as “the most forward-thinking phone” Apple has ever created.
The headline iPhone 5S features are threefold, namely a super-fast processor, some fancy slow motion video trickery, and enhanced finger-based security.
Starting with the iPhone 5S processor, meet the all-new “desktop-class” 64-bit A7 chip. Super-nerds might find excitement in the promise of 2x general purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, and over a billion transistors – twice as many as on the A6.
I have a degree in Computing Science, so I should really know what that all means. Uhm, in layman’s terms, the CPU and graphics are twice as fast as on the iPhone 5.
To give those figures further context, the iPhone 5S is an incredible 40 times faster than the original iPhone, with 56 times faster graphics.
Apple promises “breakthroughs in performance for graphics-intensive games”, which was the perfect point in the keynote to bring out some guy from Chair for the official Infinity Blade 3 announcement. Oh baby! It lands alongside the new iPhones next week.
Alongside the A7, there’s the M7, described as a “motion co-processor”. It’s concerned with all the, well, motion stuff, and will tie in with health apps and that. He says, scoffing a bowl of chili with tons of cheese and sour cream.
Moving on to the iPhone 5S camera stuff, we’ve got – as predicted – slow motion (or “Slo-Mo”) video. It records at 720p, and you can set particular sections of video to play in slow motion. Example: guy running towards a swimming pool in real time, and diving in in slow motion. Wow, that’ll use a ton of storage. No 128GB iPhone 5S, incidentally.
The physical iPhone 5S camera has been predictably enhanced too (see: 5-element Apple designed lens with f/2.2 aperture), and there’s a Burst Mode that promises to capture 10 pics in a single second.
Finally, the third headline feature, it’s the fingerprint scanner thing (Touch ID), which I was initially quite sceptical about but now can’t live without. Hey, I am Mobot’s Head Apple Fanboy, after all.
Apple reckons half of smartphone users can’t be bothered setting up a password, but the Touch ID fingerprint scanner makes things ludicrously easy. Heck, you don’t even have to press; just rest your finger on the Home button.
Nicely, you can also use the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner to authenticate iTunes purchases. Sah-weet.
Oh, and Jan will be happy to hear that your top-secret fingerprints won’t be backed up anywhere; they’ll stay entirely local.
Other iPhone 5S spec stuff includes battery life of 10 hours 3G talk time, 250 hours standby, 10 hours LTE browsing, or 40 hours music playback.
And as for iPhone 5S colours, it’ll be available in gold, silver and space grey.
Quote of the keynote: “It's not just rampant tech for tech's sake. Every component and process has been considered and measured to make sure it's truly useful and enhances the user experience.”
I can’t help but feel that that’s aimed at Samsung, with their increasingly tedious “Check out these 6,529 software features that you’ll never actually use” type keynotes.
Anyway! Getting back to the iPhone 5S. Pre-orders will open this Friday (I’m guessing midnight on Thursday, to be specific), with the iPhone 5S release date being the following Friday, September 20. EDIT: actually iPhone 5S online orders appear to begin on September 20, same day as the in-store release. How odd.
Looking at iPhone 5S price, well, Apple has spared no thought for the economic downturn. The 16GB iPhone 5S gets the ball rolling at £549 (the latest iPhone used to start at £499, but hopped to £529 last year), while the 32GB model creeps up £30 to £629.
Right at the top, the 64GB iPhone 5S breaks through the £700 barrier at £709. Holy. Furg.