In traditional fashion, Apple conducted their latest smartphone release event today at their headquarters in California. This year’s hot topics were the company’s two new product models: iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, as well as the new iOs7 software update. If you missed the announcement, here’s a quick recap:
iOs7 will be officially released on September 18. The new software has a beautiful, feature-rich design. One of the key feature changes is the restructuring of the camera roll. iOS7 now groups all of your photos into different moments (legible thumbnails), based on time period, similar to iPhoto. There are also additional photo effects that can be applied during or after shooting.
Siri has also vastly improved. Her new voice command capabilities allow for the search and pull of information directly from both Wikipedia and Twitter.
iOs7 will also feature iTunes radio (a competing service to those like Pandora and Spotify) a revamped notifications center and a variety of new sound effects. The new software update supposedly gives a totally new feel to the iPhone.
Set to be released on September 20, the 5S is an incremental update to the iPhone 5, similar to previous ‘S’ updates. It comes in three new colors: champagne, silver and graphite. It’s most impressive feature is a fingerprint sensor for increased security and convenience. The sensor is made from laser-cut sapphire crystal and is built into the home button, providing 360 degrees of readability. In addition to unlocking the home screen, the sensor can also authenticate App Store purchases, negating the annoyance of having to enter long and complicated passcodes on multiple occasions.
The 5S is powered by a new A7 chip. Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing, calls it the first 64-bit smartphone chip on the market. It is supposedly twice as fast as other processors withgraphics dramatically faster than those of its competitors. They also installed a M7 chip which acts as a motion co-processor, enabling a new line of health and fitness apps – a move that signifies the potential for an iWatch in the near future.
There is also an upgrade to the camera; megapixels were not clearly defined, but there is a new image censoring system and a dual-LED flash. This new high-end model will sell for $199 for the 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB (with a wireless contract).
The iPhone 5C is Apple’s new “beautifully plastic” phone. It is significantly cheaper in price -$99 (with a contract) for a 16GB model. Apple is trying to break into new economic brackets with this model, as well as appeal to emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. The 5C comes in five different shades, including white, pink, blue, green, red and yellow. The iPhone 5C is very similar to the current iPhone 5, including dual-core CPU, 4-inch retina display and a 8-megapixel camera. An exciting upgrade: the battery life is projected to be better than the iPhone 5.
Today’s information release proved to be fairly standard and in tune with Apple’s steady progression. With Samsung making leaps and bounds in the past calendar year, Apple needs to deliver with these recent updates in order to stay in control of the market. The iPhone was revolutionary when it initially came out, but rival products continue to come out at better prices and with newer features. Apple needs to keep up with their creative regimen in order to stay on top of the innovation pile.
The pressure is on.