As expected, Apple has announced the iPhone 5S, a faster, better iPhone 5. It looks identical to the iPhone 5 it replaces but comes in silver, new “space gray” and gold. The new iPhone 5S also has upgraded hardware with up to 40x bump in performance and 56x jump in graphics performance from the original iPhone.
As heavily rumoured, the iPhone 5S features a brand new dual-core A7 chip, the first ever 64-bit chip in a smartphone. iOS 7 is 64-bit and all its built-in apps are 64-bit optimised. Apple claims significant performance gains over the A6, with up to 40x improvement in performance and 56x jump in graphics performance. iOS 7 also supports the latest OpenGL ES 3.0 API.
Complementing the A7 chip is a new motion co-processor – the M7, which continuously measures motion data from accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. The M7, utilising the new CoreMotion API will enable a new generation of health and fitness apps. Apple demoed a new app called “Nike+ Move”.
Already considered to have one of the best smartphone cameras around, the iPhone 5S now has a new five-element Apple-designed lens with F2.2 aperture. The new iSight camera module features bigger 1.5 micron pixels. The new built-in flash features two LEDs, one cool and white, the other warm and amber.
New features to the camera app include a new burst mode (10fps), 120fps Slo-Mo and 28MP panorama mode.
Also as much-rumoured, Apple has integrated a fingerprint scanner to the iPhone 5S home button, called Touch ID. The Touch ID capacitve sensor is 170 microns thin, senses 500PPI and scans sub-epidermal skin layers giving you 360-degree readability. It’s able to read in any orientation. The new home button with Touch ID is a multi-layered structure with a laser-cut sapphire crystal, stainless steel detection ring, Touch ID sensor and tactile switch. The sapphire home button is scratch-resistant. With the new Touch ID sensor, you can unlock your phone just by touching your Home button. All fingerprints are encrypted and secured inside a secure enclave.
Touch ID isn’t just for unlocking your iPhone of course. It is used for authentication in apps, like iTunes (i.e. for buying apps).
The new iPhone 5S is available for $199 for the 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. Apple is offering new cases in multiple colours for $39 apiece, including a special (RED) version.
Pre-orders start from September 13 for the iPhone 5C. On September 20, you can purchase both iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and United Kingdom. This marks the first time Apple is releasing the iPhone at the start. 100 other countries across 270 carriers will get the new iPhones in December 2013.
Apple will still offer the iPhone 4S, at 8GB for free.
Image credit: The Verge