Apple is positioning the iPhone 5s as the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world. That seems like an overstatement given comments from some analysts and reviewers, but there is some innovation, more speed and various other improvements that could drive consumers to upgrade.
The iPhone 5s, for example, offers an A7 chip that makes it the world's first smartphone with 64-bit desktop-class architecture for fast performance. It also offers a new 8-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and introduces Touch ID, a way to securely unlock your phone with just the touch of a finger.
And, of course, the iPhone 5s comes with iOS 7, which Apple calls the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone. The operating system was engineered for 64-bit technology and offers hundreds of new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced photos, Safari, Siri and iTunes Radio. Still, the iPhone 5s isn't turning the smartphone world upside down.
Wanted: Larger Screen Size
We asked Jeff Kagan, a wireless industry analyst in Atlanta, for his take on the announcement. He told us it's both good and bad -- general improvements but no earthshaking innovation.
"The good part was the new iOS 7 and two new handsets with new features. The bad part was there is no new device with a larger screen size," Kagan said. "One question about the iOS 7 operating system is, this is a very different OS, so what if some users want to stay with iOS 6. Can they? It is always helpful to give customers the choice rather than forcing them to do something."
As Kagan sees it, the new fingerprint scanning, which allows consumers to operate the phone and make purchases, will open a new chapter in the smartphone world. Although that's new, he said the marketplace was looking for some really big moves and was disappointed with the event.
"Apple was simply not going to change their game plan. While that means Apple may be considered stuck in the mud to some, it should also represent a strong mindset," Kagan said. "Apple is still chasing their dreams, not chasing the competition."
Is it Revolutionary or Not?
Still, reviewers aren't shutting the iPhone 5s off. Samuel Gibbs, a technology reviewer at The Guardian, called it a "stellar smartphone entry." The iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in the U.S. at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model.
"The iPhone 5s certainly looks good on paper. With its revolutionary inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in a mass-market phone, which could potentially remove the need for passwords and truly enhance the user experience, Apple could be on to a winner," he wrote.
However, he admitted the rest of the phone is just as it was for the iPhone 5, and you would be pushed to tell the difference between them from a quick visual inspection. Of course, he said, the internal parts have been upgraded, and the new camera system could make a real difference to your photos.
"Smartphones aren't all about internal specifications, and are much more about experiences, which is something Apple is very good at delivering," he concluded. "Combined with the new iOS 7, the iPhone 5s should be very good indeed."
Posted: 2013-09-24 @ 3:00pm PT
Well, what would excite people that they want in a smart phone that's not out there now? Is it the larger screen? After all, for me, all I need is a phone. I already have six computers networked all over the house. How about a battery that lasts two days? That would be big.
Posted: 2013-09-19 @ 6:57pm PT
It's the worst looking os apple has put out
Posted: 2013-09-18 @ 5:06am PT
Here is a time sheet that shows when the iOs 7 will launch for various time zones in different countries. So you dont have to wait and keep checking.
Enjoy and pls share.
Posted: 2013-09-13 @ 9:24am PT
Samsung has got face ID already and fingerprint ID is old. Wow Apple. Can't wait for my contract to be over and dump Apple and go back to Android.
Posted: 2013-09-11 @ 11:41am PT
There are some nice new features, but I'm not seeing the 'wow' factor I had expected this time around.