iPhone 5S, 5C Sport New Features, but No Big Secrets

1 - iPhone 5S, 5C Sport New Features, but No Big Secrets
2 - Apple's Intimate Sept. 10 Cupertino Event
3 - Apple Enters the So-Called Midtier Market
4 - Familiar but Better
5 - iOS 7, Coming Sept. 18
6 - Covers, Just Less of Them
7 - The Apple iPhone 5S
8 - Camera Technology
9 - Apple Introduces Touch ID
10 - iPhone 5S Covers
11 - Availability
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iPhone 5S, 5C Sport New Features, but No Big Secrets

by Michelle Maisto

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Apple's Intimate Sept. 10 Cupertino Event

Apple usually introduces one new iPhone once a year, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Its decision to host this year's event at its smaller, on-campus auditorium suggested there was less to show off, or that it required a greater degree of control. "There's not much left that's secret, it seems," Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay told eWEEK, guessing at Apple's reasoning. Bingo.

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Apple Enters the So-Called Midtier Market

Meet the iPhone 5C. It's constructed of a polycarbonate that will come in pink, blue, green, yellow and white. "Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves," Ovum analyst Jan Dawson said in a statement following Apple's event. The 5C sells for $99 (16GB) or $199 (32GB) with a two-year contract.

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Familiar but Better

The Apple iPhone 5C has a slightly better battery than the iPhone 5 and improved power management, as well as an 8-megapixel camera with a better flash and lens, and the ability to choose from various lenses. It has the same processor as the iPhone 5 and will be able to run on more LTE bands than any current smartphone.

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iOS 7, Coming Sept. 18

The 5C and 5S both run iOS 7, which includes an improved Siri (male and female versions) and iTunes Radio, which in Apple's opinion is the "best way to experience new music."

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Covers, Just Less of Them

With the 5C, Apple introduced new rubber cases made of soft-feeling silicon rubber. Circles have been punched out of the backs of the cases, so that the color of the phone shows through. It's curious that Apple, given its insane attention to detail, didn't position the text on the back of the 5C so that it doesn't also distractingly show through.

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The Apple iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5S is made of "high-grade aluminum" and will come in silver, gray and, yes, a champagne gold, as images leaked ahead of the event suggested.

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Camera Technology

The iPhone 5C features an 8-megapixel iSight camera with a larger f/2.2 aperture and a larger sensor, enabling users to take better photos in low light. The rear camera can also take bursts of shots and slow-motion video, and features a new True Tone flash that renders colors more naturally.

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Apple Introduces Touch ID

The home button of the iPhone 5S features a laser-cut sapphire crystal that works with a capacitive touch sensor to take a high-resolution image of a user's fingerprint and analyze it from any angle. Users will be able to unlock the 5S or purchase a song in iTunes with a finger touch. Apple says the data is never sent to its servers or the cloud.

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iPhone 5S Covers

Apple also created new rubber cases for the iPhone 5S, which some may find to be like hiding their light under a bushel.

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Availability

Apple iOS 7 will be available as a free download to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users Sept. 18. The iPhone 5C can be preordered Sept. 13. The 5C and 5S will go on sale in the United States—from all the expected carriers—Friday, Sept. 20.

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