Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 5S – a souped-up, incremental evolution on the last year’s iPhone 5 – in a bid to further bolster its position in the market and to stay ahead of its South Korean rival Samsung. Apple CEO Tim Cooks took the stage in California campus and unveiled the all aluminum and glass handset to the media, detailing the unique features and its hardware specifications – one of them being a Fingerprint Sensor which Apple refers as “Touch ID” to boost the iPhone’s security credentials.
“iPhone 5s is the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world, delivering desktop class architecture in the palm of your hand,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone 5s sets a new standard for smartphones, packed into its beautiful and refined design are breakthrough features that really matter to people, like Touch ID, a simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger.”
All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s; it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud. Touch ID can also be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store
Tim Cooks boasted the iPhone 5S new features and components, with the latter including a new dual-core 64-biy A7 processor — making it significantly faster than its iPhone 5 which packed A6 SoC. The 1.5 GHz A7 is a dual-core 32nm chip manufactured by Samsung using the High-K Metal Gate technology.
A likely candidate for the GPU used in the A7 is the quad-core PowerVR SGX 544MP4 graphics paired with 1GB RAM which is able to run in multi-core configurations and supports OpenCL for offloading computation to the GPU core(s). The A7 chip’s 64-bit architecture and support for OpenGL ES version 3.0. iPhone 5s delivers incredibly rich and complex visual effects, previously only possible on Macs, PCs and gaming consoles. The iPhone 5s device includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency.
iPhone 5S uses the standard LPDDR3-1333 RAM instead of 1GB LPDDR2-1066 used in last year model giving memory bandwidth a bump from 8.5GB/s to 10.7GB/s. The iPhone 5S is physically similar to the iPhone 5, but with a few notable changes.
iOS7 and the built-in apps are all 64-bit optimized. That all adds up to what Apple claims is up to a 40x bump in performance and a 56x bump in graphics performance.
Of course, iPhone 5S comes preloaded with iOS 7 which is free from skeuomorphic design. It has got flat icons, Helvetica Neue Ultra-like font, redesigned stock apps including gorgeous animations in Weather app, new control center, new notification center. With iOS 7 the camera gets eight new filters such as mono, tonal, noir, fade, chrome, process, transfer, and instant. The gallery automatically groups photos into “moments” and “related collections.
Apple has added two new API’s in iOS 7 that allow skilled developers to detect facial expressions such as blinking and smiles in pictures which can be easily found in any good point-and-shoot camera today.
Developers can toy around the new API function and code the app in a way that the camera automatically triggers the shutter button and takes a photo only once a smile is detected. Or, use another API to warn photographer (by displaying a distinctive icon on the iPhone display) when people in the frame are blinking giving him or her another chance to retake the photo.
Apple’s new flat design adds a parallax visual effect, which moves the screen background as you tilt the iPhone and the flat icons appear to float above the background, producing a pseudo-3D effect.
Users who update their iOS device to the latest Apple mobile operating system will benefit from enhancements to Siri voice assistant, as well as the camera app, and a new interface for its Safari web browser. Feature such as AirDrop, which allows users to send files from their PC to their phones using a Wi-Fi network, is also made available with the phone.
In short, the new operating system looks much more clean and modern under the leadership of new design Chief Jony Ive.
Unlike Android, iOS is less fragmented mobiles operating system in the world. Almost 92 percent of Apple iPhone are running iOS 6 in North America, with iOS 5 trailing at just 5%, according to Chitika Insights’ web traffic analysis. iOS 6 on iPad accounts for 82 percent.
The iPhone 5S will be made available for the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. on Friday, with the rollout to continue to 22 more countries the following week.
The iPhone 5S is now available in more colors in addition to black and white. Consumers now have two more choices – graphite grey and Champagne Gold.
Starts at 16GB for $199. 32GB is $299, 64GB is $399. All are on a standard two-year contract.