IT’S EASY TO take the piss out of Apple for its smugness and the things we don’t like about its attitude and pricing, but today’s announcement of not one but two killer new iPhones is, let’s face it, damned impressive.
The 5C completely replaces the iPhone 5, and boasts a lot of the same feature-set at what looks to be a diminished price, but of course is radicalised by the new iOS 7, and a gorgeous design and colour scheme.
So the most important fact first, then: the 5C will be available in FIVE bright colours (blue, green, pink, yellow and white) with a galaxy of specially colour-matched covers that you’ll want to buy, even though they cost around a third of the price of the phone.
What’s new? It’s got more LTE bands than “any other smartphone in the world”, according to Apple. And a new FaceTime HD camera. But apart from iOS 7, which can be downloaded for free to many other iterations of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, the most radical aspect of the 5C seems to have been the design considerations. It’s been manufactured almost in one piece of shiny polycarbonate, under which there are some holding bones of metal, and it’s being presented as a triumph of design and colour-matching.
But it’s the 5s that everyone’s been waiting for, and it’s being sold by Apple as the most forward thinking iPhone yet, and a real game-changer. While they would say that, there are a few features straight away that are pretty special.
Its 64-bit technology allows for incredibly fast performance, so that loading and watching hi-res games (for instance) becomes fast and seamless, as does launching apps and editing photos.
If that’s not cool enough (and it is), then there’s the new 8-megapixel iSight camera, which has a host of features that make for staggeringly better pictures and even some that are usually only found on dedicated SLR-type cameras. If the camera industry was already reeling from the damage smartphones have inflicted, they’ll be cringing in a corner now.
But perhaps the most amazing feature is that owners no longer have to input a number to keep their phone secure: just touch the home button and it will scan and approve your fingerprint. It’s kind of scary, especially for NZers going through the whole GCSB controversy, but Apple maintains that the scanned fingerprint is kept secure in the A7 chip, and never sent to the Cloud or to anyone else. Can we trust them? The fingerprint security also means that iTunes purchases can be made the same way. The future certainly seems to be here.
Available in silver, gold and ‘space grey’, the new iPhone 5s will be rolling out in the US (and even Australia) in a week, but all they’ll say about NZ is that we’ll get it “before the end of the year.”