Saturday, September 07, 2013

Apple iPhone 5S and 5C Rumoured for September 10th Launch

So its official, Apple will be holding a press event in the Town Hall on their campus in Cupertino on September 10 2013 - 10:00 local time, which is 19:00 ZA time.

Actual Event Invite.

The tech press are pretty sure that Apple will unveil the next iPhone at the event with speculation that they will call it the Apple iPhone 5S. So what can we expect from this rumoured new iPhone?

Well, it will most probably be launched alongside the update to iOS, that being version 7. This operating system update is definitely going ahead as they have already announced it at their WWDC event, and developers have been testing beta versions of the software for a while already.

iOS 7 is a big update for Apple, with the first real "look and feel" change since it was first launched. For most people that will be a very noticeable change, not only to new iPhone 5S owners, but also to existing users, as iOS 7 is to be released for older iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch's too.

Because Apple controls the whole device eco system from Hardware to Software and Services, they are able to build their hardware to suit their software, so this is where we expect iPhone 5S to see the most improvement over its predecessor. Being that Apple does what has been coined a "tic toc" cycle with their iPhone releases, the 5S is going to be an all internal upgrade with the outer part of the phone looking very much the same as the iPhone 5. That is not a bad thing, as the iPhone 5 is still a beautiful piece of industrial design.

So what can we expect from these internal upgrades? Well rumours suggest an all new A7 processor, more RAM, with some new bits and pieces to improve graphics performance and camera performance. iOS 7 will have specific updates to bring the best out of the new hardware, which really just equates to things working faster and smoother for us users.

Lets just pause for second on the rumoured upgrades to the camera hardware. Apple are said to have added some bits inside to improve the already brilliant camera to allow for slow motion video. Developers analysing code within iOS 7 say that the new camera could potentially capture video at 120 frames per second. This code will only run on new hardware as all existing hardware is listed as "unsupported". This would give iPhone 5S a unique selling feature.

Another rumour related to the camera is a dual LED flash, this may not seem like a big thing at first glance, but may be used to improve colour in low light shots, as well as be used in the slow motion video capture.

Together with redesigned internals, Apple is rumoured to have been able to squeeze a bigger battery into the existing space, due to making the actual motherboard smaller, and using improvements in battery technology.

So what about the outside of the new iPhone 5S? Well the biggest rumour must be the possible inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the home button. This type of move is out of character for Apple, as they are hardly ever the company to introduce a new feature on their devices first. What the sensor will be used for exactly is anyones guess, maybe just a way to unlock your phone, or a whole new way to purchase goods and services, by turning your iPhone into a virtual credit card.

Also rumoured for a change to the outside is a gold iPhone 5S. Not real gold, just gold colour plating, rumoured to be called Champagne. Apparently plating the iPhone in this colour is relatively easy compared to black, so it shouldn't be too costly. There is also a rumoured new graphite colour too, a more silver colour compared to the existing black iPhone 5. So that will be 'white and silver', 'white and gold', 'black and slate' and 'black and graphite'. I feel adding the new colours is a good move on Apple's part to distinguish the 5 from the 5S, for those people who need you to know they are carrying the new iPhone. Plus the gold one will appeal to a big group of buyers hear in South Africa.

Now onto the rumoured iPhone 5C, a less expensive version made using a cheaper plastic housing. Apple have in the past always offered older models of their range alongside their flagship model at a discount. A way of getting buyers into the Apple eco system who can't afford the top model. The problem is those phones are currently the iPhone 4 and 4S, which still use the old Apple 30 pin connector, something Apple got a lot of heat for when dropping in their new devices recently. Seeing as they need to finally drop all "new" devices that have a 30pin connector it made sense to develop a less expensive iPhone. In addition, the older iPhones have a smaller screen, so making a new cheaper version with the same screen size as the 5S also makes sense.

We will need to see if Apple then offers a range of iPhones from high to low cost being the 5S, 5 and 5C in that order. These costs can also be kept "down" by offering the cheaper iPhones with lower storage capacities only. Speaking of which, the 5S is rumoured to be getting a 128GB model in the range.

The 5C is likely being called C for "colour" with a range of colours expected.

This version should do well, and should gain some market share for Apple with buyers that are just not up to spending the amounts being asked for on the top end.

What also may happen is that Apple manages to shake the image they have with younger buyers that their parents are the ones with iPhones and they often seek out a different brand just to differentiate themselves from the old folks.

Apple may also introduce a refreshed line of their iPods, with higher storage capacities. They are however unlikely to introduce new iPads as that is rumoured for an event in October.

There has been some speculation that Apple will introduce their rumoured iWatch, but people with inside knowledge say that is still a few months away.

I know where I will be on September 10.