iPhone 5S Preview
Apple's Tim Cook overnight revealed the new iPhone 5S. Is it another step forward for this tech-giant, or a company running out of ideas?
With an operating system 'update', dubbed iOS7, is this their claim to fame? Given it is likely iOS7 will be available to previous models in due time, this doesn't necessarily excite us. There is however some key hardware upgrades.
Increased processing with a new 64-bit A7 chip. Rumoured to be twice as fast as the existing iPhone 5, tech-savvy consumers will likely appreciate this. The camera hasn't been overlooked either with larger pixels on a new Apple designed sensor, 15% larger than before upping the aperture to f2.2. Given the reach of the iPhone, and its status as the world's most popular camera, even if by default, we certainly welcome change here. According to Apple, “A larger sensor allows the individual pixels to get larger. And larger pixels, not more pixels, means a better picture.” So while the iPhone 5S retains it's 8MP resolution, with “up to 33% greater light sensitivity” we should see better images and more accurate colours. Apple claims “Because it's much more efficient to teach iPhone to take great photos than it is to teach millions of people to be expert photographers”. Clever, Apple.
Another key feature of the 5S, is built-in Touch ID fingerprint reading, cleverly integrated with the phone's home button. Made from laser-cut sapphire crystal, the surface of the button directs the image of your finger to a capacitive touch sensor, which reads beneath the outer layers of your skin to get a detailed print. Surrounding the button is a stainless steel ring that detects your finger, wakes the sensor, and improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Software then reads the ridges of your print and finds the match to unlock your phone, or authorise purchases from the iTunes store. Another plus for convenience.
Available in Australia from September 20th, with a range of models including 16Gb ($869), 32Gb ($999) and 64Gb ($1,129), in Silver, Space Grey or Gold.
It will be interesting to watch the uptake of this model.