Apple took the stage today and for the first time ever unveiled two new iPhone models, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. Both devices will run Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, which will ship September 18th. The iPhone 5c is Apple’s more budget friendly iPhone while the iPhone 5s is Apple’s top of the line, flagship device. What does each phone offer and which one should you buy? Here’s the rundown on each model.
For years Apple has been discounting older iPhone models in order to entice buyers that didn’t want to shell out $199 for a new phone. This strategy has been successful, but it when it comes to technology, who wants to buy the same exact product that was released in 2010, today? That’s where the new iPhone 5c comes in. Available in 5 colors, green, blue, yellow, pink, and white, it recycles much of the iPhone 5’s insides, while looking different from any iPhone before it. The easiest way to think about it is that when you buy an iPhone 5c, you are getting an iPhone 5 that has traded in its aluminum casing for one made of plastic.
The iPhone 5c will cost $99 for the 16 GB version and $199 for the 32 GB version. It has the same exact camera found in the iPhone 5, same 4″ screen, and same A6 processing chip. Many on Wall Street had been hoping for the iPhone 5c would be priced competitively off contract with other phones like the Google Nexus 4 (in the $200 range). Unfortunately that is not the case, with the iPhone 5c costing $549 without a two year plan. It looks like investors are making their feelings heard, Apple’s stock is down nearly 3% since the announcement.
While the iPhone 5c will bring some added color to Apple’s iPhone line, I see it overall as a disappointment. If you are going to pay $99 for what basically is an iPhone 5, my preference is to have the all aluminum feel.
The iPhone 5c will be available in stores on September 20th and you can pre-order this Friday September, 13th.
For years Apple has been releasing phones in a tick tock method. The iPhone 5s is Apple’s tock update to the iPhone 5. It comes in 3 colors: silver, gold, and space gray. Besides the coloring, the only other external difference on the phone is Apple’s new home/ Touch ID button. This is the iPhone 5s’s biggest selling feature. Touch ID allows the user to unlock their phone or pay using their iTunes account by pressing their finger down on the home button. No more typing in pass codes to unlock your device. No more entering your iTunes password when you want to buy a new app. Just one touch and it is all done for you. Apple made sure to emphasize that at no time would your finger print be uploaded to a database or be made available to any other party. If this works correctly it will be a killer feature and the reason many people will want to upgrade.
Apple has also updated the 5s’s camera. It still is 8 megapixels but the aperture is bigger and there is a dual flash on the back. New 5s only settings include slow-mo video and Burst Mode. The photos that Apple showed off at the event did look much better than previous cameras.
The last big change from the iPhone 5 is the new processing chips called the A7 and M7. The A7 is the first 64 bit architecture chip found in a phone. What does all that mean? Basically Apple claims that the iPhone 5s is twice as fast as the iPhone 5 while keeping the same battery life. The M7 is a new chip that can tell when you are walking, running, driving, or sleeping. New fitness apps like Nike+ Move will take advantage of this chip, while saving your battery from unnecessary draining.
Apple will be releasing the iPhone 5s on September 20th, but this year you won’t be able to pre order it online and still get it on launch day. If you want to be the first to get your hands on the device you will have to go to an Apple Store or another retailer on launch day.
Should you upgrade?
I would only recommend buying the iPhone 5c for two reasons. First, if you really want a green, yellow, blue, pink or white iPhone. Second, if saving $100 upfront is important to you. But remember, the average smartphone user pays close to $2,000 dollars for the phone and their plan over the course of a 2-year contract. When you think about it that way, spending an extra $100 dollars to get the iPhone 5s doesn’t seem that bad. The 5s is sure to receive software updates and run more smoothly long term compared to the 5c. That is why in any other circumstance I don’t recommend buying it.
While there will surely be some sentiment that this is just another one of Apple’s minor phone improvements, the iPhone 5s is still one of the top phones you can buy. The 5s is an improvement on an already great phone and I think it’s a no brainer to upgrade if you have an iPhone 4 or 4S. If you have an iPhone 5, chances are you don’t have a carrier upgrade available to begin with. You might be better off waiting until year unless you really want the latest and the greatest Apple has to offer. In conclusion, if you have an older iPhone, are looking for your first smartphone, or want to switch to iOS, the iPhone 5s is the clear choice.
Will you be upgrading to the iPhone 5s or 5c? What color? Tell us in the comment section!