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Some thoughts on the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C

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The much anticipated iPhone 5C is not the budget device Apple needs to

The much anticipated iPhone 5C is not the budget device Apple needs to compete in emerging markets

Today, Apple is having their event to release the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. The S is their updated flagship device, while the iPhone 5C is the new budget device. The new iPhone 5S is quite well equipped to deal with the next generation of apps and video. The iPhone 5S does manage to be quite more than just another iteration, but still falls short in some ways (at least in my eyes). The iPhone 5C, while neat looking, is a clever bit of smoke and mirrors.

First of all, let’s get to the nitty gritty. The iPhone 5S has a few new enhancements; the A7 chip, the fingerprint sensor and an improved camera and flash. The better camera offers people who take photos all the time on the cameras (80% of the people out there) a better experience, with a new flash system (True Tone!), faster focus, new modes, and even slow-motion. Since phone cameras are so important to many users, Apple did a solid job here. The A7 chip, which is “up to” twice as fast as the A6 chip in the iPhone 5, will offer better browsing and an overall better experience. iOS 7 is claiming to be a more multi-tasking friendly OS, the phone will certainly need the power. The A7 chip is also said to be 64-bit based, which Apple can’t tell us why it is an advancement (and, like many Windows, will probably still be running most applications in 32-bit compatibility mode). The coolest new feature is the fingerprint sensor. The new “home key” will be a multi-functional fingerprint sensor. This will enable a greater degree of security, without inconveniencing the user. The fingerprint ID will be used to purchase apps, used as passwords and more. This use of biometrics is a great leap forward for the system (and something I predicted when Apple bought AuthenTec in 2012). This device is certainly worth the upgrade from the 4S, and should be pretty compelling to most iPhone 5 users. If you can get a good price (~$300), it could definitely be worth the upgrade (plus you can use all your old cases/accessories).

iphone 5s fingerprint

The new fingerprint sensor is a terrific leap forward in mobile security

The iPhone 5C is pretty garbage in my opinion. It is clearly the new “bargain” device, and will be replacing the iPhone 5 in their sales system. So Apple will still be offering iPhone 4S (and maybe even iPhone 4) to people willing to purchase them. They are not truly selling it at bargain prices (only $100 less than iPhone 5S outright) which is not worth the capabilities you are foregoing. Apple will be pushing people into “bargain” and “premium” tiers for the first time in the mobile world when they release these devices. The iPhone 5C will have basically the same innards as the iPhone 5, but with a colorful (plastic!) exterior. While I believe the iPhone 5S is going to be a great device, I have less faith in it’s colorful (and crippled) brother.

I said earlier that I was disappointed in today’s announcements. I understand why Apple has kept the same chassis for the iPhone 5S, but I still find the device too small for my and my fat fingers. I think the fingerprint sensor is a great step forward, but where is the wireless charging many have hoped for? Keeping the same resolution is not an issue, but a 4″ screen when competing devices are quickly approaching 5″ (with the same footprint) is silly. Anyone who can convince themselves that a larger screen (on the same sized phone) is not preferable is a master of self delusion. I know most of these issues stem from iOS’s inability to render at differing resolutions, but they need to fix that, and fix these phones. If you’re ready for a new iPhone, please do yourself a favor and grab the iPhone 5S, because with the 5C, you’ll be kicking yourself in just a few months.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

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