iPhone 5S and 5C: Faster, smarter, not that much cheaper
Now that the dust is starting to settle from today’s big announcement from Apple regarding the iPhone 5S and 5C, we’re starting to see what these new phones mean to consumers and the market in general. Do they live up to expectations?
Of course the answer is “yes and no”.
The “yes” part came mostly from the 5S. It will feature a new champagne color for the swag set, as well as a faster 64-bit A7 processor, fingerprint technology, and a brand new chip dedication to motion sensor processing. The Wall Street journal noted that “Apple’s A7 processor is the first for mobile devices that can crunch 64 bits of data at a time, compared to 32 bits for most other chips used in smartphones.” This means better processing power, but as the new iOS 7 platform will need every bit of that power some tech pundits are unsure as to how much of a performance gain users will notice. The more interesting new feature may be the M7 chip, which will constantly – yes constantly – monitor the device’s accelerometer, compass and gyroscope. As privacy awareness becomes more at the front of people’s lives, the ability for a device to track your movements without your input can seem a bit Big Brother-y for some: “you might as well get used to the idea that your phone is passively collecting more information on you than ever.”
The “no” part came from the 5C. Yes Apple debuted a cheaper iPhone, but it’s still not cheap. Apple touted the value of the 5C – which is basically iPhone 5 internals in a plastic case – due to it’s $99 cost with a 2 year contract with most carriers. This is compared to $199 with contract for the 5S. “What a bargain!” you say? Well consider that the unsubsidized cost for the 5C is $550, which is about $100 less than the 5S. Users who have a 5 have no reason really to upgrade, and most upgraders will probably rather go for the full 5S monty they were waiting for rather than a repackaged iPhone 5. Many were also disappointed that the 5C wasn’t cheap, just cheap-er. A sub-$500 iPhone would have opened up Apple’s market share in developing countries like China and India as well as mid to low-end consumers in the US.