On Sept. 10, Apple hit the stage and unveiled the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Despite the countless leaked documents and photos of these phones, Apple still captured the world’s attention with their new introduction.
The iPhone 5s is Apple’s new flagship device, coming in silver, space gray, and gold. It contains Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor, which is the first of its kind. Though still at eight megapixels, the new iSight camera is updated with a 15 percent larger CMOS sensor, which improves image quality rather than increasing megapixel count.
Apple also includes what it calls True Tone flash, which flashes both a cool white and warm amber light to capture images with better white balance and more accurate colors. The iPhone 5s now also contains a fingerprint reader within the home button, so users can unlock their phones with a touch of a finger.
Apple also released the iPhones 5c, releasing two devices simultaneously for the first time in the company’s history. The company called the 5c “beautifully, unapologetically plastic,” and certainly, the device has a pleasantly colorful quality to it, unlike the previous models that only came in black and white.
This time, dressed in red, blue, white, yellow and green, the phone is built from a single block of polycarbonate plastic, allowing for an attractive device with solid build-quality. A slew of colorful cases will also be released with the 5c, so users have the chance to further customize their phones to their liking.
Both phones contain the most LTE (4G) bands of any cellular phone. This will help Apple support more carriers, particularly in China, where Apple has been struggling against its competitors. So how does this phone compare to its competitors?
The Android market is innovating at a similar pace, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 expected to be released sometime within the fourth quarter. The Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung’s next flagship device. Building upon its current device in the global spotlight, the Note 2, the Galaxy Note 3 is faster, thinner, and lighter than its predecessor.
Samsung updated the Note series with a gorgeous 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 3 GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera. The Touchwiz interface now also includes software called Action Memos, Pen Window, S Finder and Scrapbook to offer a better user experience. The back cover is made of synthetic faux leather to address the concerns of the current Galaxy series’ cheap plastic builds.
Likewise, the Sony Xperia Z1 is updated with a 2.2 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 backed with Adreno 330 graphics, 2 GB of RAM, and 1080p Triluminos display. Triluminos technology, originally a dedicated technology for high end Bravia TV sets, offers more accurate colors and wider viewing angles.
Sony attempts to differentiate its line of smartphones by offering industry-leading IP58 level waterproof certification, and a new 20.7-megapixel camera.Sony also includes a proprietary G-lens with its camera, evidence of its new “One Sony” plan, in which Sony promises to offer the best of Sony qualities in all of its products.
Windows Phone has also recently taken a large turn of events, with Microsoft buying out Nokia, the largest Windows Phone hardware client. In its $7.2 billion investment, Microsoft hopes to become a dominating force in the mobile industry.
However, Apple has other items up its sleeves to remain a formidable opponent. Apple will unleash its completely redesigned platform, iOS 7, on Sept. 18. iOS7 features a new flat design with updated themes, ringtones and fonts, as well as a control center for easy access to frequently used settings such as brightness and music controls. The camera software will also be updated with Instagram-like filters and a burst-shot mode. iTunes Radio will also be supported to challenge Spotify’s dominance in music streaming.
The iPhone 5c and iOS7 certainly is one of the biggest revolutions since the original iPhone. Will Apple succeed with its new marketing strategy? Technology can bring us some interesting twist and turns, so let’s wait and see.
Many students on campus were very optimistic about the new product. Students were asked about the prospects of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c as a popular phone for college students.
“I think the aesthetic elements of the iphone 5s are going to be its major selling point. With the better camera, the sleek colors, and the addition of the new operating system, iphone 5s will definitely appeal to those who appreciate the the more artistic values in Apple products,” Aravind Krishnan, a junior at Hopkins, said. “I don’t see a huge change in functionality, there are elements like the fingerprint scanner that seem cool as a gadget, but ultimately not anything groundbreaking. Regardless, the iphone still provides a very modern package for users.”
Similarly, George Alvarez, a senior at Hopkins and previous campus representative for Apple, showed great enthusiasm about the release of the iphone 5c.
“Ever since Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, Apple has been trying to make their product lines completely different and better than the last,” Alvarez said. “I’m really happy Apple has decided to introduce two phones to their lineup. The iPhone 5c has all the great features of the soon-to-be-extinct iPhone 5, but takes it to a more fun level.I think that even though the colors may seem a little childish, it lets Apple to explore customizable options for users that are already available for iPod nano and iPod touch users. Introducing the plastic design is great for other countries where many people can’t afford the current phones, so the price drop and color combination seem to show a change in target audience. Not for the professional users, but for the teenage and lower or middle class in the United States, but I hope to see an expansion on the usage of iPhones internationally with this change.”
On the other hand, Arjun Tambe, a freshman at Hopkins, expressed that he was not excited about iOS7. “I don’t want to spend time to learn how to learn use a new iOS,” Tambe said.