Thursday, August 22, 2013

iPhone 5S Release Date, Specs & Price

Since the next iPhone, believed to be called the iPhone 5S, is just around the corner (Apple has reportedly setup a September 10 2013 press event, and mass production of the 5S is rumored to have started), maybe it is time to gather the information that has been published in one place. Some data elements are supposedly leaks, while others are merely educated speculation but past Apple launches have showed us that iPhone-related rumors can be fairly accurate, although nothing is set and done before the actual launch. There is always a possibility for an iPhone 6, which could a bigger leap that what most people expect, however, given the evolutionary nature of consumer electronics and the lack of iPhone 6 indicators, an iPhone 5S seems more likely at this point.

iPhone 5S Release Date
ince Apple’s event should take place on September 10, just days after Samsung unleashes the Galaxy Note 3 at IFA, we can say that the “launch” of the iPhone 5S will happen on that day. Now, the September 27 date is also floating around as financial analyst were speculating about the iPhone 5S and its implications for Apple’s earnings. The other date that appears a lot is September 27, and it is possible that it is when the iPhone 5S will actually hit the stores and when the shipped pre-orders will arrive to the early customers. In past events, there was often a delay between the announcement of a device and the general availability date. There are number of reasons for this, logistical or administrative (last minute regulatory filings to avoid leaks), but the gap also has the side effect of allowing product reviews from “select press”, to be published ahead of the general product availability. “When” it arrives also depends on which country you live in: it is common that Apple starts with the USA and a handful of others countries, before extending the reach of the product. To be fair, it is pretty “normal” since even Apple has only so many (human) resources to coordinate those launches. Additionally, different carriers and network may require some tweaks and tests. Apple is pretty good at limiting the number of variants it has built in the past, but the qualification process does take time. If you live in China, there is a chance that your country may be high on the list this time. From what I have heard from insiders, China is increasingly becoming a “primary market” for Apple executives, and by that I mean that it is as.

iPhone 5S Specifications

Since Apple doesn’t typically use 3rd party hardware such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor or NVIDA-equivalent, there is not much to hang on until the launch happens. In the past, Apple has done a good job with increasing the graphics capabilities of its “Axx” chips but doesn’t seem interested in entering any specifications war which would most likely led to an arms race, and that would be bad for the company’s gross margins. Still, some things are new, while others are simply important for the overall user experience: Fingerprint sensor On the hardware front, the fingerprint sensor is getting a lot of press lately. If true, the iPhone 5S would feature a (relatively) wide area fingerprint sensor that would not require the user to swipe at a certain speed in order to get a reading. Nearly all handset fingerprint sensors on the market require a swipe because it is cheaper to produce a 1D sensing array. The downside of the 1D approach is that the speed of swiping and the actual finger pressure can greatly affect the quality of the reading. In practice, those sensors fail to interest users because they add too much “friction” in the user experience. Apple’s solution would take the swiping away, and since the user just presses a finger on a large sensor, the reading should be much more accurate, like taking a fingerprint photo.

iOS 7

One of the few things that we know for sure is that the next iPhone will come pre-loaded with iOS 7. If you have followed the iOS reveal at WWDC launch, you may know that it will bring a fresh graphic design to Apple’s mobile OS. I really recommend reading our overview of iOS 7, but APIs aside, most of the visible changes are design-related. Apple has also been working on iOS integration in automobiles. When it happens, iPhones will be able to pair with the cars in-dash screens, and you will be able to give voice commands via Siri. Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Infinity, KIA, Hyundai, Volvo, Acura, Opel and Jaguar are already in and should have compatible cars available in 2014.

iPhone 5S Price

At the moment, there is no indication that Apple will deviate from its current iPhone pricing. When it is introduced, the iPhone 5S should cost anywhere from $199 (16GB) to $399 (64GB) – that is with a new contract of course. Out of contract phones are expected to be sold for $649, and unlocked phones should cost around $750. Those are the expected U.S prices.


It is that time of the year, and it is 100% certain that Apple is going to update its most profitable and successful line of product: iPhone. The iPhone 5S would be a welcome hardware refresh, but so far it looks like the design is not going to surprise us. Now the question is how much faster, and how much better the display is going to be. Of course, how does it translate into the user experience? We have seen enough of iOS 7 to conclude that it is refreshing, and we are looking forward to seeing it in action in cars. We can’t say that this is groundbreaking, but for now, a new iPhone remains an event in itself. What do you think?

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