Today Apple announced not one, but two new iPhone models to replace the iPhone 5.
The first, and less expensive, is the iPhone 5c, the C standing, apprently, for “colorful.” It comes in five shades (white, yellow, green, blue, and pink), and has an elegent and simple plastic design. Apple is heavily pushing the new cases for the model, which are equally colorful and have a strange hole pattern on the back. Internally, it is largely the same as the iPhone 5, though it does have improved cameras and cell connections.
The second is the iPhone 5s, with S once again indicating “speed.” This phone, which costs $100 more than the 5c, is designed to look luxurious, with silver, gold, and “space gray” versions of an aluminum body, and cases made from leather. The system is controlled by the A7, the newest version of Apple’s homegrown mobile-device processor/graphics chip, which the company claims is several times faster than its predecessor. There is also a new “M7” chip, which tracks motion data from the phone’s sensors in order to snoop on your movements.
The most interesting new feature of the 5s is a fingerprint sensor built into the redesigned home button. Users can unlock the phone or authorize purchases simply by placing their finger on the button. Apple seems to have gone to great lengths to ensure integrity, but the system still falls prey to the world’s simplest security hack.
Both new phones will ship with iOS 7. The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, which releases on September 18th, brings several new features, such as AirDrop for sharing media. It also contains a much-hyped but mostly useless interface overhaul.