September 10th Preview: iPhone 5S and 5C

Most expect Apple to announce two new iPhone models on September 10th: Apple’s 7th generation high-end iPhone 5S as well as the “low-cost” budget iPhone 5C. Read through for a preview of both of these new devices.

Note: This is a compilation of logical rumors regarding the iPhone 5S and 5C. Illogical rumors which can include but are not limited to a hex-core processor, 5.7″ screen or dual-booting Android do not fit into the “logical” rumor category.

iPhone 5S

For six generations, Apple has not changed the buttons or port locations on their flagship iPhone. The iPhone 5S–or whatever it turns out to be called–will still be the iPhone you know and love. There will be a power button on the top, home button on the bottom front center, lightning connector on the bottom and a volume and mute switch on the left hand side of the device. Apple is not yet ready to change its tried and true formula with the iPhone 5S and 5C.

FlashFollowing the known upgrade naming style, Apple will likely choose to name their new device the iPhone 5S. Previously, Apple released “S” upgrades known as the iPhone 3GS and 4S, in 2009 and 2011 respectively. The iPhone 3GS (where the “S” stood for “Speed”) featured new upgraded internals which included a faster processor and twice the amount of RAM as well as camera upgrades. This device shared the same design as the iPhone 3G.

The iPhone 4S (“Siri”) also received a faster processor and camera upgrades as well the voice-assistant Siri. Still again, this device shared the same physical design of the previous iPhone 4. This year is no different with Apple introducing new upgraded internals with the same previous generation iPhone 5 design.

Physical Differences

The iPhone 5S will likely be the same length (4.87 inches) and width (2.31 inches) as the iPhone 5. We are not sure of the thickness (0.30 inch) or weight (112 grams) – which could be the same as the iPhone 5 or increase as it has in the past. The device may see an increase in battery size from 1440 mAh and 5.45 Whr to 1560 mAh and 5.92 Whr. An increase in battery size (~8%) could increase the weight a few grams.

The 5S is expected to arrive in three and possibly four different color schemes. Reports have surfaced suggesting that Apple may introduce a new light gold color with a white chassis. We may also see the black model with a new two toned finish sporting a light grey or ‘graphite‘ version of the device. If these rumors are true, Apple would be offering 4 different color schemes being: white/silver, white/gold, black/slate and black/grey.

Radios

As for the internal radios, the device will most likely support the new standard for Wi-Fi: 802.11ac. Apple’s supplier for Wi-Fi is Broadcom and they’ve recently launched a BCM4335 40mn die chip, perfect for the new line of iOS devices. The chip includes the new gigabit Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio in one. Gigabit Wi-Fi (802.11ac) is substantially faster than the 802.11n used in last year’s devices.

The iPhone 5S will have LTE support, and there’s no doubt about that. However, the 5S may support the faster LTE advance network. Qualcomm, Apple’s supplier for their modems, has already released the MDM9625 chip which supports LTE advance. HSPA+, Assisted GPS, GLONASS and a digital compass will all likely be present in the iPhone 5S, just as you’d expect.

CPU

Last year, Apple built their own custom SoC (system-on-chip) ARM processor for the iPhone 5: the A6. While I doubt Apple will increase the RAM this year to 2GB, it is likely we will see at least 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM. Apple has previously only doubled the amount of RAM every two years.

Reports suggest that Apple has been testing a 64-bit version of its next processor, but it’s not known if it will make the cut quite yet. Apple will (or should) be preparing the move to 64-bit in the near future, allowing an increase RAM capacity.

If Apple chooses to use the next generation G6100 graphics as well as a 64 bit version of iOS on top of their newly released iOS 7, developers will struggle to keep up in the sort time they have to develop for the next gen device. It’s better now if Apple chooses one or the other, with a 64-bit A7 being the most likely, saving the new graphics for next year.

Camera

For two years now, Apple has included a 8MP camera with f/2.4 aperture in their flag-ship devices. Last year, Apple added a new sapphire crystal lens to prevent the lens from getting scratched as easily. With the iPhone 5S, word is that Apple is sticking with 8MP again and not moving to 12 or 13MP. This time around, Apple will likely increase the aperture to f/2.0 which means more light can come in to help improve photo quality.

Also likely to be available is a dual LED flash that is “pill” shaped next to the camera lens. This “pill” will support two different colored lights. A white LED light as well as a yellow LED light. Through the magic of software and hardware, the iPhone 5S will likely balance the light in low-light shots. Before with just one LED (yellow) photos taken with flash enabled had a yellow tint. Now paired with a white LED flash, photos will look significantly better in low-light situations.

Apple may also improve the front-facing camera, currently at 1.2MP. The new iPhone is also expected to feature a slow-motion recording feature that can record up to 120 frames per second. With an increase in aperture and flash improvements, the 5S will be one of the best smartphone cameras for taking great low-light photos.

Display

Apple is expected to move on to IGZO displays which have the potential to dramatically improve battery life. The display is one of the most power-hungry features on any mobile device. Again sporting the same design as the iPhone 5, the 5S is unlikely to have an increase of screen size or an increase in resolution.

Sensors

Three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor will all be present–as usual–in the next iPhone. However, two new sensors are expected in the device. The first is a motion tracking chip. While information is currently limited, it is said to be apart of the camera upgrade. However, in iOS 7, a new accessibility option is found. Called “Switch Control,” it allows you to control your iPhone or iPad using head movements with the help of the front facing camera. This chip could further improve the accuracy.

The other purported new sensor is actually a fingerprint reader located on the home button. By placing your finger and holding it down, the device will scan your fingerprint. The sensor will grant you access to your device without the need for a passcode, though it is believed that the fingerprint sensor only works on the lockscreen and not system-wide.

iPhone 5C

The rumored low-cost iPhone is supposedly going to see light on September 10th. The low-cost device will not be housed in aluminum like the iPhone 5 or even 5S to reduce cost. Instead, it will have a cheaper alternative in the form of a polycarbonate shell. Previously, Apple used polycarbonate on the iPhone 3G and 3GS shells.

Thanks to the new plastic casing, it is now easier to produce a colored shell through the use of pigments during manufacturing. The 5C is expected to arrive in at least 5 color variants similar to the iPod in the past and with colors similar to the iPod touch 5th generation in their plastic equivalents.

The 5C is said to be nothing more than an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell, granted the weight and possibly the thickness of the device will change. But it will still have the same 4″ display as the iPhone 5. Included is the same dual-core A6 processor, 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM and a 8MP camera with a single flash.

Contrary to popular belief the “C” in “iPhone 5C” will not stand for “China” or “Cheap” but likely “Color” as for being available in several colors. In China the word “China” doesn’t even start with the letter “C” and “cheap” would just be a joke.

Apple is said to releaseing both the iPhone 5S and 5C on September 20th as carriers prepare for the launch. Here’s our own Jonathan explaining Apple’s release procedure:

Apple typically rolls out their devices by phases: countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and others usually receive the new hardware first. Subsequent rollouts follow. This is partially required due to supply constraints, but it also has to do with legal ramifications. For instance, the Chinese carriers and government have multiple hoops that companies have to jump through to have their device sold in the country. Apple has been one of the best smartphone makers in terms of device rollouts, and it seems like that trend is set to continue.

The cost of devices are currently unknown though I would guess the high-end iPhone 5S to cost between $649 – $949 unlocked in the US. On contract, the price is suggested to be the same as last year for 16 GB, 32 GB and 64GB possibly even seeing a 128 GB model at $199/$299/$399/$499. Pricing details on the iPhone 5C are scarce at this point, so we’ll just have to wait and see what direction Apple takes.

While we wait for Apple to send out invitations likely on the first week of September. Why not look over our preview of the entire event here.

 

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