Apple’s Two New iPhone Models: Explained


Apple’s official invitation to their press event.


On Tuesday, September 10, Apple held an event at their headquarters in Cupertino. They unveiled not one, but two new iPhone models. Let’s take a look at what these have to offer.

iPhone 5c

iphone 5c colors

iPhone 5c comes in a variety of colors.


First, Phil Schiller talked about the iPhone 5c. It comes in five colors, namely pink, yellow, blue, white, and green. It is comprised of a unibody polycarbonate shell, with a reinforced steel frame inside the phone, to provide strong structural rigidity. The hardware specs are essentially the same as last year’s iPhone 5, with an A6 chip, 8-megapixel camera, LTE, and the same 4-inch Retina display. The only main differences are the colored plastic shells, longer battery life, and slightly improved front camera with better low-light performance.

Jony Ive explaining the design behind the iPhone 5c, and Craig Federighi talking about the software.

iPhone 5s


iPhone 5s is the most advanced iPhone yet.


The second of these two new iPhone models is the iPhone 5s. It is the higher end model, with more advanced technology built in. It comes in three colors, silver, gold, and space gray. Aside from the colors, it looks nearly identical to the iPhone 5, but there are many internal changes.

Faster Processor

A7-chip M7-chip

The A7 and M7 chips easily make iPhone 5s a solid device.

Credit: (left), (right)

It starts with the new, more powerful A7 chip. This chip is unique, in that it has a 64-bit architecture, which yields two times the speed and twice the graphics performance as the A6. It is the first mobile device to have desktop-class architecture. This chip supports OpenGL ES 3.0, great for complex visual effects. Also new is an M7 motion coprocessor. This helps with fitness apps or maps directions because it can determine whether you are walking, running, or even driving. Developers will soon optimize their apps for these new chips, and I can’t wait to see what great things they can achieve in realism.

Improved Camera

Dan Riccio explaining the camera’s hardware, and Craig Federighi describing the fun new camera features.

The camera system in the iPhone 5s has also improved. Although the sensor still remains eight megapixels, the actual pixels themselves are larger; each one is 1.5 microns. This makes for a better picture overall. The size of the aperture has increased to f/2.2, for better low-light photos.


You can capture many photos through a scene with Burst Mode.


The camera features have improved as well. Now there is a True Tone flash, which helps capture better low-light photography, with two flashes that automatically adjust the ratio of light, based on the lighting condition. Another fun new feature is burst mode, which captures photos incredibly fast at ten frames per second. It even helps choose which shots you may like best. Slo-mo video recording lets you record 720p HD video at 120 fps, which is quarter the speed of normal 1080p video at 30 fps.

Touch ID

Jony Ive talking about Touch ID’s experience, and Dan Riccio explaining the hardware behind it.

Perhaps the biggest headline on iPhone 5s is Touch ID. It scans your fingerprint for things like unlocking your phone or purchasing apps, books, movies, and music. It can store up to five fingerprints for authentication. With 360 degree readability, you can place your finger in any direction, and it will still read your fingerprint. A steel ring around the home button detects your finger. Your fingerprint is highly encrypted on the A7 chip, so it won’t get sent anywhere.


Touch ID lets you unlock your phone and make iTunes purchases with just your fingerprint.


This is one of Apple’s most successful iPhone launches in history. With two new phones, people have more of a choice. The cheaper iPhone 5c makes it more attractive for kids or anyone wanting to save some money. On opening weekend alone, Apple sold a total of 9 million iPhone 5c and 5s units combined. As for pricing, the iPhone 5c starts at $99 for 16 GB and $199 for 32 GB. iPhone 5s starts at $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB, and $399 for 64 GB. All these prices are on a two-year contract. Off-contract pricing is $450 more per model.

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