Another Apple event has come and gone, just like clockwork. This latest launch brought us the 7th-generation iPhone 5S, along with a new, slightly lower cost model made of colourful plastic, the iPhone 5C. Barring some unforeseen flaw, such as the minor reception issues we saw with the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5S looks to be another top seller for the company, even if it's not as much of an upgrade as the iPhone 5 was last year.
At the start of this week, just prior to the launch, we talked about what we wanted from Apple's next iPhone, and last week I brought up the possibility of larger screens in my article about what I thought Apple needs to do in order to catch Android. So now that the event is over and we have a new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, did the company come through with what we were hoping for? Let's find out.
This article will step through all of the things we covered in the prior two articles. We'll hit each point and then talk about what actually happened. Just because Apple didn't give us some of what we wanted doesn't mean the company is going awry; it's doing just fine without our (or anyone else's) advice.
However, we're definitely seeing some vulnerabilities that weren't there a generation or two ago, especially now that Android is the most popular platform for smartphones.
A larger, higher resolution display (no)
Even the bumped-up 1,136 x 640-pixel, 4in panel on the iPhone 5 now feels cramped, as it's much less than what you get with today's 5in (and above) Android phones with 1080p (1,920 x 1,080-pixel) displays. There's definitely a market for smaller handsets, but a bigger display would have given a lot of Apple loyalists a big reason to upgrade.
A cheap iPhone 5C (no)
The iPhone 5C landed as expected, but at an unlocked price of £470, it's just £80 less than the iPhone 5S and still too expensive for the developing world. It's also too expensive for most prepaid customers to consider.
Carrier-free iPhones (no)
Speaking of which, Apple paid no lip service to pushing prepaid or MNVO plans in Apple retail stores, despite launching the lower cost iPhone 5C. Prepaid iPhones could sell like crazy with the right pricing.
Improved radio with LTE-Advanced and 1X Advanced (no)
No word on LTE Advanced this time around, but Apple pointed out the iPhone 5S boasts 13 LTE bands, which improves its prospects for faster 4G data speeds around the world.
Faster processor on the iPhone 5S (yes)
We even said "duh" in our original request for this, and of course we got a faster processor. There are a couple of nifty extras this time around, though; the A7 is the first 64-bit processor to be found in a phone, it supports OpenGL ES version 3.0 for faster and more realistic looking graphics, and it comes with a motion coprocessor that offloads tracking sensors from the main CPU, which could be a serious boon for the next generation of GPS navigation and fitness apps.
Bigger camera sensor (yes)
Capturing more light is key for better photos, and the iPhone 5S delivers. It has a 15 per cent larger sensor, with bigger pixels that measure 1.5 microns, and an f/2.2 aperture. It also gets a new burst mode, an improved flash, automatic image stabilisation, slow-motion video recording, and live video zoom, among other features.
Tougher glass face (no)
This one was a long shot, but Apple is sticking to its guns and leaving the gorgeous glass display completely flush with the front panel. That means anyone prone to dropping their phone should plan on investing in a nice case (which Apple is also selling, this time around).
At Least six colours for the iPhone 5C (almost)
The iPhone 5C will come in five colours, which is one less than we wanted, but it's the same number of colours in which the CRT-based iMac came. Five is still pretty good, though.
Wireless charging, with Mac charging pad (no)
There's precedent for wireless charging, thanks to the Nokia Lumia series and various third-party products. Apple could make it happen by tying it into the way the company's MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros charge, but alas, this one remains a pipe dream.
Improved security via fingerprint scanner (yes)
This one was pretty much a done deal thanks to all of the leaks, and we did in fact get it. It's not just improved security, it's also more convenient than tapping in a bunch of digits to unlock your phone – which means everyone's iPhones will be secure now, and not just the somewhat-less-than-half percentage of owners that set up the screen lock as it currently stands.
128GB storage option (no)
Fat chance here; we're still waiting for a 128GB iPhone. If you want that much storage, buy an Android phone and a high capacity microSD card. Or indeed several, and really go nuts.