Techies and Apple, particularly the iPhone hard-cores, stayed-up late last night as the world waited for the announcement of the new iPhone models at the Apple’s Cupertino campus. The announcement took place 10 AM Pacific (12 PM Central, 1 PM Eastern, 6 PM London, 1 AM Manila) today.
Our updates were gathered from Tech Crunch.
Events on Apple’s campus are traditionally much smaller than those held at Moscone (like WWDC) or the Yerba Buena Center (like a few iPhone announcements have been). The theater on Apple campus only fits around 200 people.
Ron Conway came all the way from Disrupt and Jack Dorsey of Twitter came in minutes before the start of the much-waited announcement. Former US vice president Al Gore was there also.
The waiting became more exciting when Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., took the stage at the start of the announcement.
“Welcome! A special welcome to everyone joining us from Berlin, Beijing, and Tokyo this morning,” said Cook.
It’s like Tim was building up the excitement as he mentioned first the 7th year of iTunes Festival and the overhaul of their Stanford store. 20 million people applied for tickets to the iTunes Festival. “It was like we were launching a product!”
The iOS 7 Update
“We’ve also been hard at work at completing iOS 7. Next month, we will ship the 700 millionth iOS device,” Cook started to roll up the curtain. “Since we make updates easy, and available to as many customers as possible, iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular mobile operating system. Since we make updates easy, and available to as many customers as possible, iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular mobile operating system”.
Apple runs through the major changes with iOS 7; it’s new interface, its new color palettes, things like parallax wallpapers, a single-swipe control panel for things like airplane mode. They’re also introducing a bunch of new built-in ringtones and default text tones. The ring tones were very upbeat and techno-y; the text tones sounded straight out of Zelda.
iOS 7 will be available (free) beginning on September 18th and that is a great news to all Apple consumers. What’s more exciting is it will become available to and support the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch (5th Gen).
Another great thing, Cook announced that apps like Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, and iPhoto will be all free on any new iPad, iPhone or 5th gen iPod touch. “No other platform has any apps like these. We think that all iOS devices are made even better with these apps, and almost all of our customers want these apps. So today, we’re announcing that we’re making all 5 of these apps free,” Cook mentioned on stage.
“Now I’d like to talk about iPhone. A couple of you may have been expecting this…”
The iPhone 5C
“A year ago, we launch iPhone 5. Customers loved [everything about it.] The iPhone 5 helped us take our business to an entirely new level. In the past, when we announced a new price, we lowed the price of the current iphone, making it even more accessible,” said Cook as eagerly and patiently waiting audience holds their breaths. Cook invited Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Apple Inc., to the stage to talk about iPhone 5C.
“Good morning everyone! I’m very happy to be here, because I have the honor and privilege to present these two new devices to you. The first one is called the iPhone 5C,” greeted Schiller.
As rumored, each device comes with color-matched wall paper but based on social media tweets, netizens couldn’t help compare the new iPhone with NOKIA‘s Lumia.
“The team has created a really cool line of custom cases for the 5C. They’re soft, and cool.” Each case has holes cut out, allowing a bit of the phone’s original color to pop through.
“The back is made from a hard-coated polycarbonate. Inside, it’s built with a new steel-inforced construction method,” Schill continued. “It’s got a beautiful, 4-inch retina display”.
The battery is more likely most powerful than the previous iPhones and inside, it’s powered by an apple-designed A6 chip.
It’s got a 8mp camera on the rear, and comes in blue/white/red/yellow/green.
16gb model will be $99 and 32GB for $199 on a 2-year contract.
According to local reports, iPhone 5C will be available in the Philippines from a price range of Php 20,000 – Php 25,000.
Schiller runs through the environmental check-list. It’s free of all the nasty chemicals Apple tends to avoid. “Oh, and yeah, it’s Android free”
“Thats the first of our new devices. The second is called the iPhone 5S”.
The iPhone 5S
“The 5S is the most forward thinking of our devices; in fact, it might be the most forward-thinking device ever,” Schiller started to talk about the features of 5S.
“The iPhone 5S is a huge leap forward in mobile computing performance. It starts with a brand new system on a chip called the A7. A7 is 64-bit, the world’s first and only such CPU in a smartphone. Today, we’re going to see that Apple will move the mobile computing world from 32-bit to 64-bit in one day.”
“You’ve heard a lot about iOS 7, but what we haven’t told you is that its been completely engineed for 64 bit at the same time. It’s got a new 64-bit kernel, libraries, and drivers. All built-in apps have been reengineered. It’s a seamless dev transition, with full backwards compatibility. The A7 is up to 2x as fast as the previous generation of CPUs, and handles graphics up to 2X faster”.
“But that’s not all! We have a new chip called the M7 that works along with the A7.” The M7 is a ‘motion processor’ as presented on-screen. Apple has been working with Nike to test this, building an app that counts your stride and movements throughout the day.
Again, the batty life is “even better than the previous iPhone 5“.
“Our competitors would’ve just packed more pixels on that. Thats not what we do. We know a secret: bigger pixels = better pictures. Our sensor has 1.5 micron pixels.”
The camera of 5S almost looks near as a dSLR camera with the latest innovation that Apple put into it.
“Let me give you an example of some of the things our new camera app does for you. Before you even take a picture, it’s setting light balance, and exposure. For the first time, it’s creating a dynamic local tone map around the image. For the first time, it’s doing autofocus matrix metering with 15 focus zones. When you do take a picture, it automatically finds the sharpest of multiple pictures,” Schiller continued.
The flash in the iPhone 5S has two LEDs — one white, one amber. It analyzes the lighting in the room, adjusting the color of the flash accordingly. The 5S also does auto-image stabilization; it takes multiple photos at once, and combines the sharpest parts of each image.
Another ‘big‘ feature is the security.
“There’s so much personal stuff on these devices; our email, our photos, our contacts. We have to protect them. The most common way is to set up a passcode. A simple 4-digit passcode, or a more complex one if you want. Unfortunately, some people find it’s too cumbersome and dont set it up. In our research as much as half of people don’t ever set it up. We’ve set up a new technology that makes this super easy to do. We call it: Touch ID.Touch ID reads your fingerprint at an incredibly detailed level.”
The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is capacitive, 170 microns thin, has a 500 ppi resolution, scans sub-epidermal skin layers, and has 360 degree readability (no matter how you train the sensor to read your finger, it can read it from any rotation). The Touch ID sensor will be built into the home button. The home button is now made of laser-cut sapphire crystal, surrounded by a stainless steel detection ring on top of the Touch ID sensor.
“This is our most forward thinking phone yet. It’s available in silver, gold, and ‘space grey,” Schiller to.d the crowd before presenting the price ranges of the 5S.
“It’ll be 199 for the 16GB model, 299 for 32GB, and 399 for 64GB on a 2 year contract”
iPhone 5C will go up for pre order on September 13th. Both devices will go on sale on Sept. 20th. You’ll be able to order it on Sept. 20th if you’re in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom.
For the first time, it’ll be launching in China at the same time as most other countries. By December, they want it to available in over 100 countries.
In Japan, NTT Docomo will be getting the iPhone for the first time.
The presentation ended with a live performance from Elvis Costello. Cook comes back to the stage, inviting us to go across the hall for a hands-on with the 5C/5S.
And that’s all! Thanks to TechCrunch for these live updates. Let’s drop a high-five to our friendly neighborhood live-bloggers Greg Kumparak and Darrell Etherington on Twitter.
From here we’ll just have to wait for the Philippine release. Are we all ready to line-up?
All images via Tech Crunch.
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