The new iPhones have finally arrived, but is Apple’s forbidden fruit still tempting?
Last Tuesday during a special keynote address, tech giant Apple Computers set out to wow consumers once more by showcasing its newest mobile devices and software. This marks the seventh refresh of the iPhone and iOS mobile software since the introduction of the original iPhone in 2007.
Apple CEO Tim Cook led the proceedings, held at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California, echoing late Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs with a trademark black shirt and jeans. Cook opened with a plug for this year’s iTunes Festival in London, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary this month. Retail stores also got their yearly mention with a particular focus on new stores outside of the United States and improving older stores domestically.
Senior Vice President of software engineering Craig Federighi took the stage to re-introduce the upcoming new software update, iOS 7. The update, originally announced back in June, marks a huge change for the popular mobile platform. The user interface sports a completely new art style that still stays true to the grid of squares that consumers are familiar with. iOS 7 boasts over 200 features, from a slide up control menu to improved weather and photo apps. The update will be available free of charge Sept. 18 for iPad 2 or later, iPad mini, iPhone 4 or later and fifth generation iPod Touch.
After a brief introduction by Cook, Senior Vice President of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller arrived to finally present the next generation of the iPhone. Instead of unveiling one new model, Schiller revealed that two different versions of the iPhone would take the place of the iPhone 5, which will no longer be sold.
The iPhone 5C has a similar internal build to iPhone 5, sporting the same quick A6 microchip as its predecessor and a slightly larger battery. The biggest change is the look of the phone; the 5C comes in 5 distinct colors: blue, white, pink, orange and gray. The back of the device is now made of polycarbonate instead of metal and glass and contains a steel reinforced frame that works to improve the antenna while simultaneously providing a sturdier device. The front offers a new HD FaceTime camera and four-inch Retina display. Pricing for the 5C starts at $99 on most two-year contracts.
The second model, the 5S, is the more advanced of the two devices. It contains the new 64-bit A7 microchip, making the 5S the first 64-bit smartphone on the market. It comes in three colors: gold, silver and space gray with a metal back more akin to the iPhone 5. The front offers the same screen and camera as the 5C, but includes a new home button that reads the users fingerprints to unlock the device and make in-app purchases. The price for the 5S begins at $199 on a two-year plan.
Those at the conference clapped and cheered in the wake of the announcements. However, some Loyola students were not as excited about the new devices. Sophomore Sean Fogarty was interested in the new tech, but was not ready to make the switch, claiming, “I’m not one of those people who needs the newest thing.” Fogarty plans to stick with his iPhone 4 until his contract is up.
Sophomore and Galaxy S4 owner Jason Rothchild said he will also pass on the latest from Apple. He prefers Google’s Android operation system because “It seems like it’s more customizable than Apple.” When asked why Apple’s products are so popular, he responded, “Because it’s pretty simple. The average user wouldn’t customize their phone that much anyway.”
For those interested in watching the keynote, a video of the full event is available on Apple’s website.