The iPhone 5S And iPhone 5C – What We Think We Know About Apple’s New Hardware

So here we are, only a week away from Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C announcement. Apple has already sent event invites for its September 10th iPhone event, a date that the internet as a whole seems to have designated ‘new iPhone day.’

For the first time ever though, this particular iPhone announcement goes beyond simply launching a new flagship iPhone – this time, we’re going to get two handsets. Assuming all the rumors are accurate, of course.

The iPhone 5S is set to be Apple’s new top of the line smartphone, but arguably the most interesting news will be the iPhone 5C. The company’s first purpose-built budget iPhone, the iPhone 5C aims to take a chunk out of the market that is currently filled with a million and one different Android phones. Can Apple disrupt it?

iPhone 5S iPhone 5CC

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C side by side. image credit: Tinhte [Google Translate]

Let’s have a recap of what will be announced, iPhone related, on the 10th of September. Assuming it’s not all in our heads, of course.

Apple’s iPhone 5S

iphone 5s logo

Faster processor:

Replacing the current iPhone 5, the 5S is what we’ve come to expect from an ‘S’ designated release at this point. Expect new internals that amount to a speed bump with A7 chip that should see iOS 7 zip along nicely. Transitions should be more fluid, and as someone who’s been using iOS 7 on his main device since beta 1, that’s no bad thing.

Home button with fingerprint sensor:

More interestingly, rumors of a fingerprint sensor being built right into the Home button may have had some foundation after all. Being able to unlock a device without having to enter a PIN code but also having some security at the same time is something that will appeal to many, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for that. The talk on the street is that the sensor is also going to play an important role in some sort of mobile payment system that Apple may or may not also be working on. We’re less convinced about that, but we’ll find out soon enough.


Fans of iPhone photography will also note that the iPhone 5S is set to launch with a dual-LED flash arrangement similar to that found on other high end smartphones, too. The phone is also expected to sport 12-megapixel sensor with better low-light performance.

Design + new color options:

When it comes to looks, the 5S will largely resemble the iPhone 5 you may have in your pocket right now. The main exception is the possibility of a new champagne/gold color that has shown up in plenty of photos. Love it or hate it, the idea of Apple offering a third color option is one that has our interest piqued.


The champagne/gold iPhone 5S. image credit: SonnyDickson

Additionally, if more rumors are to be believed, a new addition to the mix will be ‘graphite’ color option for iPhone 5S.

iPhone 5


Fans of apps, games and media will also be pleased to hear that the iPhone 5S is expected to offer storage options all the way up to 128GB, also.


Based on prior years’ release date, the iPhone 5S is expected to launch in U.S. and some other countries on Friday, September 20th.


Same as the current iPhone 5.

Apple’s iPhone 5C

iPhone 5C logo

To us, the iPhone 5C is possibly the most interesting of the two iPhones expected to be announced by Tim Cook and co. on September 10th. The fabled ‘budget iPhone,’ the 5C – c for ‘color, presumably’ – will replace the currently shipping iPhone 5. Usually, when Apple announces a new iPhone the older version becomes the new budget alternative, but not this year.


Coming in a plastic shell, the iPhone 5C’s innards are going to be a mix of iPhone 5 and 4S, with more taken from 5 than 4S, so expect performance to be on a par with that device. That’s no bad thing, because the iPhone 5 handles everything you can throw at it and with minimal fuss. For a budget device, the iPhone 5C with a 8-megapixel camera is set to be quite the powerhouse.

Outer design:

It’s that plastic shell that will get everyone’s attention, though. Available in a range of colors, the iPhone 5C will resemble an iPod in that it will come in a bright, shiny chassis that is sure to stand out from the crowd. If you’re walking around with a bright blue iPhone 5C, people will notice!

iPhone 5C

Image of claimed budget iPhone 5C packaging.

Color options:

White, yellow, blue/cyan, red and green.

iPhone 5C colors

iPhone 5C – color options. image credit: SonnyDickson (Twitter)


Same as iPhone 5S.


Rumors so far are putting the price of iPhone 5C to be between $300 to $400 for the unlocked version.

Whether you’re looking to splash the cash on a new monster iPhone or would rather be a little more frugal and upgrade to an iPhone 5C from, say, an iPhone 4S, Apple should have you covered. The iPhone 5S might not have all the bells and whistles of a brand new, redesigned iPhone, but the 5C should certainly be enough to get people into Apple Stores regardless.

Update x1 (3/9/2013): This post has been updated after Apple’s September 10th iPhone event invites were sent out on September 3rd.

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