New iPhones: yin and yang
Apple's latest set of announcements Tuesday certainly was lively: not one but two new iPhones (including the world's first 64-bit smartphone) and a host of new iOS 7 features, there's a little something for every iPhone lover here.
Tim Cook, left, started the parade in the event at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
Apple CEO Cook came out smiling Tuesday, touting the capabilities of the iOS platform, the lack of fragmentation in both hardware and software, and the fact that next month Apple will ship its 700 millionth iOS device.
After quickly discussing the upcoming iTunes Festival, which will be livestreamed this year to over 100 countries, it was time to talk iPhone hardware.
The iPhone 5s, Apple's new top-tier model, is now the "gold standard" of iPhones, said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
The 5s quite literally comes in a gold-hued model, as well as one in silver and another in "space gray."
There are no preorders for the device, but it will go on sale on September 20.
The 16GB model runs $199; $299 for 32GB; and $399 for 64GB, each with a two-year contract.
Fingerprint security with Touch ID
Apple estimates that only 50% of iPhone users lock their phone with a passcode, despite the sensitive information contained within.
To make device security easier, the home button on the iPhone 5s contains a built-in fingerprint sensor, known as Touch ID.
This scans your sub-epidermal skin layers and learns your fingerprints. The phone is capable of learning multiple fingerprints, which is handy if you want to share your device with other people.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, came on to talk about cameras.
The iPhone 5s sticks with an 8-megapixel camera, but features a new Apple-designed lens, wider f/2.2 aperture, and a new sensor with a 15% larger active area.
The new sensor allows for larger pixels, more light, and (ostensibly) better pictures.
The 5s also features a new "True Tone Flash." The camera senses whether the light in the room is tinted more orange or blue and then uses a combination of two LEDs to adjust the flash to your surroundings, which should present a more accurate representation of colors.
Introducing the world's first 64-bit smartphone
The iPhone 5s is Apple's new top-tier model, and it's got the specs to prove it.
With a new 64-bit A7 chip, Apple claims the 5s doubles the performance and graphics capabilities of the original iPhone 5 while keeping the same die size.
To demonstrate the new graphics capabilities of the iPhone 5s, Epic Games took to the stage to show off its new game Infinity Blade 3 (shown here).
The developers claim the iPhone 5s allows them to implement advanced effects like depth of field and blur.
"We can even now add lens flares that would make J.J. Abrams proud," said Chair Entertainment founder Donald Mustard.
Dressed in leather
Apple is selling a line of cases for the iPhone 5s, which feature a dyed leather exterior and a microfiber interior.
The cases sell for $40 each and come in the five standardized colors shown here, plus a special (RED) edition.
The rumors were true: Apple will ditch last year's iPhone 5 altogether instead of dropping the price.
The new entry-level iPhone model is called the 5c, and it comes in five different colors, matching iOS 7's color-focused design.
The iPhone 5c eschews Apple's love-affair with aluminum, however.
As Schiller said, the "iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic." Hard-coated polycarbonate, to be exact.
Schiller went on to say that the new iPhone 5c features a 4-inch Retina display, a slightly larger battery than its predecessor, an 8-megapixel camera, and the same A6 chip as the iPhone 5 uses.
The 16GB configuration sells for $99 and the 32GB for $199, with a two-year contract. Pre-orders start September 13, with phones available to purchase a week later.
Apple also will sell $30 silicon cases for the iPhone 5c (shown here), which, when used, will create a two-tone effect.
But wait, there's more
Although Apple revealed iOS 7 back in June at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, it had a bit more to share on Tuesday.
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, showed off improvements to Siri, notifications, and ringtones, and gave us a brief tour of the new iTunes Radio music streaming service.
iOS 7 will be available for free starting September 18 for the iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 and later, and fifth-generation iPod Touch.
Photos by Jason Snell