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Apple Unveils New iPhone 5s, And They Are Beauties

Apple Unveils New iPhone 5s, And They Are Beauties 2

Apple Event

Q: When is an iPhone not an iPhone? A: When it’s solid gold.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage in a black shirt and jeans at the company’s  Cupertino, Calif. headquarters on Tuesday to show off the latest technology from  the company, including new lower-cost 5C models and a fancy new golden iPhone 5S  that may be the most important product yet for the technology pioneer.

Cook began the day by discussing iOS 7, an update to the software that powers  the iPhone and iPad. The new version does away with the 3D effect seen in  earlier versions and introduces a simpler new visual style. The new  software will be released Sept. 18 for the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later,  iPad mini and 5th-generation iPod touch.

But it’s Apple’s much-anticipated new iPhone line-up that fans were most  eager for.

“Now I’d like to talk about iPhone. A couple of you may be expecting this,”  Cook joked to the crowd. In the past, the company has lowered the price on older  models when it introduced new ones. This year, the company is instead releasing  two new models: a low-cost iPhone 5C and a high-end iPhone 5S — and yes, it  comes in gold.

“A few of you might have seen some shots on the web. And that’s cool, because  everyone is really excited about this,” explained Phil Schiller, senior vice  president of marketing.

The iPhone 5S is made of aluminum and comes in silver, gold and slate gray,  and it includes  a fingerprint sensor for security — a new feature Apple calls the Touch ID  sensor. The sensor is built into the home button on the bottom of the  smartphone.

“You can simply touch your home button to unlock your phone,” Schiller  explained.

The phone is powered by a new chip called the A7 that Schiller called the  first ever 64-bit smartphone chip. It packs in over a billion transistors,  Schiller said, and is “over twice as fast” as earlier processors. Graphics are  56 times faster, he said.

The iPhone 5S also has an impressive-sounding camera on the new phone that  includes an Apple-designed lens and image sensor system, as well as a special  flash designed to improve color balance. Apple calls it “the iSight” camera.

The flagship phone will sell for $199 for a 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB  version, and $399 for the top-end 64GB version; it will be available on Sept. 20  in the U.S. and eight other countries, including China.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 5C is a lower-cost plastic model wrapped in one of five  colors: lime green, white, yellow, red and bright blue. It has a 4-inch Retina  display, and the same 8-megapixel rear camera and A6 processor as the iPhone 5.  But the new model has a front-facing camera as well; it will cost $99 for a 16GB  model, and $199 for 32GB.

Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 5 last September. The company has never  waited longer than a year to update the iPhone, which has generated $88 billion  in revenue during the past year.

Apple’s timetable for rolling out products has vexed many investors who have  watched the company’s growth slow and profit margins decrease. Meanwhile, a bevy  of smartphone makers, most of whom rely on Google’s free Android software,  release wave after wave of devices that cost less than the iPhone. Those  concerns are reflected in Apple’s stock price, which has declined nearly 30  percent since peaking at $705.07 at about the same time the iPhone 5 went on  sale last year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen about 14 percent  during the same stretch.

Even though Apple’s market value of roughly $460 billion is more than any  other company in the world, the deterioration in its stock price is escalating  the pressure on CEO Tim Cook to prove he’s the right leader to carry on the  legacy of co-founder Steve Jobs. Since Cook became CEO two years ago, Apple has  only pushed out new versions of products developed under Jobs, raising questions  about whether the company’s technological vision has become blurred under the  new regime.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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