The Apple event is taking place right now and the company just announced the iPhone 5C, a $99 iPhone that comes in a variety of fun colors, alongside the next generation iPhone, the iPhone 5S which Phil Schiller is calling “perhaps the most forward thinking phone anyone has ever made.”  The iPhone 5S comes in three colors: Silver, Gold, and “Space Gray.”

Apple’s latest iPhone sports the same design as the previous iPhone 5, includes many new features with iOS 7, but most of the big stuff came in the form of new hardware.

Hardware

CPU

iphone-5s-a7The iPhone 5S runs the brand new A7 CPU, which is the world’s first 64-bit smartphone processor, which apparently will work great since iOS 7 has been reengineered to run in 64-bit.  Additionally, all of Apple’s apps are now also 64-bit.

The new A7 CPU in the iPhone 5S will provide 40x better CPU performance and 56x better graphics performance than the iPhone 5.  The latest iPhone also runs OpenGL|ES 3.0, like the new Nexus 7.

Another new piece of hardware in the iPhone 5S is the M7, which works alongside the A7, and functions as a “motion co-processor.”  The M7 can measure the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope, and can tell apps if you’re stationary, walking, driving, etc.  This is something developers will be able to tap into and take advantage of in their apps.

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, the iPhone 5S gets 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE browsing, and up to 250 hours in standby.

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Camera

Apple also improved the camera in the latest iPhone.  There is a a new “five-element Apple-designed lens” with an F2.2 aperture with a sensor that has a 15 percent larger active area.  Plus, now we have a flash with not one, but two LEDs: one is cool and white, the other is warm and amber, which will iPhone users get the best color in their pictures. Burst mode (10fps), Auto image stabilization, and slow-mo (720p HD video at 120fps) are all also going to be showing up on the iPhone 5S.

Fingerprint Scanner (TouchID)

iphone-5s-big-featuresAs rumored, Apple also included a fingerprint scanner on the latest iPhone.  The new fingerprint scanner will replace the traditional passcode lock, you know, where you type in a 4-digit number to unlock your phone, with a better and more secure system — your fingerprint.  The new feature is called TouchID and is built right into the home button.  The technology behind it is pretty awesome and can handle multiple fingerprints: it’s 170 microns thin, senses 500 PPI, and scans your sub-epidermal skin layers.

The new home button is sapphire so it won’t scratch and as expected you just touch it to unlock your phone.  You can also scan your fingerprint to do stuff in iOS, like authenticate iTunes for purchasing apps and other content.  Brilliant.

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone 5S will cost you $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB (with 2-year contract, of course).  Pre-orders for the iPhone 5C begin this week, Friday September 13th and both phones (5S and 5C) will be available a week later in-store or online for purchase on September 20th.

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We’ll be sure to update this article with links to Apple’s Store as soon as it comes back online.

[Photos courtesy of The Verge]


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