Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the colorful new iPhones in Cupertino, California, Tuesday.© Stephen Lam
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of marketing for Apple, talks about the pricing of the new iPhone 5C at the event.© Stephen Lam
Schiller also unveiled the new iPhone 5S--available in gold and silver--at the media event in Cupertino.© REUTERS/ Stephen Lam
WASHINGTON, September 10 (by Karin Zeitvogel for RIA Novosti) – Apple unveiled two new iPhones Tuesday, one featuring what the US tech giant said was a world-first 64 gigabyte (GB) processor unit, a motion sensor that can tell if a user is walking or driving, and a slow-motion video camera, but the long awaited launch got a downbeat reaction from many app-weary consumers.
“It’s really stunning,” Apple’s Vice President of International Marketing, Phil Schiller, said as he presented the lower-end model iPhone 5C at the launch in California.
“The entire back and sides are made from a single part, its front is one glass, multi-touch surface. As close as you look, you won’t see joints or seams,” he was quoted as saying by reporters for the website TechCrunch, who live-blogged the launch, which was not live-streamed – another reason consumers were unhappy with Apple.
The 5C features a 4-inch (10-centimeter) retina display, a higher capacity battery than previous iPhones, an 8-megapixel camera, and is available in a choice of blue, white, yellow, red or green.
Apple has also developed colorful cases for the 5C, featuring holes in the back to let the phone’s original color to “pop through,” Schiller said.
Then came the iPhone 5S, the piece de resistance, which packs a slew of high-tech features under its sleek exterior, including a fingerprint sensor that is built into the home button on the phone to enhance security, an 8-megapixel camera, and “the world’s first and only” 64-bit central processing unit (CPU), the brains of the phone where most of its calculations take place, that handles graphics up to twice as fast as previous phone CPUs, Schiller said.
The 5S also has a new chip called the M7, a motion processor that continuously measures motion data, acceleration, and gestural data, and can identify if a user is walking, driving or running.
Apple anticipates that the motion detector feature in the iPhone 5S will herald a “whole new generation of health and fitness applications.”
The 5S’s camera has a wider lens opening, larger active sensor area, two flashes, image stabilization and bigger pixels, all of which should allow users to take sharper images.
The camera also sets light balance and exposure “before you even take a picture” and uses 15 focus zones to “automatically find the sharpest of multiple pictures,” Schiller said.
It can also shoot slow-motion and normal speed video, and is completely recyclable, unlike many smartphones on the market.
But not everyone who was trying to follow the launch on real-time blogs was impressed, and some of the Apple aficionados who have been holding their breath for months as they waited for the new phones were downright caustic in TechCrunch comments about the new 5-series iPhones, and about Apple’s decision not to live-stream the launch.
Some called the colors of the 5C “appalling” and “tacky.” Others speculated that the C in 5C stood for “child” or “chick,” and the S in 5S for “sucker.”
Still others said iPhones were looking more and more like phones made by Samsung – the Korean company with which Apple has been locked in a costly patent infringement battle over the technology that runs each company’s smartphones.
The 5S did draw more oohs and aahs than the less powerful and costly 5C, especially for its 64-bit CPU and motion sensor, but it also had its detractors, who said the allegedly new features are already available on other phones.
Others questioned whether the fingerprint sensor would raise privacy issues, and wondered what would happen to users who have an accident and lose the digit they’ve registered on their new iPhone.
But the lines are still expected to be long when both phones go on sale on Sept. 20 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, and at the end of the year, too, when Apple expects to have the new iPhones available through some 270 service providers in 100 countries.
In the United States, the new iPhones will be available from $99 for the 16GB 5C to $399 for the 64GB 5S, with a two-year contract.
Apple stock dropped 11.53 points Tuesday to close at 494.64.
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