Every tick has its tock. Every leap forward in design, a follow up in performance, and optics, and special features. Every new iPhone, its S-class successor. That was the story of the iPhone 3GS in 2009 with its speed doubling, video recording, and voice control. Of the iPhone 4S in 2011, with its dual-cores, 1080p, and Siri. And its the story of the iPhone 5s in 2013, with its 64-bits, 120 frames-per-second, and its fingerprint ID sensor. It's the story of taking what is and making it into what's next. Of recognizing most revolutions don't happen during the span of a single keynote, but rather as the result of steady, steadfast innovation, iteration, and improvement.
The iPhone 5s is the new flagship phone from Apple. Like the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5s retains not only the same name, but the same design and many of the same features as its most immediate predecessor. Unlike any iPhone before it, however, the iPhone 5s doesn't get to be all new, all by itself. Not this year. This year it has to share the stage - and the shelves - with the far more colorful, arguably more fun, iPhone 5c. In a time when competition has never been stronger, the iPhone 5s is facing it even from Apple. Yet being the top-of-the-line iPhone has never been about total cost or popular appeal. It's been about being the top-of-the-line iPhone. It's been about giving us what Apple calls their most forward-thinking iPhone ever, in our hands, now, today. But now, today, is it forward thinking enough?