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imagining iphone 5s

Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: Setting expectations for 2013

Apple will be holding its annual fall event - now an iPhone event - on September 10 in Cupertino, California. There, it's widely anticipated they'll announce their next generation high-end iPhone 5s and their first less-expensive iPhone 5c. The former might look familiar on the outside, but sport all new features inside. The latter might have some snazzy new, plastic color casings, but the same guts as last year. Yet the finer points of both design and components, and despite a steady stream of rumors and leaks, nothing is official until an Apple executive holds it up on the keynote stage. With that in mind, we have reason to believe some of the rumors and leaks have been accurate. We've gone over them previously in separate articles, and now we're rounding them all up for your convenience right here. That way we can start setting reasonable expectations, even while we wait to be wowed!

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: The names

One of the first things we'll learn, perhaps even before we see it, and almost certainly before what few specs we're told are told us, and well before the price is set and availability disclosed, is what Apple will call their 2013 iPhones. Sure, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are being used in almost every report in every outlet in every corner of the world, but until they're locked and loaded at Apple's printer, and until they're announced up on stage, we won't know for sure and for certain. Are there any other possibilities, and if so, what are they?

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: Pricing and availability

New designs, new processors, new radios, new features big and small, at the end of the day it still all comes down to how much it costs and whether or not you can even get it. Urban myth tells us Steve Jobs was responsible for dreaming Apple's amazing products into existence, but Tim Cook was the one who figured out how to get them made as efficiently and economically as possible. For the iPhone 5s there probably won't be any big surprises, though there could be some storage size and color option twists. For the iPhone 5c, however, it could be a whole new thing.

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: Fingerprint scanner, sensors, and ports

If the rumors are true, the 2013 flagship iPhone will be a S-class update, just like the iPhone 3GS in 2009 and the iPhone 4S in 2011. That means that while the overall look and feel won't change, some special new feature will be offered to make it a more enticing upgrade than it seems on the surface. Video recording and Siri fit that bill the last two times. This time it seems like it'll be a fingerprint scanner. Could any additional new or updated sensors come along for the ride? What about speakers or connectors or other new hardware? When the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are introduced next week, just what exactly will be introduced along with them?

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: iSight and FaceTime cameras

For several years now, Apple has made the camera a priority on the iPhone. It's one of the world's most popular cameras, and every keynote for the last few years, an entire segment has been devoted to both its optics and its processing. With the upcoming iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c that's not going to change. Apple are masters of using software and hardware not only in tight integration, but in a way that creates far more than the sum of the parts. The iPhone camera is one of the best examples of that. So where can they take it next?

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: LTE, Bluetooth, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and no NFC

The iPhone is an amazing piece of technology in many, many ways, and a lot of those ways are predicated entirely on the radios, on being connected. It's that persistent connection, to the internet and to other devices - the connection of things - that makes it so powerful, that will make the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c so powerful. Whether those radios, for cellular networking, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi get upgrades this year remains a question, as does whether or not a near-field communications (NFC) chip will ever make an appearance in an Apple product.

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: Apple A7 processor, RAM, and Storage

If Apple holds to pattern, we're in the tock year of their tick tock hardware release schedule. That means that while we may not get any exciting new external designs, we should be in for some amazing new internals, including the system-on-a-chip, storage, radios, cameras, and other components. Faster. Better. Stronger. At least for the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5c will likely be the exception that proves the rule, becoming the less expensive option by saving all its changes for the outside. So what will all that translate into when the silicon hits our hands?

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Imagining iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C: Casing, display, and design

When it comes to the iPhone, Apple has gotten into a pattern of tick-tock hardware releases. One year they unveil bold new designs and manufacturing processes, the next year they improve the chips, cameras, radios, and other components inside it. If Apple sticks to that pattern, we're in a tock year and that means the general design of the iPhone 5s should be pretty much the same as last year's iPhone 5... though with a potential twist. iMore already told you about the gold iPhone 5s - and there's also likely to be the equal but opposite iPhone 5c this year as well. "Equal but opposite" in that iPhone 5c might save all its changes for the outside. So what does that mean?

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