Apple iPhone 5S release date, features, price and rumours

The Apple iPhone 5S is almost certain to launch on September 10th following an official invite from Apple that states: "This should brighten everyone's day". The phone is tipped to feature a fingerprint scanner, NFC, Full HD and different colours

 

Update:Apple has finally made the iPhone 5S official. The new smartphone packs the new A7 processor, fingerprint sensor and an improved camera. Check out our Apple iPhone 5s preview: Hands-on...

 

Apple will be making the announcement about its next iPhone tomorrow evening. We'll be covering the event and updating our Apple iPhone launch event: Live blog page as the news breaks.

When it comes to smartphones, the first few months of 2013 moved the proverbial goalposts. Android handsets flourished with Full HD screens, aluminium or glass unibodies and every feature under the sun.

Apple’s iPhone 5 has been on the scene for a while now but its thunder is in danger of being stolen by the Android Army.

The question we all want to know is what will Apple do next? With Cupertino updating the iPad 3 just months after releasing it, there are reports that an iPad Mini 2 or even an Apple TV could be on the way.

What we know for sure though, is that the company will want to reclaim its smartphone crown. So, T3 has gathered together everything we know about the rumoured iPhone 5S.

Price

While we still don't have a price for the iPhone 5s, we do have a rough idea how much its budget brother, the iPhone 5c will set you back. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 5c will retail for between £230 and £320 SIM free.

Interestingly, he also believes that the iPhone 5c won't be the budget phone we're all expecting. Rather it will replace the iPhone 5, with the iPhone 5s taking up the mantle of Apple's flagship handset and the iPhone 4s becoming its true budget smartphone.

Apple iPhone 5S production shots and specs

News reported on 9 to 5 Mac shows what appears to be production shots and specs of the new iPhone 5S. The site says the specs and shots are unverified but "don’t seem out of the realm of possibility".

According to the leaked specs, the iPhone 5S include an NFC reader, a Fingerprint Reader, a 4-inch 1136 × 640 display and a new 12 megapixel backside camera with dual LED flash. The new handset also allegedly boasts 2GB of RAM, a quad-core SGX 554MP4 GPU, an A6 CPU and improved LTE. It also has a bigger battery than its predecessor.

The pictures on the site, it they are to be believed, show that the 5S has identical casing to the iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone 5S casing

What appears to be official images of the iPhone 5C have now appeared online courtesy of Sonny Dickson who has managed to get hands-on with what he believes is the official casing of the Apple iPhone 5C.

The images show a device which takes design clues from the old iPhone 3GS whilst still boasting the new 4-inch screen size found on the iPhone 5.

Another range of leaked images have poured onto the net showing brightly coloured devices reported to be the so-called iPhone Light or iPhone 5C. French website NoWhereElse posted the images that show a device which shares similar physical traits to the iPod Nano.

Its exterior is said to be plastic polycarbonate and much more economical to build suggesting that Apple are aiming at a younger target market or at least consumers with less disposable income.

The devices come in blue, green, yellow, red and white yet Apple unsurprisingly has remained quiet on the subject with nothing being confirmed. Leaked schematics and blueprints also report that the Light is a bit thicker and wider than the iPhone 5.

With two types of chasis being leaked one could come to the conclusion that Apple might retain the same metal design for the iPhone 6 whilst the iPhone 5S will now come sporting this cheaper plastic body

Up until now, Apple hasn’t strayed from the white/black colour scheme for its phones but Topeka Capital Research analyst Brian White has said he believes that along with different colours, the iPhone 5S may arrive in different sizes.

This appears to be backed up by Japanese tech site Macotakara which also believes the iPhone 5S will have three extra colours added to the black or white standard.

If Apple launched three models, for example with 3.5-inch, 4-inch and 5-inch screens, it would allow the company to grab both premium and budget customers.

However, this could be more of a plan for the iPhone 6 with Apple surely looking to compete with the larger handsets out there like the Galaxy Note 2 and the Xperia Z Ultra. At the bare minimum, we’d expect to see a better camera (although don’t expect ultrapixels, HTC One-style) and a faster processor.

Apple iPhone 5S specs

When it comes to the specs of the next iPhone, at the very least we expect Apple to use the A6X chip currently found in the latest iPad. However, the latest rumours suggest Apple could be working on an A7 chip for the forthcoming iPad 5.

In years gone by, Apple has previously worked with Samsung to produce processors for it's iPhone range. But, given the recent legal tussels between the two companies, many speculate that Apple will want to distance itself from the Korean company. Some rumours have hinted at an Intel chip being included in the next iteration of the iPhone.

Some purported images of iPhone 5S prototypes appear to show a change in the hardware configuration that suggests Apple is moving things around to make space for a bigger battery or extra features such as NFC.

Apple famously decided to withhold NFC for the iPhone 5 and since both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 have arrived toting the new connectivity, Apple may want to incorporate it this time around.

Recent reports from Taiwan and tech website NFC World indicate that manufacturer Chipbond has won a major contract to build components for the iPhone 5S - including NFC. What's more, other rumours suggest that Apple will go further and include a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S, adding in extra security.

In terms of storage, there is the strong possibility of Apple launching a new phone with 128GB storage – similar to the latest iPad upgrade.

Meanwhile Jeffries analyst Peter Misek told Business Insider that he believes the iPhone 5S will feature a “Super HD screen” along with a range of colours similar to the iPod Touch range. Considering all the top Android handsets feature Full HD displays, we reckon its unlikely Apple will launch the iPhone 5S with anything less than a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution.

Apple iPhone 5S budget model

While every iteration of the iPhone thus far has improved on the specifications of the previous model, plenty of internet airtime is being devoted to the rumour that Apple has a budget version of the iPhone 5S in the pipeline.

Many have suggested that the budget iPhone (or iPhone Light) could even become a new Apple product line in its own right, stepping out from the established iPhone canon in the same was as the iPad mini did from the original iPad.

Hard facts on the statistics of a budget iPhone are hard to come by. However, the suggestion is that it will feature a 4-inch screen and a plastic chassis - with a design similar to the iPod Touch with speaker grills, a headphone socket and Lightning port at the bottom.

Still in keeping with the iPod Touch comparison, Apple is rumoured to be readying the budget iPhone to launch in five different colours and some have speculated we may see it as soon as September.

The clearest evidence yet that Apple is manufacturing this new device is a video posted on YouTube by a user called DetroitBORG who appears to have got hold of a prototype:

 

Apple iPhone 5S camera

It’s well known that one of the key battlegrounds of smartphone warfare is the specifications of the on-board camera. The Sony Xperia Z and Galaxy S4 arrived sporting 13MP cameras while HTC upset the apple cart by including a 4MP “ultrapixel” camera into its HTC One handset.

Apple has consistently upped the camera specs in each of its models and its no stretch to think that the company will do the same for the iPhone 5S. According to iLounge, Cupertino isn’t planning to go down the HTC route and will instead launch the 5S with a 13MP camera – putting it in league with the Sony and Samsung handsets.

Of course, hardware is only half the story and if Apple can come up with some killer in-house apps to take advantage of the camera in new ways it will give them a good start on the competition.

Apple iPhone 5S pictures

A few interesting pictures have leaked out onto the web regarding the iPhone 5S. One of the first to emerge was the back of an unspecified type of iPhone that was leaked to Nowhereelse.fr.

There’s not much to go on here, but – as expected – the casing and design looks almost identical to the iPhone 5. Tellingly though, the serial numbers underneath the iPhone moniker aren’t listed.

While it would certainly fit with the design of the current iPhone it doesn't yet confirm whether the 5S will come in a range of colours - much like it did with the iPod Touch - or whether the company will simply stick to the black/white variants.

This second image (pictured at the start of this article) apparently shows stripped-down iPhone 5S casing next to a current iPhone 5 teardown image. The snap was initially uploaded to iPhone4Parts and looks very similar to Apple’s current design – except with a few screws lost along the way.

Other leaked images have focused on the new (and still rumoured) champagne gold iPhone 5s option. Some of the latest images show the champagne gold option with the rumoured dual-flash.

Champagne Gold iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5S release date

We now have an official invitation from Apple, that seems to all-but-confirm the existence of the new iPhone 5s. A white background plastered with coloured dots invites us all to come and see something on September 10th that will "brighten everyone's day".

The different coloured dots appear to indicate we could be seeing multiple colours of a new iPhone, although it could be referring to the Apple iPhone 5c that Apple is rumoured to be releasing on the same day.

Watch our iPhone 5S video below for more on the latest Apple smartphone.

 

 

For more tech videos, subscribe to the T3 YouTube channel

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