Apple has lifted the lid on its next generation iPhone, simply called the iPhone 5s. It features an identical physical design to its predecessor but includes a biometric fingerprint sensor on the home button called touch ID, has a faster A7 processor and boasts an upgraded camera with dual-LED flash.
The most notable new feature of the iPhone 5s is a fingerprint scanner that's built into the new sapphire crystal home button. Called the touch ID sensor, Apple says the scanner is 170 microns thin, senses 500ppi, and scans your sub-epidermal skin layers.
The touch ID sensor can read a fingerprint in any orientation and will also scan and respond to multiple fingertips. It can be used to unlock the iPhone 5s instead of a passcode, and can also be used in place of an iTunes Store password when purchasing apps and content.
While the physical design remains identical to the iPhone 5, Apple has introduced two new colour variants for the iPhone 5s. The device will be available in silver, gold and a new "space grey" colour. Interestingly, there is no longer a black & slate iPhone 5s. The new colour variants retain an aluminium and glass construction and feature the same two tone design on the back.
The iPhone 5s has an updated A7 processor, the first to use 64-bit architecture. Apple says it's up to twice as fast than the A6 chip used on the iPhone 5 and "in certain instances" will offer CPU times 42 times faster than the original iPhone, and graphics up to 56 times faster. Despite the faster processor, the company promises the iPhone 5s has improved battery life compared to its predecessor.
The iPhone 5s also has an upgraded camera. It still uses an 8-megapixel sensor but now has a 5-element lens with an aperture of f2.2. Apple says the surface area of the sensor is larger than its predecessor, and the pixels are larger at 1.5 microns, so the camera should offer improved performance in low-light conditions.
The camera flash on the iPhone 5s has also been upgraded from single-LED to dual-LED and Apple says it's the first with different colour temperatures on each LED. The "true-tone flash" has one cool and white LED, and the other warm and amber.
There's also two new software features on the iPhone 5s'camera. A new burst mode can take 10 photos in a second and select the best one, while a slow-motion recording mode can capture 720p video at 120 frames per second.
The Apple iPhone 5s will come with the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7. New features include a completely revamped user interface, AirDrop wireless sharing, new photo organisation, and an all-new Control Centre that's accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
The Apple iPhone 5s launches on Friday, 20 September in Australia and will be sold by all three major Australian telcos: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. The iPhone 5s will also be sold outright through Apple's Retail Stores, and through the Apple online store.
The iPhone 5s will come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models with Australian pricing starting at $869 for the 16GB model. The 32GB model will set you back $999 and the 64GB version will cost $1129.
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