Editorial

What iPhone 5s and 5c mean for competition, buyers, and Apple

Well, well, well. Apple's highly anticipated event happened on Tuesday and as well all expected, the company announced the release date of iOS 7 plus two new iPhone models. It already seems like the entire population knows about these new iPhones and has something to say about them.

I do too.

As long as you're interested in technology you should have paid attention to the event on Tuesday, regardless of whether you're a fan or critic of Apple. Like it or not, the company possesses enormous power in the technology industry. It's proven to motivate the competition and drive innovation and with the debut of the original iPhone among other products Apple has been able to change the game entirely.

The game hasn't quite changed this time, but you can bet competing manufacturers paid close attention to the announcements. Some probably just want to bluntly copy what Apple did, some might look at the new iPhones and build off of it to make a better phone, and some look at the iPhones and say "That's what not to do in our next product."

In fairness, Apple is certainly guilty of borrowing from other companies and manufacturers making software and hardware. But the public has its eye on Apple more than any other phone maker and ultimately, the competition has to care about what the public cares about. As a student, I can't tell you how many people I've walked by on campus who were talking about the new iPhones and iOS 7. I can't say the same in the days following Galaxy S or Lumia announcements.

First, let's ourselves explore the basic news. On Sept. 10, Apple announced two new iPhones: the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5 that came out last year is being discontinued and essentially replaced by the 5c, which features almost entirely the same specs except has a plastic back that comes in five bright colors. The iPhone 5s is the premium model sporting the familiar metallic design and a fresh new color option: gold. It features a faster processor, new motion coprocessor, a better camera and slo-mo video recording, and a fingerprint scanner. The 5c and 5s will be available Sept. 20 for $99 and $199 respectively with a two-year agreement.

These phones are far more than what meets the eye to the competition, to buyers, and to Apple. Now let's analyze what exactly the new iPhones mean for them moving forward.

What to Expect from Competition

Here's the easy prediction: lots of fingerprint scanners. Don't be surprised when nearly every high-end smartphone to come out in 2014 has a fingerprint scanner of some sort built-in to the hardware. By the end of 2014, if your phone doesn't have a built-in fingerprint scanner, you won't be hip. The same happened with intelligent voice assistants and front-facing cameras. Fingerprint scanners will be a staple feature. Probably not as much of a priority, but eventually so will 64-bit.

Colors are a trickier one. The vibrant colors offered for the iPhone 5c definitely take a page out of the Lumia's book. Although in fairness, Apple has experimented with color all the way back to the early iMacs and iPod minis. However, I'd say Apple has been paying more attention to what Windows Phone devices have been doing lately more than Android, if any competitor at all. It's interesting Apple took this long to bring color options to the iPhone. The colors are great for regular consumers who love to personalize their phones and get fun and creative, but it does take away from some of the professionalism. Competitors like Samsung could have an edge on the 5c if they stick to more elegant yet tame colors, however there's still the 5s to compete with. It's also doubtful the gold color option will have much of an impact.

Remember, this is really the first time Apple has extended the iPhone into a line in that two new iPhones are being released at once. Other manufacturers sell multiple phones in multiple models so they already have numerous ways to compete if they wanted to. Not everything has to be addressed in a single device.

Aside from what competitors might try to match, it'll be much more interesting to see what they come up with on their own. Unique innovation is always exciting just as long as it's not gimmicky. Windows Phone devices are pretty good at keeping the gimmicks to a minimum Android phones, not so much.

In recent years, competitors have been far less intimidated by Apple and that trend will continue forward. There's still a clear influence there, but it has weakened for sure.

What to Expect from Buyers

Make no mistake that the iPhone 5c and 5s will sell well. Whether they break records is to be determined, but Apple will still make lots of dough from these smartphones thanks to buyers.

Consumers who just want a phone that works and looks nice will jump all over the 5c. Everybody likes a splash of color, plus these people won't even care that the specs are basically the same as the year-old iPhone 5. They don't care that it's made with cheap plastic either. If works well, comes in five colors, and sells for just $99, they're in. Problems could arise if certain folks want the iPhone 5c off-contract, which skyrockets the price up to $549. Compared to other mid-range phones, that's rather expensive.

People who want the best of the best and have more money to spend will buy the iPhone 5s without question. Luckily, there's a more than adequate amount of people who fit into this category. The bigger question should be whether they want an iPhone at all. Nokia, for example, has better cameras and bigger displays on its phones. Options need to be weighed out.

What to Expect from Apple

How might the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c affect Apple's iPhone business? If you've been following along with the stock price, you'd know investors aren't too impressed. This happens every year though. The first impression new iPhones often receive are one of disappointment that is until Apple end up selling millions, breaking sales records, and earning high customer satisfaction scores. Then the stock slowly rises again. So far, the pattern is kicking off once again this year.

Judging by Apple's already strong marketing push behind the iPhone 5c, the sales gap between the $99 iPhone and $199 iPhone will shrink. In previous years when the old iPhone model dropped $100, the $199 model was always the most popular choice without doubt. That's in question this time. Apple is choosing to place the $99 iPhone as the main model for consumers for the first time, while the $199 iPhone is the premium model.

If the sales and revenue gap does shrink a bit, Apple might not break sales records with the iPhone 5s compared to the iPhone 5. No matter how the company tries to spin that, it won't look good. Then again, if consumer interest proves extremely high and both the 5c and 5s sell very well, that might not be a problem.

Apple's fate will be more accurately pinpointed soon enough. Time will tell whether Apple maintains a position of authority and influence in the industry with the iPhone 5s and 5c.

Images via Apple, Nokia; Apple Store line image via Shutterstock

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based on design from 2007 and software incapable of basic things like Bluetooth file transfer. lets not get started this all over again.

Cynical marketing IMO.

With past iphone releases they've made the old model the "budget" iPhone.

This time they've put the old model in new cheaper clothes, and they're selling it for more (well supposedly the same if you're on contract but I'd be interested to see if the contract terms are more onerous because the carriers are probably paying more for the 5c than they were for the 5).

This means more profit per handset, the shareholders should be happy about this.

Consumers though? Might start buying Lumias now since they are better quality, cheaper and easier to use. Ha.

Whenever any company makes any personal attacks, like Nokia's, public, it really shows their ugly side. If all Nokia can say that "we had colors first," then I feel like Microsoft purchase was the right thing that happened to them, because Microsoft will take away that BS from Nokia so that people at Nokia can go back to revolutionizing communication technology and networking. If anything, Apple did make colored technology personal with their iMacs in 1998, way before Nokia made anything colorful.

And BTW, this article is extremely Bias. One sided bullcrap doesn't give a clear understanding of the tech world today. To me it's just bragging. And bragging reaps "few" rewards (Few meaning Very little).

Actually the so called "flatness" UI was created by a company named "Danger Inc.". Danger Inc was created by former employees of Apple, WebTV and Philips. They are the ones who created "Flatness" in the UI. And Microsoft acquired Danger Inc in 2008. Now since Microsoft Holds all the Patents and designs, I would say yes, Microsoft inspired Apple with the term "Flat".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danger_(company)

A load a bull.

"Flatness," wasn't something created by Danger. "Flatness," has been used in GUIs since their conception. I guess the Microsoft fans are so desperate to seem relevant, that they will go through great lengths to convinces themselves that, "flatness," was something invented or acquired by Microsoft, when in fact, they got their inspiration for the Modern UI from Swiss graphic design.

The trend to tone down UI elements started well before the first Windows Phone hit the market. I had apps on my iPhone that had flat elements in 2008/2009...

http://www.crunchbase.com/product/reeder

Also, if you think iOS is a rip off from WP, then it's obvious that you haven't used iOS 7 at all. You're making your judgement off of a few screenshots. I have an iPhone with iOS 7, and a Focus with Windows Phone 7.8 sitting right here, and their interfaces are completely different. One has solid colors and is typography heavy, and the other has mostly solid colors that are transparent with some gradients, that focuses less on type and more on animations. I challenge you to use both with an open mind to see that.

omgben said,
A load a bull.

"Flatness," wasn't something created by Danger. "Flatness," has been used in GUIs since their conception. I guess the Microsoft fans are so desperate to seem relevant, that they will go through great lengths to convinces themselves that, "flatness," was something invented or acquired by Microsoft, when in fact, they got their inspiration for the Modern UI from Swiss graphic design.

The trend to tone down UI elements started well before the first Windows Phone hit the market. I had apps on my iPhone that had flat elements in 2008/2009...

http://www.crunchbase.com/product/reeder

Also, if you think iOS is a rip off from WP, then it's obvious that you haven't used iOS 7 at all. You're making your judgement off of a few screenshots. I have an iPhone with iOS 7, and a Focus with Windows Phone 7.8 sitting right here, and their interfaces are completely different. One has solid colors and is typography heavy, and the other has mostly solid colors that are transparent with some gradients, that focuses less on type and more on animations. I challenge you to use both with an open mind to see that.

To call a UI flat that is on a device that is unable to show distinct colors do not quality. Using a LCD like how old phones and tablets use to have, they had no choice to be flat.

When you have a UI that uses multiple colors, the colors are used to show depth, just like you see in real life. If everything in life was black/white, perception of depth would be impossible. For example, look at the moon...if you didnt know the moon had a sphere shape, could you tell just from looking at it?

I will say the first OS on the Mac was pretty flat, but it was on the Star computer Apple stole it from. Early Windows UI's weer flat as well. That is because colors were uses as solids, not using any shadows.

Since 5c is not actually a CHEAP phone, i don't think there will be any significant impact.
It will compete at the same level as iPhone5S and others alike.
Plus fingerprint tech is not anything revolutionary, 64-bit is bragging about being first and a marketing stunt.
NFC, Wireless Charging, Durability, WaterResistance (IPs) are the features that most interest me[!]
And it's a shame that this premium smartphone, comes at a premium price, lacking these premium features.

hagjohn said,
Not really excited in giving my fingerprint to a large national corporation.

But I bet you were excited when your tinfoil hat came in the mail? Lol

Jugger.naut said,
The fingerprints are present only locally on the phone. They are not sent to servers, so Apple does not have any access to them.

It is, however, an illusion to assume or even think that we still have some privacy left. It doesn't really matter whether they have your fingerprint or not. They already know a lot the moment you open up your computer and connect to the internet.

That's just my 2 cents but privacy is, and will continue to be, a thing of the past.

stevan said,

But I bet you were excited when your tinfoil hat came in the mail? Lol

As opposed to your 'Shut up and take my money' meme arriving?

Jugger.naut said,
The fingerprints are present only locally on the phone. They are not sent to servers, so Apple does not have any access to them.
The government already had your fingerprints anyways. When you are born I am sure they get a copy of the certificate with your feet and hands if done. I am sure that info ends up somewhere

I still think the 5c will drive sales either to other manu's or to the 5s. Today you can go buy a 4s and be part of the in crowd while saving $100. When the 5c comes out everybody will know you chose the cheaper of the two. That will have an effect on a lot of people. It will carry a scarlet letter whereas before the outter effect was just that you still had the old phone.

Both of these phones will sell as hotcakes and will give Apple huge profits. And as always other manufacturers will follow suit with 64bit and fingerprint scanners.

What the idiots that say Apple is copying features need to realize is that it's not about who came out first, it's about WHO IMPLEMENTED IT RIGHT. And Apple is great at implementing features that other manufacturers would not do a good job at.

Guess what, Apple didn't invent the fingerprint scanner on a phone, but others before are garbage. Same goes with Siri.

They didn't implement it. They bought Authentec for it which also made the one in my 2006 laptop. You can always tell what they will invent next by what company they buy. They bought Siri before that.

Gungel said,
And how do you know that Apple's fingerprint feature works any better.

Apple has a history of implementing certain features better than manufacturers that did it before. The fingerprint sensor is included in the home button which makes it really easy to use.

I'm not saying it will be perfect because the phone isn't out yet, but the main point was that others beforehand were simple garbage.

stevan said,
Apple has a history of implementing certain features better than manufacturers that did it before. The fingerprint sensor is included in the home button which makes it really easy to use.

Apple also has a history of some major turds. G4, Apple "Hockey Puck" Mouse, netwon, Apple Maps... Add certain questionable products like Siri and Facetime (Maybe not turds, but both are meh and I don't know anyone that actually USES them)...

Apple doesn't bat 100%. They have a few home runs - the iPod/iPhone/iPad. To think that they are infallible is beyond naive.

Google "Apple Flops" and you'll find no shortage of examples where Apple falls far short of the mark. Some of the biggest flops were even done by Steve Jobs himself.

I never said Apple doesn't have flops, every company does. But their "home runs" made them into the biggest IT company in the world.

FaceTime is used more than any other video chat service on cell phones so clearly it's used by A LOT of people.

stevan said,
I never said Apple doesn't have flops, every company does. But their "home runs" made them into the biggest IT company in the world.

FaceTime is used more than any other video chat service on cell phones so clearly it's used by A LOT of people.

"Most Popular" unused program is still an unused program. I personally don't know anyone who uses facetime. I've literally never seen any of my friends/family use it. And siri? people think "gag" more than "what can I do with siri?" Maps is worse than a gag, it's a distinct step down from GMaps.

MS home runs also made them into the biggest company in the world... and now they are fighting to stay relevant. Apple is headed to the same irrelevance if they continue down the same path.

A iPhone line with major improvements and "innovations" being a reskinned OS, a finger print scanner and different colors? S for Stale, same ole... Adding a finger print scanner doesn't automatically mean it's a worthwhile, top notch addition just because Apple touched it. Look at the aforementioned additions that are stale, unused or just plain bad...

Spicoli said,
They didn't implement it. They bought Authentec for it which also made the one in my 2006 laptop. You can always tell what they will invent next by what company they buy. They bought Siri before that.

Yeah they did. They didn't invent it but they took the technology and "implemented" it into the new iPhone and iOS.

wernercd said,

"Most Popular" unused program is still an unused program. I personally don't know anyone who uses facetime. I've literally never seen any of my friends/family use it. And siri? people think "gag" more than "what can I do with siri?" Maps is worse than a gag, it's a distinct step down from GMaps.

MS home runs also made them into the biggest company in the world... and now they are fighting to stay relevant. Apple is headed to the same irrelevance if they continue down the same path.

A iPhone line with major improvements and "innovations" being a reskinned OS, a finger print scanner and different colors? S for Stale, same ole... Adding a finger print scanner doesn't automatically mean it's a worthwhile, top notch addition just because Apple touched it. Look at the aforementioned additions that are stale, unused or just plain bad...

Sorry, i guess my point of "just because people around you don't use it, doesn't mean others don't" didn't get accross. FaceTime is huge for video chatting.

Siri is big as well. Miles ahead of anything the competition can come up with. And it's being interested into cars and entertainment systems accross the world. Figure that.....

Maps was a fiasco but they are improving. I actually still use Google Maps on my iPhone even though Apple maps has more businesses listed.

As far as Apple going down? People have been saying this for a while but it's not really becoming a reality. They have always been a niche market manufacturer and they will stay one. iPhones are still selling like hotcakes and they will continue to do so. iOS ecosystem is still the king when it comes to quality and intergration.

This happens when one company can control both the hardware and software side of things. It allows for more quality. Why do you think Microsoft bought Nokia mobile devision? To do EXACTLY that.

stevan said,
Both of these phones will sell as hotcakes and will give Apple huge profits. And as always other manufacturers will follow suit with 64bit and fingerprint scanners.

What the idiots that say Apple is copying features need to realize is that it's not about who came out first, it's about WHO IMPLEMENTED IT RIGHT. And Apple is great at implementing features that other manufacturers would not do a good job at.

Guess what, Apple didn't invent the fingerprint scanner on a phone, but others before are garbage. Same goes with Siri.

Look at this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-ppMRFcDWk
As you can see, it doesnt work any better here either. GIMMICK at its best. Now go run out an buy it anyways.

I think Apple have made a mistake. In the past they were still individual enough to stand out and others copied them. Now they are copying others and have almost nothing that differentiates them. They have played a dangerous game by taking onboard colour for example rather than focusing on what people actually want which is a large screen. The problem with taking on colour (as per one of the posters who talks about a purchaser thinking a Lumia is the new iPhone) is that they give the competition more attention. "Hey I like that colour, oooohhh but look at those colours" It becomes more about eye candy which it always has been but now they all look the same. I think Apple won't break records with the 5S and C.

I can guarantee you though, had they produced a big screen iPhone in addition to the current sized devices they would have sold like hot cakes and given Apple another few years of record breaking sales.

Now we have to wait YET AGAIN to see if they produce a larger screen. When they eventually do (AND THEY WILL) it will have been so old school no one will care.

Bravo Apple for giving the competition recognition for being more innovative than you.

as147 said,
... rather than focusing on what people actually want which is a large screen.

I don't want a big screen. I'm sure (& I hope) you'll find a lot of people who agree that bigger is not necessarily better.

My friend has a Galaxy S4, and it's just too. damn. big. It's impossible to use or type one-handed (and I'm 6'5" and have larger-than-average hands), and my friend even agrees (in hindsight he wishes he'd gotten the S4 Mini, or the Galaxy Nexus).

Why everyone is jumping on the larger screen bandwagon is something I'll never understand.

Forgetting screen size for a moment, what I'd really like is a phone that lasts more than a couple of days on battery power. If I only have to charge my smartphone once a week, but still have modern smartphone features, I'm buying that manufacturer's devices.

The thing is most people get an iPhone because of what it represents - "yeah I can afford this flashy new phone". The trouble with the 5c is that it ruins this. If you see someone walking around with a 5c people will say "yeah they haven't got enough money to get a 5s have they". People are really that shallow and we will see if the 5c sells that well because of it.

Ryano121 said,
The thing is most people get an iPhone because of what it represents - "yeah I can afford this flashy new phone". The trouble with the 5c is that it ruins this. If you see someone walking around with a 5c people will say "yeah they haven't got enough money to get a 5s have they". People are really that shallow and we will see if the 5c sells that well because of it.

I can see the 5C being popular with the younger generation who generally wouldn't have owned the main iphone anyway. They'll definitely tap into a new market with this, although the dent will be much smaller than i anticipated due to the price, it doesn't really catch that low end.

Apple lost the battle for marketshare years ago worldwide. Their focus is on the US market and whatever else they can grab outside is a bonus.

Worldwide they are about 20% of what Android owns and currently little of twice as big as Windows phone. The only strong growing OS is WP really with iOS on the decline and Android holding steady.

To be fair, Apple has never been about market share. I can't for the life of me find the original quote since Google is saturated with pieces about the recent announcement, but when the first iPhone was released Steve Jobs said something about the goal of the iPhone not being market share, but being a premium device with decent revenue.

Indeed, if you look at graphs of revenue (such as this one:http://www.businessinsider.com...ndustry-profit-share-2013-7), Apple has been on top for ages. Samsung are really starting to snap at their heels, though!

Windows 8.1 already supports it. I'm sure it'll be coming with WP8.1. And not just as a gimmick, but with capability to integrate it into apps to be used for secure transactions and stuff.

I watched some people yesterday at my local AT&T store. They checked out the Nokia Lumia phones and that's when the older man in the group told the rest of them "I think this is the new iPhone 5C with the new software".
Couldn't believe it and thought he made a joke. But when he called the store associate over he actually said "Can you tell me more about this new iPhone."


Pretty spot on portrayal of the average phone buyer in the states. iPhone doesn't have near the market saturation outside the US, so other brands are more visible.

Other handsets have had finger print scanners for some time, and it never really took off. I guess the apple version is "magical" though. There is also a heavy US bias with costs reported, as very few other places in the world have those pricings. In the UK for example it's £469 for the 5C

Not only that, but just about every 3G capable phone before the iPhone also had front facing camera's and video chat capability. It also never took off really and STILL hasn't, despite Apple's attempts at making it "magical".

FIngerprint scanners are phones are too easy to bypass or fool. I had a phone a while ago with one and it sucked. It was easy to trick and not convenient to use. I disabled it within a day.

-T- said,
Other handsets have had finger print scanners for some time, and it never really took off. I guess the apple version is "magical" though. There is also a heavy US bias with costs reported, as very few other places in the world have those pricings. In the UK for example it's £469 for the 5C

If by magical, you mean backed up by software which works...then yes I agree

Like video chat....that was demo'd by orange in 1997 yet it took over 10 years before apple launched it through facetime. Why couldn't anyone else make it work? It's not like it was a secret.

glen8 said,

Like video chat....that was demo'd by orange in 1997 yet it took over 10 years before apple launched it through facetime. Why couldn't anyone else make it work? It's not like it was a secret.

It did work, just fine. Facetime didn't suddenly make it better you know.. There's still almost no-one who actually uses it.

It's hardly "working" now. Very few people ever actually use it while out & about. It's simply just like Skype yet more limited

No one's claiming Apple was the first to include a fingerprint scanner. What I'm saying is that since Apple holds a lot of power in the industry, competitors will likely be influenced by its decision to include a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone and follow along.

Yeah, and I think you should quit smoking your socks.

It's just a gimmick, and they're -really- easy to fool, too. It's no more secure than Googles' face unlock, and no one really uses THAT, either.

One big difference is this is a touch sensor, which is *way* more convenient to use than the swipe sensors used so far on other phones. This is the selling point -- not the extra security (though this is there too), but the extra convenience. You unlock the phone in less than one second. How long does it take if you have to type pin/passcode, draw the Android unlock pattern or even start the face unlock and point the camera the right direction?

Can you unlock your phone in less than a second, with a single hand and without even looking at the phone? With 5s you can...

I guess you are saying you are not using any secure lock at all. Well, if you are the lucky person who has nothing to protect, no messages or mails you do not want to show to your friends/partner/parents, good for you. For those who prefer to protect their privacy the fingerprint is a very convenient solution.

FloatingFatMan said,
I guarantee you, I can be past that so called "secure" fingerprint check in 5 seconds flat.

Not sure if serious. Ridiculous statement regardless.

Jugger.naut said,
One big difference is this is a touch sensor, which is *way* more convenient to use than the swipe sensors used so far on other phones. This is the selling point -- not the extra security (though this is there too), but the extra convenience. You unlock the phone in less than one second. How long does it take if you have to type pin/passcode, draw the Android unlock pattern or even start the face unlock and point the camera the right direction?

Can you unlock your phone in less than a second, with a single hand and without even looking at the phone? With 5s you can...

Well I looked at a video of someone setting up the Fingerprint reader, and as I suspected, it is far from perfect. With my ThinkPad I swiped about 10 times, the iPhone makes you press 10 times. However, what I noticed with the iPhone, after he set it up and then pressed it didnt work the very first time, or second time or 3rd time when he touched it. Here is the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-ppMRFcDWk

The fact is, if it doesn't work the very first time when people use it, they are going to get mad at it and disable it. The other issue I see is, using the reader also screws with the Siri function which requires a double tap. So I can see people launching Siri even tho they wont want it, just as he did.

TechieXP said,

Well I looked at a video of someone setting up the Fingerprint reader, and as I suspected, it is far from perfect. With my ThinkPad I swiped about 10 times, the iPhone makes you press 10 times. However, what I noticed with the iPhone, after he set it up and then pressed it didnt work the very first time, or second time or 3rd time when he touched it. Here is the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-ppMRFcDWk

The fact is, if it doesn't work the very first time when people use it, they are going to get mad at it and disable it. The other issue I see is, using the reader also screws with the Siri function which requires a double tap. So I can see people launching Siri even tho they wont want it, just as he did.

I don't know which video you were watching there. But it worked perfectly in the one you just linked to....

Yes when you are setting it up, you press the sensor many times to get a good scan. Also in different positions so you get a good read, but so what? You only do it once and it's all shown in steps. Looks pretty simple.

The first time he pressed it he held the button down and Siri popped up. So no it didn't work.... as he activated siri. The second time he didn't press the home button. She was holding the phone so it was awkward for him to press it....