Apple released two new phones, showed off its fingerprint technology and made some new colors available at an event Tuesday at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
As expected a lower-cost iPhone 5C was announced, along with an update to the iPhone 5 -- dubbed the iPhone 5S. Both will be available in the United States, starting Sept. 20.
“It’s the gold standard in phones,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing, as a gold-colored model floated on a screen behind him in addition to the slate-gray and silver-white colors available through the last few generations.
The phone features a new A7 processor that’s twice as fast and handles graphics twice as well as the iPhone 5, according to Apple. It also allows the phones to run on the same 64-bit interface that power the latest PCs.
To illustrate this point, an Epic Games executive was called on stage to demonstrate scenes from its forthcoming Infinity Blade 3 game on the phone.
The phone will also feature a motion processor, called the M7, which continuously measures motion data in an effort to advance the development of health and fitness applications.
Schiller also went into great detail regarding the new camera features on the phone, according to live reports from the event. The new camera has a larger aperture and a dual-LED flash that adjusts to produce the best picture under different light conditions.
The camera will also incorporate the “best photo” feature, which already exists on rival smartphones, to capture multiple photos simultaneously and use the sharpest components from each to yield the best possible image. Finally, users will be able to snap 10 photos at once or take video in slow motion.
As anticipated, the phone will include a fingerprint sensor within its home button that can be used to lock and unlock the device. It will start at $199 for a 16-gigabyte model and range up to $399 for a 64-gigabyte version with a two-year contract.
Apple also announced the lower-cost 5C, which starts at $99 for a 16-gigabyte version. Available in five colors -- lime green, blue, reddish-pink, yellow and white -- with matching wallpaper colors, the phone includes a four-inch Retina display, Apple’s A6 processor, Bluetooth 4.0, an 8.0-megapixel camera and FaceTime HD capabilities.
The phone also promises to have better battery capacity than any currently existing iPhone model and achieve download speeds up to 100 megabytes per second.
With the release of this phone, the iPhone 4S (the first model with Siri) will be available for free with a new two-year contract.
Craig Federighi, the company’s senior vice president of software development, also rehashed the benefits of iOS7, which will be made available Sept. 18 on all phones dating back to the iPhone 4, tablets back to the iPad 2 and iPods back to the fifth-generation Touch.
In a surprise move, Apple also announced that its suite of iWork apps (including word-processing software Pages, spreadsheet software Numbers, presentation software Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie) would be made available for free on all iOS devices.