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Apple iPhone 5S Philippines Price and Release Date Guesstimate, Complete Specs, Three New Features Explained

Apple iPhone 5S, officially announced just a few hours ago by the Cupertino company, may have the same aluminum shell and 4-inch 1136 x 640 pixel resolution Retina Display of the iPhone 5 but it does come with several new features that will somehow make you feel that it's a true upgrade from last year's flagship.

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Apart from having the familiar White and 'Space Gray' (Black variant) color options, iPhone 5S is also available in Gold -- not Yellow Gold, though, but more like Champagne Gold.

"iPhone 5s is the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world, delivering desktop class architecture in the palm of your hand," shared Mr. Philip Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. "iPhone 5s sets a new standard for smartphones, packed into its beautiful and refined design are breakthrough features that really matter to people, like Touch ID, a simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger."

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TP Friends, now, let's talk about the three key changes or enhancements (versus last year's flagship) that Apple implemented on the iPhone 5S starting from the innards.

Apple A7 Chip and M7 Co-Processor

iPhone 5s' new A7 processor brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to the smartphone category for the first time. With up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, almost everything you do on iPhone 5s - Apple says - is faster and better than ever, from launching apps and editing photos to playing graphic-intensive games - previously only possible on Macs, PCs and gaming consoles - all while delivering great battery life. The American company also engineered its all-new iOS 7 operating system and all the built-in apps to maximize the performance of this new chipset.

Aside from the A7 processor, iPhone 5s also includes the new M7 motion co-processor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency. The M7 motion coprocessor continuously measures your motion data, even when the device is asleep, and saves battery life for the pedometer or other applications - especially those for fitness - that regularly use the accelerometer. Developers can also access new CoreMotion APIs that take advantage of M7, so they can create even better fitness and activity apps.

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Touch ID

The product of Apple's $356 million acquisition of AuthenTec - a company which provides security hardware and software for PCs and mobile devices - in 2012, Touch ID is an innovative way to simply and securely unlock the iPhone 5S with just the touch of a finger.

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Touch ID - Apple explains - uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. The Touch ID sensor recognizes the touch of a finger so the sensor is only activated when needed, preserving battery life. Touch ID - with easy set-up - can also be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store instead of always having to type the password to your Apple ID.

To those who are worried that this feature might have serious implications on their privacy and security, Apple reassures users that all fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s only. Fingerprint data is never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud.

Improved Camera and True Tone Flash

Compared to iPhone 5's 8 MegaPixel camera, iPhone 5S' 8 MP iSight camera features a larger f/2.2 aperture and a new, larger sensor with 1.5μ pixels for better sensitivity and low-light performance, which users can expect to deliver far better pictures.

According to Apple, these improvements done on the phone's camera along with the new image signal processor in the A7 chip and the new Camera app in iOS 7, provide up to two-times faster auto-focus, automatic image and video stabilization, faster photo capture, and better dynamic range. iPhone 5S also introduces the new True Tone flash to Apple's smartphone category; This technology variably adjusts color and intensity for over 1,000 combinations, so photos taken with flash appear more natural. iPhone 5S also gives users a new Burst Mode, Slo-Mo video with 120 fps, a new FaceTime HD camera with better low-light performance and audio-only FaceTime calls.

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Crafted from premium leather, Apple's iPhone 5S cases are made to look and feel luxurious. Available in six different colors infused into the leather, these cases don't only add personality to the device but also help protect it against scratches and bumps.

So when will it be available in the Philippines and how much will it cost? Based on the last two iPhone releases in the country, I'm expecting the handset to land here via official carriers by mid-December this year. Since iPhone 5S supports LTE - in fact, it supports up to 13 LTE wireless bands, the most for any smartphone currently available - it is almost certain that both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications will offer the handset as a bundled device with their LTE plans. As for its retail price or its price without any contract, the TP Guesstimate is Php 30,000 for the 16GB variant, Php 35,000 for 32GB, and Php 40,000 for the 64GB version.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Apple iPhone 5S
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category High-end (Flagship Level)
Dimensions123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
Weight 112 grams
Available Colors Gold, White, Space Gray
Operating System iOS 7
Display Retina display, 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display, 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, 800:1 contrast ratio (typical), 500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical), Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front, Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
Processor Apple A7 Processor, M7 Motion coprocessor
RAM 1 GB LPDDR3
Camera 8 MegaPixels, 2364x2448 resolution with autofocus and True Tone Dual LED flash, Features: ƒ/2.2 aperture aperture, LED flash, Backside illumination sensor, Five-element lens, Burst Mode, Hybrid IR filter, FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos, New backside illumination sensor
Video Capture 1080p Full HD, 30 frames per second, Features: True Tone flash, Slo-mo video, Improved video stabilization, Take still photo while recording video Front: aHD video (720p) up to 30 frames per second, Facetime over Wifi or Cellular
Audio and Video Playback Video: AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV support at 720p
AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV (3rd generation) at up to 1080p and Apple TV (2nd generation) at up to 720p
Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
User-configurable maximum volume limit
Ports 3.5 mm audio jack, new 9-pin Lightning dock connector
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, LTE
Network GSM model A1428*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
CDMA model A1429*: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)
GSM model A1429*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25)
Memory 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options, non-expandable
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, 3-axis Gyroscope, Fingerprint identity sensor
Battery Built-in Rechargeable Li-Ion
Uptime Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G
Standby time: Up to 250 hours
Internet use: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 8 hours on LTE, up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
Notable Features Nano-SIM card support, ships with Apple EarPods with Remote, Mic, Storage and travel case, Lightning to USB cable
Announcement September 11, 2013 (1:30 AM Manila Time)
Availability Q4 2013, TP Guesstimate: Mid-December 2013 via Smart and Globe
Price $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB variant, all on a 2-year contract in the United States
Official Retail Price in the US: $649 for the 16GB, $749 for 32GB, $849 for 64GB
TP Retail Price Guesstimate:
iPhone 5S 16GB w/o contract - around Php 30,000
iPhone 5S 32GB w/o contract - around Php 35,000
iPhone 5S 64GB w/o contract - around Php 40,000

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