Here it is, folks. Apple today made the iPhone 5s official at an event on its Cupertino campus, putting an end to a year's worth of rumors and introducing us to its new flagship smartphone.
As expected, the exterior of the iPhone 5s looks largely similar to the iPhone 5 that many consumers have been carrying around in their pockets since late 2012. That doesn't mean that Apple is re-releasing the same hardware under a new name, though, as the 5s sports a handful of notable upgrades over its predecessor.
First up is the new A7 system-on-a-chip. Apple says that its new SoC is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, and as a result it also tweaked iOS 7 and its built-in apps to take advantage of the feature. This new chip is said to be twice as fast as CPU and GPU tasks.
Moving around to the back of the iPhone 5s, Apple has packed an improved camera inside of the device that features a five-element lens that's 15 percent larger and includes an f/2.2 aperture. The shooter itself is still 8 megapixels, but the size of the pixels has been increased in order to let more light into the sensor. Also included is a flash with two LEDs that work together to get the correct color balance for a photo. Finally, Apple has added burst and slow-mo capabilities to the iPhone 5s, enabling users to capture 10 frames per second or record a video at a rate of 120fps.
The iPhone 5s also includes a new feature for the Home button, which is one part of the device that most folks probably think about very little. The button includes a Touch ID capacitive sensor that will scan a user's fingerprint in order to add an additional layer of security to the device. There's a stainless steel ring around the Home button that will turn the sensor on, and the button itself is made of sapphire crystal to protect against scratching. In addition to blocking preventing unwanted intruders from getting into a user's phone, the Touch ID sensor can be used in certain apps. A demo shown by Apple revealed that the sensor can be used to authenticate purchases inside of the iTunes app.
Rounding out the iPhone 5s's list of specs, we've got the same 4-inch 1136x640 Retina display that was present on the iPhone 5, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, nano-SIM card and Lightning connector. The battery inside the iPhone 5s is quoted to provide 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G Internet browsing, 10 hours of LTE or Wi-Fi browsing and 250 hours of standby.
The iPhone 5s will be available in White, Gold and Space Gray color options starting on Friday, Sept. 20. Pricing will be set at $199/$299/$399 for the 16GB/32GB/64GB variants. Apple says that the 5s will be available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, marking the first time that an iOS smartphone launches simultaneously on the four major U.S. carriers. The Cupertino firm also plans to continue selling the iPhone 4S, which will be available for free with 8GB of built-in storage.
Apple went on to reveal that it will once again sell its own iPhone cases. The $39 iPhone 5s case will be made of leather with a soft, color-matched microfiber interior. Color options for the iPhone 5s case will include beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and red.
Below you'll find a gallery containing images of the iPhone 5s colors as well as the device's leather cases. Apple has posted a brief promo video for the iPhone 5s that can be found here
, and a full replay of today's event is available for your viewing pleasure right here