It's all but confirmed! Apple will preview the iPhone 5S on Sept 10 and along with the low-cost iPhone 5C, the long-awaited release date will follow shortly, with the U.S. and Japanese markets as likely the initial focus of the global rollout.
And as the dates have been set, all eyes are trained on the handset's actual capabilities, raising the questions: Is the 5S upgrade worth every penny or will it really sport the killer features that analysts have been harping about?
Persistent leaks and rumours insist the 2013 flagship smartphone from Apple is a worthy buy, easily toppling the juicy menus that Android rivals - from Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 to Sony's Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra - are serving for the remaining months of the year.
In a few weeks' time, iPhone 5S buyers will be getting the specs and features - most of them largely confirmed - listed below, likely redefining the iOS device experience we currently know.
A faster and smarter mobile phone
Recent reports have claimed that Apple is using A7 processing chips on the 5S, which is based in ARMv8 architecture. This means that the phone is 31 per cent faster from its predecessors, said Apple Insider in a report, citing Clayton Morris of Fox News as source.
The assertion is in line with earlier suggestions that the 5S is crashing into the 64-bit computing sphere, again setting the stage for others to follow.
Yet the most notable 5S jump, according to Mr Morris, is the addition of new smart sensor chips with the package that will power 'motion tracking', which is directly connected to the device's new cam features.
Cutting-edge camera capabilities
True to its word, Apple is set to deliver a more expansive point and shoot experience via the 5S snapper. Apart from possible gesture control, the phone camera is expected to boast of a bigger aperture with twin-LED flash. The upgrade will allow the production of high-quality images with the use of the iPhone 5S, regardless if the user is a professional or a mere enthusiast.
With a larger f/2.0 aperture, the 5S cam is able to take advantage of better light processing, ensuring that pics will come out as expected even in poor lighting conditions.
Capacious internal memory
And to work in tandem with a 5S that is fast and has a professional-grade camera is a virtually unlimited storage space at 128GB. It used to be that 8GB is big enough but as users get to discover the beauty of lugging along digital files, that number became irrelevant.
Even 64GB seems claustrophobic at present standard so it shouldn't be too far off for Apple to come up with a flash drive for the 5S twice of that size. According to Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities, this will become a reality via the iPhone 5S Premium Edition, also encased in a gold or champagne housing, still in anodised aluminium material.
The iconic iPhone Home button just got a major makeover
No longer will this control key just bring users to the first iPhone 'page'. In the 5S, when this button is pressed a new chip will be triggered to work - determining if the holder of the gadget is actually the iPhone 5S owner. Upon confirmation, thanks to biometrics technology, the handset unlocks.
This is the new security protocol that will come with the iPhone 5 successor, which will also be useful in safely facilitating wireless payment and cloud computing access procedures. 5S buyers can thank the fingerprint scanner that analyst said will come embedded under the device's Home button, protected by sapphire coating against wear and tear.
Faster and wider network compatibility
Not only that Apple has installed fresh wireless chips with the 5S for safer and more reliable wireless connections and pairings (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), the tech giant is also looking to connect the handset with all sorts of network standards all over the world.
The company is looking to widen is horizon, and chief of its target is to capture a big swath of market pie in Asia with China as top priority. It is highly possible that the 5S will fully support the sprawling country's TDD-LTE and TD-SCDMA connectivity infra, all in the name of gaining inroads to some 700 million Chinese subscribers. Both the 5S and the iPhone 5C are believed to be configured for optimal network functions in China.
A catalogue of killer features thanks to iOS 7
The body is the iPhone 5S (and the 5C) and the soul will be the Jony Ive-baby iOS 7. This pretty much sums up the whole 5S package - upscale components to be brought into life by the new Apple mobile platform, simplified and made more powerful by its radical reengineering.
It will be killer features with the iOS 7 which has been evident with the six previous beta installments. The GM version is reportedly set for a grand unveiling on Sept 5, serving as the precursor of its final version that Apple should uncloak come the Sept 10 media even. All the iOS 7 clues so far point to a flood of killer handset features (iPhones and iPads) overwhelming millions within the Apple universe.
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