By JOSH SCHWARZ
For the first time ever, Apple rolled out two new iPhones at one time, earning mixed reviews from consumers and critics.
The 5s is an upgraded version of the current iPhone 5. The 5c is a new cheaper and more colorful installment in the Apple’s line of smartphones. Both the 5s and 5c sport the new iOS 7 operating system and a variety of new features. Both phones go on sale Sept. 20, according to Apple.
“I’m absolutely upgrading,” said long-time iPhone user Kelsey Flynn. “I’m very interested in the new security system with the fingerprint scanner. I’m all about the latest in technology, especially with Apple. Their products’ design and performance always amaze me.”
One of the newest features Apple fans are awaiting is the much-anticipated fingerprint ID sensor. The sensor will allow users to unlock their iPhone as well as make purchases with the swipe of a finger.
The new 5c starts at $99 with a two-year contract. It includes Apple’s A6 processor and is available in colors that Apple users haven’t seen on an iPhone before. Consumers can choose from a stylish white, green, pink, blue, or yellow.
The 5s, the more powerful of the two, comes with the new A7 processor, which Apple claims is twice as fast as its predecessor. The 5s starts at $199 with a two-year contract, and is offered in silver, space grey, and gold.
Apple fully expects the new features and colors to draw iPhone users to upgrade from their current models, but is it enough?
“The new features of the 5s and 5c are definitely exciting enough for me,” said Flynn. “The 5s is sophisticated and I’m excited for a longer battery life and the better camera, while the 5c is also fun and eco-friendly, not something you see often in the smart phone world.”
While some Apple fans like Flynn are convinced that the new iPhone suits their needs, others vow that Apple’s new products come up short.
“The new phones fail to address long-standing complaints about the iPhone lineup,” said technology critic Troy Wolverton in his column for the San Jose Mercury News. “There’s no truly big-screen iPhone. The battery lives of the new devices are still relatively short. And, perhaps most damningly, the new iPhones still can’t talk and surf simultaneously on Verizon or Sprint.”
Wolverton suspects that these shortcomings are part of what has seen Apple’s smartphone market dominance decrease significantly over the last few years.
According to CNN, Apple made up around 24 percent of the smartphone market in 2011. Today, that number is down to 14 percent, with Android phones accounting for an incredible 79 percent.
Wolverton acknowledged some of the new features Apple included in the 5s and 5c, but claims they may only create new problems.
“The hallmark feature of Apple’s new flagship iPhone 5s, its fingerprint detector, now appears to be little more than a gimmick that actually introduces a new security problem,” he said.
Some experts suspect that Apple may be trying too hard to reassert their dominance in the smartphone market by imitating their competitors, which may only be hurting them.
“Whether it’s the improved camera or the control center, many of the most appealing features on the new iPhone could have been pulled from any android device this year,” said Donald Bell in CNET’s Top 5 iPhone 5s disappointments. “The iPhone 5s is simply put, not a required upgrade.”
The disagreement between Apple fanatics and technology critics or analysts could likely go on for days, but on Sept. 20 consumers around the world can decide for themselves if the new iPhones are right them.