Hands-On Impressions of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and Touch ID

This is a discussion on Hands-On Impressions of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and Touch ID within the iPhone News forums, part of the Apple News category; The iPhone 5s might be the closest any smartphone’s ever come to perfection, but none of its shiny glass, metal and chamfered surfaces really matter ...

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  1. #11
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    Moto X Tops iPhone 5s In Durability Test, Galaxy S4 Comes In Last [Video]



    The iPhone 5s might be the closest any smartphone’s ever come to perfection, but none of its shiny glass, metal and chamfered surfaces really matter if they can stand up to some daily wear and tear. To see which new smartphone is the most durable, the gadget insurance company SquareTrade pitted the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c against the Moto X and Samsung Galaxy S4, in a series of damage tests, including getting dunked in water.

    In the end, Moto X came out on top, with the iPhone 5s coming in a close second. The Galaxy S4 on the other hand didn’t fair too well, and was dominated by everyone, including the cheaper the iPhone 5c.


    Watch the full results below:





    9-23-13

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  3. #12
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    iPhone 5c Hammer Test..Stronger Than 5s??

    iPhone 5c Hammer Test..Stronger Than 5s??





    VIDEO BELOW





    9-23-13

    TECHRAX

  4. #13
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    iPhone 5c Knife Scratch Screen Test

    iPhone 5c Knife Scratch Screen Test




    VIDEO BELOW






    9-23-13

    TECHRAX

  5. #14
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    iPhone 5c Drop Test

    iPhone 5c Drop Test



    VIDEO BELOW





    9-23-13

    TECHRAX

  6. #15
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    Apple’s component costs for the new iPhones leave ‘marginal’ room, between $173 -218



    New iPhones always gladden the hearts of the analysts at the research firm IHS, because it means it’s time to tear the phones apart.

    This year’s iPhone teardown project was twice as much fun, because there are two phone models — the iPhone 5s, sporting its muscular A7 processor and an internal fingerprint sensor; and the iPhone 5c, which is at first glance essentially an iPhone 5 with a candy-colored plastic shell.

    But, as is often the case with Apple-designed products, looks can be deceiving. The results of two teardown studies show that, aside from the most obvious differences, the two phones are very much alike, internally. Indeed, Apple likes it that way. But more on that in a moment.

    According the findings of an IHS report coming tomorrow (but shared with AllThingsD today), Apple spends at least $191 on components to build a 16 gigabyte iPhone 5s. The cost rises to $210 for a 64GB unit. The cost of assembly adds another $8 per unit, bringing the range to between $199 and $218. (Read Walt Mossberg’s review of the iPhone 5s here.)

    That cost estimate is pretty close to that of the original iPhone 5, which IHS pegged at about $205 last year. Without a contract, the iPhone sells at prices ranging from $649 to $849, depending on storage capacity.

    As with prior iPhones, parts associated with the display command more of that sum than anything else in the phone, amounting to a combined $41. IHS says the display likely comes from several vendors, including Sharp (in which Apple made a strategic investment), Japan Display Inc. and LG Display.

    On the colorful, lower-priced iPhone 5c, IHS estimates that the cost of components plus manufacturing ranges from $173 to $183, including $7 for assembly. The 5c sells for between $549 and $649 without a contract. (Read Lauren Goode’s review of the iPhone 5c here.)

    The differences between them are surprisingly few, said IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, who oversaw the teardown work. “I would say that they’re almost the same phone, except that the 5s has the fingerprint sensor, the A7 processor and some newer memory chips that consume less power. Beyond that, they’re basically the same,” he said.

    Rassweiler said that Apple also appeared to show a lot of special attention to radio frequency chips in both phones. “Apple seems to be spending a lot of time and money combining RF chips,” he said. “Where other phone companies would be using whatever chips its various vendors sell off-the-shelf, Apple seems to be pushing its RF suppliers to do things they don’t do for anyone else.”

    Those vendors, according to IHS’s analysis, are Qualcomm, Skyworks, Avago, RF Micro Devices and TriQuint Semiconductor, all of which make chips that handle different aspects of the iPhone’s connections to various wireless networks. These efforts toward getting the radio frequency chips to work together have the effect, Rassweiler said, of allowing the phones to support more frequency bands in a single phone than before. “The iPhone 5 supported no more than five LTE bands. The 5s and 5c can support as many as 13, and that’s unique,” he said. “Unlike other phone designers, Apple has spent a lot of time collaborating with the RF chip companies to find novel solutions that its competitors don’t have.”

    Its good for Apple, because the fewer technical variations of the iPhone there are, the more profitable the phones are likely to be. Eventually, Rassweiler said, Apple may be able to produce a single version of the phone that supports all the world’s frequency bands, no matter what type of wireless network is present.

    The teardown shows that the Apple used the same unique combination of RF chips in both the 5s and the 5c, at a combined cost of $32.

    Indeed, the similarities between the two phones are many: They have the same display, the same cameras, the same flash-memory chips, and so on.

    The 5s has a fingerprint sensor likely designed by Authentec, the fingerprint technology company for which Apple paid $356 million in an acquisition last year. (IHS pegs the cost of the fingerprint sensor at $7.) It also has the higher-powered Apple A7 processor, which costs about $19 and is manufactured by Samsung. The 5c has an A6 that costs about $13 and is also manufactured by Samsung. Both chips are designed by Apple, and are based on a core designed by ARM Holdings, the British chip-design firm.

    The A7 is a 64-bit chip, more complex than the A6, which is a 32-bit chip.

    The higher-end processor led Apple to choose higher-end memory chips to support it in the 5s. Where the 5s sports a flavor of memory known as LPDDR3 (the LP stands for “low power,” referring to its consumption), the 5c sports a slightly older flavor of memory known as LPDDR2. (I could go on at length about what the other letters stand for, but won’t. If you want to read more, here are the basics.) “The newer memory is there to support the higher-end processor,” Rassweiler said.

    Suppliers of the memory chips include SK Hynix — the South Korean chip company that just experienced a fire at a plant in China — along with Elpida and Samsung.

    As usual, I asked Apple for a comment on IHS’s findings and, as usual, got none.

    One thing I always like about these teardown reports is the “exploded view” image that always comes with them. The IHS shot of the 5s is above, and as you’ve probably figured out, given the appearance of the light-blue shell, the 5c is below.





    9-24-13

    allthingsd.com

  7. #16
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    Amazing Slow-Motion Footage Shot With The iPhone 5S [Video]



    Cult of Mac reader Rishi Kaneria e-mailed to tell us about his amazing slow-motion video, shot on – you guessed it – the iPhone 5S, at 120fps. Not bad, huh?

    This, you would do well to remember, is shot on a cellphone camera. It’s not going to be replacing the Phantom anytime soon, and there are some odd artifacts in the footage (some motion blur and possibly some rolling shutter effects), but for a phone this footage is frankly stunning.

    Content-wise, while it’s interesting to see the water sloshing around in the glass and all that, it’s the shots of the people that I like the most. There’s something about seeing somebody’s expressions slowed down to a quarter of their normal speed that is utterly fascinating. Then again, I could stare at Richard Avedon’s simple B&W portraits all day long.





    9-25-13

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  8. #17
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    Teardowns reveal Apple’s customary high margins for both iPhone 5S and 5C



    The 16GB iPhone 5S costs Apple approximately US$199 to manufacture, while the plastic-encased 16GB iPhone 5C runs US$173, putting both new smartphones comfortably within the Cupertino, California company’s envious profit margins, an analyst said today.

    Apple sells the iPhone 5S, its flagship, starting at US$649 for a 16GB model sans a subsidy, and the iPhone 5C for US$549, just US$100 less. The smartphones are priced at US$199 and US$99, respectively, with a two-year carrier contract in the US.

    “Once again, Apple has stuck to its old tried-and-true formula of optimising its iPhone hardware gross margins to attain maximum profitability,” said Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS, an El Segundo, California-based research company, in a statement today.

    IHS, formerly known as iSuppli, regularly disassembles smartphones and tablets to see which component suppliers are on the upswing and which have been dumped by designers and manufacturers, and uses its examinations to estimate a ‘bill of materials’, or BOM, of the device’s manufacturing cost.


    IHS tore apart the iPhone 5S to find what it was made of, and how it was made, then built a cost-of-manufacturing estimate that pegged Apple's margin at a whopping 69 percent.



    The US$199 BOM – which includes an US$8 estimate for actually assembling the iPhone 5S – was almost identical to the US$197 IHS pegged for 2012′s iPhone 5 cost.

    “Technically, the iPhone 5S is a couple of bucks more than the iPhone 5,” said Andrew Rassweiler, a senior director of HIS’ cost benchmarking team, in an interview on Wednesday. “But that’s still a preliminary number and subject to change.”

    In fact, the more Rassweiler and other IHS analysts look at the iPhone 5S, particularly its fingerprint scanner – marketed as Touch ID by Apple – the more they suspect that their US$7 estimate for those components is too low. Costs of other components, however, may be lowered in the meantime, perhaps ending with a wash on the BOM.

    But the Touch ID addition to the iPhone 5S – Apple didn’t put the technology in the lower-priced 5C – was intriguing to IHS for other reasons besides its component cost.

    “The fingerprint sensor is new stuff, and whenever you’re dealing with new stuff, you’re dealing with poor yield, which drives cost up and availability down,” said Rassweiler.

    If there’s a problem in Apple’s supply chain for the iPhone 5S – which most analysts believe there is, based on the shortages that appeared almost instantly with the launch last Friday – it’s in the fingerprint scanning components, said Rassweiler.

    “It’s the pinch point,” he said. “There are a lot of upgrades [in the 5S], new technologies and other new choices, but they’re not so new and not so cutting edge that it could become a problem.”

    Apple ran through its initial stocks of the iPhone 5S within hours of opening the digital doors of its online store Friday at 12:01 am PT in the US. Its chain of retail stores exhausted supplies of the smartphone no later than Sunday mornings.

    CEO Tim Cook even mentioned the shortages on Monday as the company announced a record-setting opening weekend, an indication of the seriousness of the emptied inventory. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone,” Cook said in a statement earlier this week.

    Rassweiler dismissed the idea that the iPhone 5S’ new A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which contains the smartphone industry’s first-ever 64-bit processor, may have caused the shortages.

    “The A7, yes, it’s new technology,” Rassweiler said. “But [any problems with it are] still traditional wafer fab issues, and nothing like a completely new assembly like the fingerprint scanner. They’re on two different planets. The [fingerprint] scanner is far more novel.”

    According to IHS’ teardown and BOM estimate, the cost of the A7 and M7 processors – the latter was a motion processor found only in the iPhone 5S that continuously measures motion data generated by the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and compass – were US$19 together. That was a far cry from the most expensive component, the US$41 for the display and touch-screen, and also under the US$32 for the smartphone’s wireless components.

    Meanwhile, the iPhone 5C sported a BOM US$25.25 less than the 5S’ estimate, but still produced an implied margin almost as high as that of its pricier sibling: 68 percent for the 5C versus 69 percent for the 5S.

    IHS credited the normal cost reductions that accrue during a year for the lower BOM of the iPhone 5C. Apple leveraged the reductions by building the iPhone 5C as a knock-off of 2012′s iPhone 5.

    “The iPhone 5C is basically an iPhone 5 in a plastic disguise,” said Rassweiler. “The combination of the design and component reuse – and the plastic enclosure – has allowed Apple to offer a less expensive version of the iPhone, although it’s still not cheap enough to be a true low-cost smartphone.”

    IHS expected the iPhone 5C to cost even less before it began pulling one apart, largely because it had not accounted for the interior steel frame around which the plastic case is wrapped. Apple said that the frame also doubles as the smartphone’s antenna.

    “They left a lot of downward price potential on the table,” said Rassweiler of the 5C’s components, design and construction. “We had made the naive assumption that the plastic iPhone would be more plasticky. But under the plastic case is a not-inexpensive metal frame.”





    9-26-13

    www.macworld.com

  9. #18
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    Anonymous claims Apple’s Touch ID and Authentec purchase gives NSA access to fingerpr





    http://<div style="text-align: cente...DEO HERE</div>


    Interesting but totally unsubstantiated claim by Anonymous.

    …claims the group make concerning Touch ID seem to focus on Authentec director, Robert E Grady, who appears to have been a prominent figure within the George Bush administration and (Anonymous claim) was connected with The Carlyle Group, which Anonymous also claim is a majority shareholder in Booz Allen Hamilton, the NSA contractor with which whistleblower Edward Snowden worked.

    I’d like to think the government and NSA already have my fingerprints but they went out of business so NBD.





    10-1-13

    9to5mac.com

  10. #19
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    Flipcase Turns Your iPhone 5c Case Into Real Connect Four



    No matter what you think of Apple’s new iPhone 5c case — and, just for the record, I think it’s an eyesore — I think we can all at least agree that it ooks an awful lot like Mattel’s famous game, Connect Four. If only it actually worked that way…

    Well, now it does, thanks to a clever app called Flipcase.

    The idea behind Flipcase couldn’t be simpler. Just download the app, open it up, then take your iPhon 5c case off and flip it around the front of the device. Done! You’re now ready to play Connect Four just by tapping your iPhone 5c’s screen through the dots. When you’ve won, just shake to undo.


    Here’s a video of it in action:





    Video




    10-15-13

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  11. #20
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    A Look at How GT Advanced Makes Sapphire Glass for Smartphone Displays

    Yesterday, the State of Arizona and GT Advanced announced that Apple is building a new 700-employee factory in Arizona to make sapphire glass. Apple will contract with GT Advanced, with that company owning and operating furnaces and related equipment at the facility.

    Back in April, Pocketnow went to GT Advanced's factory in Massachusetts to find out how sapphire displays are made. It's likely that the facility in Arizona will use a similar process, though we do not yet know what Apple will use the sapphire for. A safe bet would be the company's rumored smart watch product -- many luxury watches use sapphire glass because of its durability.








    The process is relatively straightforward: a sapphire seed, about the size and shape of a hockey puck, is placed at the bottom of a single-use molybdenum barrel called a crucible. The crucible is then filled with a mixture of condensed corundum -a crystalline form of aluminum oxide- and a material called “crackle,” sapphire material left over from previous runs. The full crucible is then placed inside the furnace, where it sits atop the “finger,” a small liquid helium-cooled platform that prevents the sapphire seed from melting too early. The furnace is sealed, the air is evacuated, and the temperature is brought up to 2100 degrees Celsius to allow the materials to melt together. (The video says 2200, but that’s wrong. It’s 2100, for all you making-sapphire-at-home hobbyists.) The material is put through a series of cooling cycles over the next 16 or 17 days, during which time the sapphire slowly crystallizes from bottom to top. The end result is this: a 115kg cylindrical section of industrial sapphire called a “boule.”

    The new factory is expected to use next generation, large capacity furnaces with an emphasis on lower cost, higher volume sapphire glass manufacturing.

    Apple currently uses small pieces of sapphire glass -- which provides superior durability and scratch resistance to other forms of glass -- to protect the cameras on the iPhone and on the home button for the new Touch ID-equipped iPhone 5s. A report from earlier this year suggested that future smartphones may use sapphire, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide, instead of more traditional forms of glass.





    11-5-13

    www.macrumors.com

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