“This will brighten everyone’s day” is the slogan Apple Inc. used to promote today’s iPhone keynote in Cupertino.

At this event, there was absolutely no mention of Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPad mini or even iPods. It was all about their bread and butter, the iPhone. In fact, they introduced two (2) brand new ones. These are some quick points of my impressions on the event.

iPhone 5s 

  • Touch ID. Looks fast and effective. And this makes me super excited as I care very much for data security, but find inputting a passcode tedious. I was worried it might take too long to read finger prints. It’s actually very secure as it only captures finger print data and is encrypted locally on the CPU and never in the cloud.
  • Additionally, I found the following forum quote very practical and insightful on how useful Touch ID is:

All I know is that it takes 4-5 seconds to home button + slide to unlock + passcode and even longer if you are using alpha numeric password.

Personally I unlock my phone ~50 times per day.

Saving ~4 seconds between slide to unlock and passcode is roughly ~200 seconds per day saved unlocking my phone or ~3 minutes. 3 minutes per day equates to roughly ~18 hours per year or more than $5,000 worth of lost productivity unlocking my phone.

That alone makes this touch sensor worth while.

  • 8 Megapixel camera but with larger sensor pixels and a f/2.2 aperture lens. There is a 10 still frames per second (FPS) burst mode, dual LED flash for truer skin-tone and color reproduction. There is also a 120fps “slow-motion” feature that allows you to slow down your videos natively. The engineers at Apple actually understand photography and there is a lot more to a great camera than just stuffing it with low-quality megapixels such as a ridiculous 41 megapixel Nokia Windows Phone…
  • They are also making all of the iWork apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie and iPhoto for free download. I paid for all of them.
  • There is still no sign of NFC (near field communication). However, they did mention “iBeacon” which could prove to be better in the long run. Basically, NFC is dead in the water.
  • The ‘s’ in ‘5s” stands for sensor. It has a brand new and kind of surprising M7 chip. This acts as a separate processor that is mainly used for motion detection and health-related apps. But ultimately, it will help with battery life too as it takes a lot of the workload off the main processor. For the Apple website:

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot.

  • Lastly, it has the new A7 ship. The 5s boasts the worlds first smart phone with a 64-bit processor. Any other device had a 32-bit processor. This big jump brings the 5s’ CPU to the level of a desktop. However, admittedly, at this moment in time, this upgrade may be a bit overkill. But we shall see as it is apparently required for the finger print scanner and the new camera features. Those saying that the 5s isn’t a significant update are clueless. This is a incredibly significant upgrade in smart phone chip sets.
  • So, to sum up the 5s, if ground-breaking performance, the best smartphone camera and unparalleled security are important to you, then pick up it up on September 20, 2013.

iPhone 5c

Looks better than I expected. I think we were all slightly fooled into believing that it would be JUST solid colours. While it is kind of, Apple brought forth their 80’s looking silicon cases that add contrast and variations in different color combinations. It think it looks fun. Overall, I feel this might just be Jony Ive’s most “pure” iteration of the iPhone to date, even more so than the 5s. The five variations are right from the new iOS 7 color palette.

“We believe the iPhone is an experience. And experience is defined by hardware and software working harmoniously together. We continue to refine that experience by blurring the boundaries between the two,” Ive says early on in the video. The words are spoken as only a man now in charge of both hardware and software design can speak.

But essentially, the 5c is just a plastic polycarbonate 5. The only downer is that off-contract, it is $545 for the 16GB model, which is only $100 less than the base iPhone 5s model. I thought it would have been cheaper in the $350 USD range.

On Apple’s new iPhone strategy

The most controversial aspect of today’s event was iPhone pricing. I see a schism developing among the tech punditry. On one hand, there is the belief that market share is king and Apple must address the bottom of the market because developers will begin to focus on Android’s sheer numbers instead of iOS. On the other side, where I stand, market share is not created equal. It is okay if Apple doesn’t address the lower end of the market since five consumers who don’t buy mobile apps or content is not equal to one who does. Looking at today’s events, I think Apple is doing the right thing gradually moving down market (iPhone 4 and 4S have not been discontinued). This strategy will only expand in coming years. With approximately 400M-500M (and growing) active iOS users with credit cards, I view the iOS ecosystem as now self-sustaining, capable of app innovation as long as the hardware and software back developers up.  If I changed sides and instead only looked at market share, I’m sure I would have been championing Symbian, then Blackberry, and now Android. Market share is not everything.

I fully agree and could not have said it any better myself. We should all start following @SammyWalrusIV on Twitter.