iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 5: What Buyers Need to Know Right Now Adam Mills07/30/2013 With fall on the way, smartphone buyers are likely becoming increasingly conflicted about which phone to pick up thanks to a healthy dose of rumored devices which included the Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and iPhone 5S. Those leaning towards an iPhone are likely debating between the rumored iPhone and the iPhone 5 and thanks to rumors, there are some important details that consumers need to know about their match up right now. During the first half of last year, rumors of an iPhone 5 were rampant with the company rumored to be introducing a revamped, redesigned iPhone to replace the iPhone 4S. Initial rumors had pointed to a redesigned iPhone 5 in the fall and that’s exactly what occurred. Just ahead of its September launch, Apple issued invites for an event in the early part of the month. That event wound up being the launch pad for the current iPhone model, the iPhone 5.Advertisement The iPhone 5 went on sale just a few weeks later, thought thanks to demand, the device was nearly impossible to find for the first few weeks of its existence. The demand was due in part to the iPhone 5’s upgrades which included 4G LTE data speeds, a new larger 4-inch display and a redesign that replaced the plastic and glass with glass and metal and slimmed the device down to a mere 7.1mm. To this day, the iPhone 5 remains one of the best smartphone options on the market and one that all smart shoppers should be taking a look at.Advertisement The iPhone 5’s reign will come to an end at some point though and it’s looking like that reign will be toppled by a new iPhone dubbed the iPhone 5S which is expected to make its debut later on this year. Unlike some companies, Apple typically keeps its older smartphones around with cheap price tags, meaning, the iPhone 5 still has a lot of life left in it.Advertisement As we approach its launch date, consumers are likely wondering how it stacks up against the iPhone 5S. And while we can’t be sure, there is enough out there to make some comparisons. Here is what prospective iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S buyers need to know right now. iPhone 5S Launch Approaching Fast The iPhone 5S launch date is approaching fast. Rumors about the iPhone 5S launch have been swirling in recent weeks as we approach the start of fall, set to begin in late September. While Apple has yet to issue any invites to a media event and with insiders shooting down specific launch dates, it’s still not entirely clear when Apple is planning to announce the iPhone 5S.Advertisement However, September at this point seems to be the most likely candidate. Rumors all point to a September launch and iOS 7 release rumors also are pointing to September. It’s possible that all of this information is off base but it’s looking increasingly likely that September is going to contain the iPhone 5S launch date. Read: Apple Partner Lines Up Key iPhone 5S Component for Production. What this means is that prospective iPhone 5 buyers may want to put their money down and wait a few weeks to see what develops. At this point, it’s clear that things are moving forward and a launch is imminent. And buyers would be foolish to pay full price for the iPhone 5 right now with a replacement on the way and an iPhone 5 price drop coming in the near future. iPhone 5 Price Drop Recently, a rumor emerged indicating that Apple will be dropping the iPhone 5 from its lineup once the iPhone 5S arrives, a move that would apparently be aimed at bolstering iPhone 5S sales. As we’ve pointed out, there are tons of holes in this rumor and it’s unlikely to happen. Instead, Apple will more than likely drop the iPhone 5 price down to $99 on-contract, same as it did with the iPhone 4S before it, and offer the iPhone 5S at $199.99 on-contact. This will obviously make the iPhone 5 way more attractive than it is right now especially because it’s a smartphone that will receive iOS updates for years to come.Advertisement Don’t expect the iPhone 5 to disappear from shelves. Even if Apple does drop the iPhone 5 from its lineup, retailers will still have plenty of stock left and we should see them drop their prices regardless of what Apple does.Advertisement So if the iPhone 5 is looking like a must-have device, it’s wise to wait just a few more weeks before making that purchase. Fingerprint Reader Appears Likely Thanks to the iOS 7 beta 4, we now know that there is a very good chance that we could see the iPhone 5S arrive with a fingerprint reader, something that has been rumored for months. A fingerprint reader has been rumored to be at least one of the iPhone 5S’ unique features and one of its major selling points over the iPhone 5. However, rumors have been back and forth about whether or not Apple will be able to get the parts sourced ahead of the iPhone 5S’ launch. Well, iOS 7 itself seems to have nearly confirmed the fingerprint reader for arrival and prospective buyers need to start preparing for this to be one of the device’s heralded features. An iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor seems likely. The code found in iOS 7 beta 4 did not reveal much but it does point to a built-in fingerprint reader in the home button which would bring added security to a device that is a big target for thieves. This figures to be one of the big upgrades on the iPhone 5S though it remains to be seen if Apple can make it something that buyers will want to buy into. Little Chance for Redesign We’re likely only weeks away from an iPhone 5S launch and there are still no credible rumors that suggest that Apple will be incorporating a massive design change with the iPhone 5S. Instead, they all point to Apple using the same aluminum design that is both slim and lightweight. Read: Huge iPhone 5S Leak: Is This What the New iPhone Will Look Like?. This isn’t surprising as Apple tends to keep designs around for two years before issuing a redesign. So those expecting the iPhone 5S to differ from the iPhone 5 from a design standpoint need to start tempering those expectations as the devices will more than likely look identical when they appear on shelves together later this year. Don’t Expect a Larger Display Rumors have suggested that Apple might boost the iPhone 5S display up to 4.3-inches but as we’ve pointed out, that seems very unlikely. Instead, Apple will likely keep the size of the iPhone the same, meaning 4-inches. Don’t expect any major changes to the design or display size. There is however talk of improvements to the display that don’t have to do with size or resolution. While the iPhone 5S is said to have a Retina Display, there are also rumors that the device could have a Sharp IGZO display, something that could help increase battery life. This certainly remains a possibility. A this point though, buyers should expect an iPhone 5S display that offers similar resolution at a similar size. Those looking for something different, something bigger, will likely have to wait until next year. iPhone 5S Shortages Buyers will want to decide on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 or something else as early as possible. Those preparing for the iPhone 5S should know that while the iPhone 5 will most likely be readily available, there is a good chance that the iPhone 5S will be in short supply come fall. For one, new iPhone models almost always fall victim to stock shortages thanks to high demand. However, in the case of the iPhone 5S, recent rumors indicate that the device’s fingerprint reader could cause heavy shortages after its released. What this means is that buyers will likely need to quickly decide between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5 once the new iPhone launches. Apple typically offers an iPhone pre-order shortly after launch so unless buyers want to wait for several weeks or months before getting the iPhone 5S, a quick decision, probably ahead of launch, is going to be the wise choice.