With just a few weeks left before Apple’s iPhone 5S launch date, consumers are searching for answers in regards to the iPhone 5S’ biggest questions. And while many of those questions have been answered, thanks to the numerous leaks that have occurred in recent weeks, there are still plenty of iPhone 5S mysteries ahead of the device’s launch date.
The new iPhone has been one of the most heavily rumored devices of 2013. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen a host of leaks, rumors and speculation emerge in regards to Apple’s new iPhone. Rumors suggest that the device will not be an iPhone 6 and that it will instead be a ‘S’ model iPhone, one that retains the design of the previous model while tacking on an assortment of upgrades in both hardware and software.
Apple’s new iPhone is heavily rumored to be making its debut on September 10th at an iPhone event that will likely take place at a venue in Northern California. Apple still hasn’t sent out invites for the event but well-placed sources agree that September 10th will be the day that the company shows off the iPhone 5S.
In the build up to the iPhone 5S launch, we’ve seen many of its features all but confirmed. We know that the device will more than likely be coming with a 4-inch Retina Display. We know that there is very little chance for a redesign as part leaks and speculation insist upon the same design as the iPhone 5S. We’re fairly certain that the device will come with an upgraded camera sensor with a new flash. And we also now know that the device is more than likely going to be called the iPhone 5S, thanks to an Apple source code leak.
Needless to say, we think we know quite a bit about the iPhone 5S, even before Apple’s announcement.
There are, however, iPhone 5S mysteries that linger, things that still haven’t been cleared up ahead of its launch event. Some of the mysteries likely won’t be cleared up until September 10th arrives.
Here, we take a look at what’s left in regards to the iPhone 5S and try and make sense of some of its missing parts.
U.S. Release Date
So far, we’ve seen two credible dates emerge as iPhone 5S release dates. September 20th has been rumored for both Greece and Japan, and if true, should mean that the United States will get the iPhone 5S on September 20th as well. The U.S. is always part of the initial batch of countries to get the iPhone so if September 20th is spot on, it should apply to the U.S. release.
We’ve also heard that the iPhone 5S will be hitting China far later than September 20th with November 28th rumored as the Chinese iPhone 5S release date. This makes a whole lot of sense given that China is trying to ramp up its LTE connectivity ahead of the iPhone 5S launch and given that the country is generally a few months behind the rest of the pack when it comes to iPhone release dates.
In fact, November 28th would be an improvement for China as the iPhone 5 did not land until December. The iPhone 5 first arrived on September 21st.
Do not expect the U.S. to get it in November or October. If the September 10th launch date is accurate, the iPhone 5S should land in the United States on September 20th.
Because the iPhone 5S is an ‘S’ iPhone, it will likely keep many of the features found on the iPhone 5 including its design and display size. It also should mean improvements in several key areas including camera, processor, and software.
In particular, the iPhone 5S software should differ from the iOS 7 that is found on the iPhone 5. With the iPhone 4S we saw the addition of Siri, the personal assistant that never came to the iPhone 4. With the iPhone 5S, we’ve heard quite a bit about what could be on board, but we still haven’t seen the iPhone 5S’ unique feature or features nailed down.
Rumors have pointed to 120fps video and slow motion video capture being possibilities. We also briefly heard about offline dictation. Recent rumors suggest that the iPhone 5S could come with a chip for motion sensing, something that could certainly be tied into the camera. We’ve also seen a heavy dose of iPhone 5S fingerprint reader rumors. Problem is, all of these things remain a bit mysterious as we have yet to see them in action or seen anything all but confirm them for arrival.
Despite that, it’s clear that the iPhone 5S should have some major differences that help Apple sell it over the iPhone 5 and the various Android competitors on the market. It’s just not clear how powerful these unique features might be.
Apple did a great job of keeping Siri away from prying eyes so expect these features to keep a bit of mystery as we approach the iPhone 5S launch.
We still haven’t heard anything in regards to iPhone 5S carriers. And while this remains a mystery at this point, it’s a mystery that can easily be solved with a look back at Apple’s history.
AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are givens thanks to their extended support for the iPhone. Consumers on those carriers needn’t worry about missing out on the new model. T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular should also have the iPhone 5S at launch thanks to T-Mobile’s adoption of the iPhone 5 and U.S. Cellular announcing earlier this year that it was going to be carrying an iPhone in 2013.
U.S. Cellular did not specify which iPhone and given that it has yet to launch one, we should see the new iPhone land on the nation’s fifth largest carrier.
So yes, carriers are still a bit of a mystery thanks to a lack of rumors but at this point, there is no reason to think that the five major carriers will miss the iPhone 5S. We should also see it emerge on a number of smaller carriers as well though those will likely remain mysteries until launch day, just like the major service providers.
They’re easy to predict though. Cricket Wireless and C Spire should be two of the first small carriers to get the iPhone 5S and we should see them followed by several others down the line.
One of the biggest mysteries that remains in regard to the iPhone 5S is about its battery life and whether it will have a massive improvement over the iPhone 5.
There are some bits of information out there that suggest that it’s a possibility. The device is thought to be running an A7 chip from Apple which could enhance performance, including battery life. Part leaks have also pointed to a larger battery being possible. Those things remain inconclusive though thanks to Apple’s history with battery life.
Apple’s iPhone battery size hasn’t changed much year-after-year:
- iPhone 4 - 1,420 mAh
- iPhone 4S - 1,432 mAh
- iPhone 5 - 1,434 mAh
Those hoping for an absolutely massive battery in the iPhone 5S should start tempering expectations. We also battery life on the iPhone 4S check in with battery life that was about the same as the iPhone 4 in some areas, but worse in others. This, according to Apple.
So while it’s possible that we’ll see a larger battery offer better battery life, it’s not confirmed, and it’s likely something that will stay unknown until Apple announces the iPhone 5S on stage.
With the iPad 4, Apple came out with a 128GB model for those that need storage beyond the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. And now, there are rumors that suggest that a 128GB model will be coming to the iPhone.
Problem is, this is something that we’ve heard rumored before in year’s past. And the rumors that we’ve been hearing about the 128GB iPhone 5S have come from an analyst and an inventory screen shot that shows a 128GB iPhone and not an iPhone 5S.
Given the iPad 128GB and these leaks, this year seems like a great candidate for a 128GB iPhone. However, the leaks are a bit flimsy making this is still far from confirmed. It’s also terribly difficult to predict.
We’ve seen Apple’s 16GB iPhone sell out quicker than the other models, likely due to price, so if Apple does come out with a 128GB, don’t be surprised if it bumps the base up to 32GB.
It’s clear that the iPhone 5S will be coming at least three colors with a gold champagne version of the device all but confirmed for arrival. However, there is now talk of a fourth iPhone 5S color.
Rumors suggest a gunmetal gray color could join the gold, black and white iPhone 5S models as a new leak seems to hint at a fourth color. Consumers should be skeptical about the new leak as it’s new and it’s something that hasn’t been rumored in the past. Perhaps Apple was able to keep it a secret for this long, perhaps it’s off base, it’s unclear.
So yes, the iPhone 5S will be coming in a new color, it’s just not clear if the gold iPhone 5S will be joined by something else. If the gray iPhone 5S is real, expect numerous leaks over the next few weeks.
We haven’t seen anything emerge yet for the iPhone 5S price in the United States. So, the price remains a mystery. However, we fully expect the iPhone 5S to check in at $199.99 on-contract, just like the other models, even if Apple comes out with a 128GB iPhone 5S.
Apple has not shown a willingness to move from that price and we should see that price arrive across the board at every carrier but T-Mobile which should offer the device off-contract. Still, the price remains a mystery though we’ve seen pricing emerge ahead of launch in the past which means consumers could have an idea ahead of September 10th.
Also unclear is how the iPhone 5S’ price will fit in with the rest of Apple’s lineup. The iPhone 5C is rumored to be coming to replace the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S and if true, it could come with a cheap on-contract and off-contract price tag. Just how much cheaper than the iPhone 5S’ premium price tag is still not clear as it’s not clear if the iPhone 5C will even make it to the United States.