The iPhone 5S will need to bring a collection of new features and options to convince user it’s worth the upgrade and a new analyst note points to a new color, a 128GB storage option, several camera enhancements and a details about a new Apple A7 processor and RAM for the new iPhone.
While specs may not matter in the overall scheme of usability, the iPhone 5S specs remain an area of great interest to many iPhone owners who want a means of looking at the iPhone 5S vs. the iPhone 5 in an easy to compare manner. Some of the rumored iPhone 5S specs matter more than others in the minds of the general consumer who may want to take better photos and store more videos on the iPhone, but could care less if there is a dual-core or quad-core processor inside the iPhone 5S.
A new note from Ming-Chi Kuo, a well known Apple analyst with a good, but not perfect track record when it comes to unreleased Apple products just issued a new note to investors that shares what he thinks the iPhone 5S specs will entail.
Kuo, of KGI Securities discovers this information from the vast Apple supply chain, which spans several continents including over 600 partners in Asia, nearly 100 in the U.S. and close to 50 in the UK. These suppliers may not know the whole story of the iPhone 5S, but by garnering details from multiple sources within the supply chain Kuo is able to discern trends that point towards Apple’s plans ahead of the official iPhone 5S announcement.
The new investor report shared on Apple Insider late Thursday evening highlights possible iPhone 5S specs that Kuo believes will add up to make the iPhone 5S a contender in 2013. These include some previously heard rumors which are very likely and others that are plausible and worth noticing, but still worthy of some skepticism.
According to the note, we can expect the same 4-inch Retina Display as the iPhone 5, and a very similar design, which is not a surprise given Apple’s previous “S” iPhone upgrades.
Here’a a look at what could be new when the iPhone 5S event arrives, likely on September 10th.
Gold iPhone 5S Color Option
Talk of a gold iPhone 5S color option is nothing new, but Kuo believes Apple will use this new color option to help differentiate from the iPhone 5S. We’ve seen numerous leaks of parts supposedly for a gold iPhone 5S or a champagne iPhone 5S, but most are simply SIM trays and volume buttons which are far from conclusive.
Hearing Kuo discuss a gold iPhone 5S isn’t as good as seeing Tim Cook show one off on stage, but it is leaps and bounds better than a leaked SIM card tray.
The image above from Martin Hajek shows what a gold iPhone 5S could look like. It is a mock up or render, not a leaked photo of a gold iPhone 5S.
128GB iPhone 5S
Upping the storage on the iPhone 5S is another way Apple could differentiate the new iPhone from the iPhone 5. The not points to a 128GB iPhone 5S storage option, which would double the highest current iPhone 5 storage selection.
Apple released a 128GB iPad 4 earlier this year, so there is some precedent for a larger capacity iPhone 5S, but this would definitely be a first and it remains unseen if many consumers would pay even more for a new iPhone.
As HD video files and app sizes grow, one possibility is that Apple will drop the 16GB iPhone 5S option to offer a 32GB iPhone 5S at $199, keeping the top end 128GB iPhone 5S at a reasonable $399 on contract.
Better iPhone 5S Camera
While previous rumors suggested the iPhone 5S camera sensor would jump to 12-13MP, Kuo believes it will stay at 8MP with a larger aperture and a new dual-LED flash.
If Apple sticks with an 8MP sensor it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be a surprising option as the competition bumps up MP ratings. Megapixels aren’t everything, but to many consumers comparing phones it’s an important spec.
The iPhone 5 features a f2.4 aperture, and Kuo believes the iPhone 5S will go bigger at f2.0. In short this means the iPhone 5S camera would let more light in. This would mean better low light photos and could help the iPhone 5S take faster photos in the same amount of light. The image below illustrates the difference between an f2.4 and f2.0 aperture, using the iPhone 5 and HTC One as examples.
For a comparison, look at the photo sample below which shows an f2.4 on the left as shot with the iPhone 5 and an f2.0 on the right as shot with the HTC One. Neither photo is perfect, but it is a good example of how a larger aperture can let in more light in the same setting.
The note also discusses a dual LED flash, which could deliver a better overall photo experience. A previous note claims this will include two flash LED colors for a more natural look for iPhone 5S photos taken with a flash.
Faster, Powerful iPhone 5S Specs
When it comes to the iPhone 5S specs, Kuo’s speculation is for an Apple A7 processor, which is very probable given the A6 processor in the iPhone 5. He also suggests the iPhone 5S will come with 1GB of RAM, compared to the 2GB on the Galaxy S4 and the 3GB expected on the Galaxy Note 3, but that Apple has a trick up it’s sleeve.
iOS 7, the Apple A7 processor and the new LPDDR3 RAM in the iPhone 5S could combine for up to 20% more efficiency and more overall memory available.
The note also addresses the rumored Sapphire home button with a fingerprint reader inside that could deliver a more secure iPhone 5S. by letting users login with the swipe of a finger.
Apple is reportedly holding an event on September 10th to announce the iPhone 5S and possibly the iPhone 5C. If this goes as planned, we could see iPhone 5S pre-orders later that week, iOS 7 by September 18th and an iPhone 5S release on September 20th, based on the timing of previous iPhone launches.