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iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 5: 5 Things Buyers Need to Know



While nothing is confirmed, Apple is expected to replace the iPhone 5 with a new flagship, the iPhone 5S, sometime later this year. And while the iPhone 5 will be replaced, it remains, and will remain a viable option for consumers even after the arrival of the new iPhone, meaning, it will be a competitor to the iPhone 5S in the eyes of buyers.

Last fall, after months and months of leaks and speculation, Apple delivered the new iPhone 5 alongside its current mobile operating system, iOS 6, the software that the company debuted at WWDC 2012. The iPhone 5 was a landmark iPhone for a number of reasons.

Read: Why You Shouldn’t Buy the iPhone 5S Release Date Hype.

An iPhone 5S will likely compete against the iPhone 5 for attention.

An iPhone 5S will likely compete against the iPhone 5 for attention.

One, it sported a new design comprised out of aluminum and glass, something that came in stark contrast to the plastic and glass of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Two, it came with 4G LTE data speeds, something that had never been available on previous incarnations of the iPhone. And finally, the iPhone 5 debuted with a 4-inch display, larger than any of the previous iPhone displays which historically had been 3.5-inches in size.

Despite aggressive competition from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One, the iPhone 5 remains one of the best smartphone options on the table for consumers, even after Apple replaces it later this year.

Apple is heavily rumored to be replacing the iPhone 5 with a new flagship iPhone, something that is unsurprising given that Apple releases a new iPhone every year. The device isn’t though to be an iPhone 6 with a redesign but rather, an iPhone 5S, an incremental update to the iPhone 5. The device is thought to have a number of upgrades from last year’s iPhone, upgrades that should make it an extremely appealing device to those looking for a new device in the months ahead.

The iPhone 5S won’t however completely replace the iPhone 5 as an option. No, even come September, or whenever Apple releases the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5 will remain on shopping lists. So what should buyers know about this brewing match up between the old and the new?

Here, we take a look at the five most important things buyers need to know about the upcoming battle between the rumored Phone 5S and the aging iPhone 5.


The iPhone 5S could support Advanced-LTE which would benefit U.S. customers at some point down the road.

The iPhone 5S could support Advanced-LTE which would benefit U.S. customers at some point down the road.

Know this. The iPhone 5S will definitely be faster than the iPhone 5.

Apple’s iPhone pattern suggests that the company will keep the design, offer an upgraded camera, and install a new faster processor inside the next iPhone. The iPhone 5S’ processor has been rumored to be an A6X chip, same as in the iPad 4, or a new A7 CPU that could deliver enhanced performance. Whatever the case may be, look for it to be better than the iPhone 5’s CPU, the A6.

What this means is that the device will likely be snappier when it comes to software and specifically things like multitasking and more importantly, it should be able to better handle games. That’s not all either.

In addition, Apple is rumored to be putting support for Advanced-LTE on its iPhone 5S. And while that might not make a difference at first, will likely make a difference before the end of a two year contract as carriers like Verizon look to upgrade their LTE networks after deployment. As we’ve pointed out, Advanced-LTE allows for download speeds up to 150 Mbps while today’s LTE networks, on average, promise speeds up to around 10 Mbps on the download side.

It’s also possible that we’ll see Apple install the Wi-Fi 802.11ac networking standard on the iPhone 5S. If true, it would mean that the iPhone 5S could have internet speeds that are three times faster than they currently are over Wi-Fi.

With the processor and upgrade to 802.11ac extremely likely, we should see a device that is speedier than the iPhone 5, something that should be exciting for not only power users but those that love to stream content or play games on their iPhone.


Know this. While a redesigned iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S would be exciting, it isn’t likely to happen. But why? Well, history and rumors.

We can’t say for sure what the iPhone 5S will look like but given that Apple has kept a design around for two years and the next iPhone is rumored to be an ‘S’ iPhone, it’s likely that it will have a similar, if not identical design to the iPhone 5. And that’s not a bad thing.

A new Best Buy iPhone 5 deal starts on Memorial Day weekend 2013.

Expect the same design on both devices.

The industrial design of the iPhone 5 is top of the line featuring a frame that is one of the lightest (112 grams) and thinnest (7.1mm) on the market. Yes, Apple would be wise to introduce something to ensure more durability, particularly around its sides where the aluminum shows wear and tear, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Rumors also suggest that Apple will be keeping a similar frame with leaked parts and information suggesting that a redesign is unlikely. So for buyers that hated the design of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5S isn’t likely going to be appealing. However, for those that can stomach one of the best smartphone designs in existence, the iPhone 5S should work out perfectly.


Know this. The iPhone 5S camera is likely going to put the iPhone 5 camera to shame.

Rumors suggest a number of things about the iPhone 5S but they all seem to agree on an upgraded camera inside the slim frame of the next iPhone. Whispering suggests a 13MP sensor, possibly from Sony, something that would likely make for better photos and video in noisy environments. Yes, the iPhone 5 camera is good, but there is certainly room for improvement.

The iPhone 5S will more than likely have an upgraded camera.

The iPhone 5S will more than likely have an upgraded camera.

In addition, recently, rumors have pointed to an iPhone 5S possibly coming with some unique software features for the camera. It’s said that it could arrive with slo-mo and 120fps video capture which would be a delight for those that often use their iPhone camera.

While the exact details haven’t been nailed down, Apple typically updates its iPhone camera year-after-year and it’s safe to bet on the iPhone 5S camera being one of the company’s focal and selling points when it arrives later this year.


Know this. Those that aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on their next smartphone will want to heavily consider the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 is and will be a great device for years to come thanks to Apple’s fantastic hardware and its insistence on keeping its software fresh for a number of years down the road. In fact, Apple tends to keep its iPhones updated for three years, case in point, the iPhone 3GS which received iOS 4 when the iPhone 4 came out, iOS 5 when the iPhone 4S came out and iOS 6 when the iPhone 5 came out.

This means that the iPhone 5 will remain a solid buy. So why is this important? It’s important because the iPhone 5 will be much cheaper than the iPhone 5S. Apple will likely start the iPhone 5S at $199.99 on-contract, dropping the iPhone 5 down to $99 or so.

What’s more is that retailers and carriers will likely be selling the iPhone 5 for much cheaper as they look to off-load their stock of the elder iPhone. Buyers who are looking for a deal should look no further than the iPhone 5 which will be a stellar buy at anything below $100.


Know this. The iPhone 5S should have all of the same carriers of the iPhone 5.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all expected to have the iPhone 5S at launch because they all currently sell the iPhone 5 and below. However, there should be another major carrier involved at launch as well.

The iPhone 5S should have a wide range of carrier options, like the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S should have a wide range of carrier options, like the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5.

U.S. Cellular, earlier this year, announced its intention to carry the iPhone. It did not specify which iPhone it would carry, only that it would carry an iPhone. At this point, given the close proximity of the iPhone 5S launch this fall, it’s likely going to wait to carry the next iPhone.

The nation’s fifth largest carrier won’t be as attractive as the other options for lots of people but there are people that will certainly be interested. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the iPhone 5 arrive as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 5S.



  1. Jamie

    07/12/2013 at 2:00 pm

    I still think Apple is going to surprise everyone with iPhone 6.

    • Larry

      07/13/2013 at 8:44 am

      I believe you on that!! The 5s will be no different it’s always the S models don’t buy it’s just a slight upgrade the iPhone 6 will be worth waiting on!! Good post Jamie

  2. Steven Zyler

    07/12/2013 at 3:56 pm

    Interesting article and good read… except that by the time I got to the fifth “Know this”, I think I got a headache…

    • sarah

      07/14/2013 at 3:22 am

      lmaooo ‘know this’: i felt the same way

  3. Patrick McDonald

    07/12/2013 at 5:38 pm

    “the plastic and glass of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4”
    WTF? Both were aluminum and glass, exactly like their successor, the iPhone 5 !!

    • Chris Basden

      07/26/2013 at 9:07 am

      There is a small amount of plastic in the housing around the front and back glass. If you look closely at the edge of the screen on all three devices, you can just barely make it out. It’s less pronounced on the iPhone 5, but still there.

  4. Eli

    07/12/2013 at 11:03 pm

    Other than the camera, I don’t really have a reason to upgrade. Does anyone feel the same?

    • Angus

      07/13/2013 at 10:40 pm

      I feel the same to

  5. Firdaus Rizal

    07/13/2013 at 12:10 am

    I wish iPhone 5S will have 5-inch, IGZO-powered multi-touch display with 2272X1280 resolution and Retina Display.

    • Larry

      07/13/2013 at 8:56 am

      That’s the iPhone 6!! Not iPhone 5S!! Do you think apple will do a two year in a row drastic changes ?? Don’t count on that, why do they do the S model aka 3GS. 4S. Now 5S?? They every two year do a nice change like the past like the iPhone 3G the iPhone 4
      Current iPhone 5, so don’t count on iPhone 5S to have that 1280×2272 or 5 inch display till 2014!! Hey I’m with you I hope they pull a secret this year but I don’t count on that from past released models , we just hope they do cause android will out do apple if they don’t soon! I try not to trust all the apple rumor mill till the day apple does there announcement on the new iPhone than we see the truth come out..hope Tim cook can show him self like great Steve jobs did!! R.I.P. Steve we miss you!!

  6. LaShunda TruVirgo Jefferson

    07/13/2013 at 7:34 pm

    @ Firdaus…I wish there was a larger screen as well…I’m really torn between upgrading to the Galaxy S4 instead of the IPhone 5 because of the screen size alone. I’ve had an IPhone since the 3GS, but I’m really thinking I’m ready for change…something different/

    • Larry

      07/13/2013 at 8:42 pm

      I had the iPhone 5 do yourself a favor go with the galaxy S4 family and friends who have it and love it and some were iPhone owners in the past and since the S4 they won’t even look at a iPhone again!! I myself went with the HTC ONE. Close to the S4 and Iyself will never go iPhone again!! I traded my iPhone 5 in on a HTC ONE and was the best I ever did and love the bigger and cleaner screen

    • Angus

      07/13/2013 at 10:44 pm

      Well you can’t use the S4 with one hand like the iPhone 5

      • IOU812

        07/14/2013 at 7:47 am

        You have monster hands or what ?? If you want to drop it two hands should be used

  7. Sharan India

    07/13/2013 at 11:58 pm

    i want a bigger screen iphone 6 from apple this year..OTHERWISE I WILL be very dissapointed from apple

  8. sarah

    07/14/2013 at 3:20 am

    i dont care wat they release i want it. dying 4 it. omg i cant wait anymore!!!!! need a new iphone rite now :)

    • IOU812

      07/14/2013 at 7:52 am

      Not worth dying for apple iPhone I have a iPhone 5 in white new 64 gb and has sat in a box since last year!! Been happy with my Samsung galaxy S4,,, ya I know a waste of a iPhone not wanted I may sell on ebay or trade in for a new nicer phone at years end but no iPhone!!

      • sarah

        07/14/2013 at 7:55 am

        ur entitled 2 ur own opinion, as am i :)

        i absolutely LOVE my iphone 5 64gb cant imagine my life without. hence why i cant wait 4 the next one. i cant help it thats the way i feel :):):)

        • IOU812

          07/14/2013 at 5:49 pm

          Why don’t you make love with it?? Put it in vibrate mode u might like that?? You can’t live with out it, I hope your bf leaves u if he had already!! Or u a dyke?? Apple sucks and so do u??

          • sarah

            07/14/2013 at 5:53 pm

            wow that was harsh. im not into posting hate comments but thnx 4 ur suggestions. i dont believe i have attacked u personally so im ok with u saying wat u want 2me. agen i just love my iphone. not meaning 2 offend u sorry its just how i feel :) peace

          • Mickey

            08/01/2013 at 9:50 pm

            Wow does it make you feel big and clever talking like that to people unprovoked? I don’t usually comment on things like this but right now I just can’t help myself… You are a self-righteous arrogant pathetic little boy, I hate people like you who put people down for no reason and if I could say it to your face I would. You don’t deserve the air you breathe.

          • sarah

            08/01/2013 at 10:23 pm

            wow thanks mickey :) that was incredibly kind of u :) no ones ever defended me on a forum b4 lol ur the first. thanks for going out of ur way :)

            btw that user had since apologised. not sure wat brought on his initial attack. i was careful not 2 attack anyone personally, posting hate comments is so cruel i cudnt do such a thing. thnx agen :) peace

          • alex

            09/09/2013 at 10:21 pm

            How about you play in traffic? Your a waiste of semen? No purpose for you? You a spitefull hateful human being?? Hey have you got run over yet?? Close your eyes?? Walk into a freeway exit???

      • Ed

        07/14/2013 at 2:40 pm

        Hey Samsung Galaxy S4 is crap okey? I will never beat an apple. You sound like a jealous samsung user. Remember iPhone destroy S4 in every way! S4 is laggy as hell! and very very unreliable!

    • Cwen

      07/15/2013 at 4:54 pm

      Omg, you are really apple fangirl haha, i do, but i just want a bigger screen, at least 5 inch, i don’t like android os, so that i’ll wait for apple to release the iphone 6 with bigger screen and rear canera with 13MP and super retina display with great battery

  9. Sonia

    07/14/2013 at 11:01 am

    Goin through ‘Telstra’ why is it that only the iPhone “s” models have the “blue tick” ??? (Gives better coverage when going far from towers) having to wait to upgrade every 2 yrs is ridiculous..

    Silly me has supplied all members of my family with iPads, n will be handing down the iphone4 to my eldest.. If it wasn’t for iMessage make it easier for contact on wifi, I would be changing to the S4….
    They are quite interesting phones!!! N I see so many ppl thinking the same way, or just converting…
    But!! the Samsung galaxy don’t have blue tick on any of their models (only thing that hasn’t fully converted me)
    I do hope the 5S has some surprises :-/

  10. IOU812

    07/14/2013 at 7:29 pm

    Sorry Sarah I just trust apple, I never saw a device that had update after update and got worse every time such as iPhone 5 did, the battery, the maps, screen issues, overheating, you name it, it’s all been in posts on this and other sites since the ip 5 release sept 21st 2012 and now a new one?? Wen they can’t even fix the 5 yet, all the $$$ apple makes it shows they are out for the bank and not the product or customer and if a new big screen and more like the 5 you can count on issues from hell with 5S or the 6 on ios 7!! And I’m sorry I just hate to see disappointed iPhone post due to apple failures and people get excited wen a new one gets out than to find out how bad it works down the line..

    • sarah

      07/14/2013 at 8:46 pm

      thanks 4 that :) ive had iphone 3g, 4, 4s & 5. plus ipad 4 and ipod 4th generation and mayb im just lucky but ive nevr ever had a prob!! i guess my user xperience has just been perfct :) thats why im such a fan :) i guess i can understand wat ur saying but as with any device problems can occurr. theyr human made devices and with any company at any time, problems may occurr :)

  11. Wendy

    07/14/2013 at 11:11 pm

    I am with u Sarah. My iPhone 4S, ipad4 and my Mac r more reliable than any other device I have used. Apple just makes a good product.

    • sarah

      07/14/2013 at 11:23 pm

      thanks Wendy :) sure like many ppl out there i do wish apple make their system more open or use widgets & live icons etc but if they do or dont i would stil choose their products first. because evrything works so damn beautifully!

      i dnt want a nice looking fancy system that cant even get the basics rite. i want evrything 2 run smoothly and thats sumthing u always get from apple the reliability of apple products i have found 2 b unparallelled thus far. my opinion :)

  12. Cwen

    07/15/2013 at 5:04 pm

    I’m with you sarah, apple’s product is very good smooth product and design, the other phone maybe have so much fiture, but if the phone is laggy, omg, i hate it, just like you fill sarah

    • sarah

      07/15/2013 at 5:11 pm

      thanks cwen :) glad 2 hear u feel the same way! i am a big apple fan its coz their so so awesome!

      for me a different phone is not an option becoz it cant beat the functionality i get with apple products especially iphone 5 :) so im counting down the days for the 5s. an even faster apple iphone is enough 4 me to buy it, all other features would b a bonus :) thats just my opinion. peace :)

      • R3Fury

        07/26/2013 at 8:19 am

        its funny that Sarah’s first comment was that she wanted the next iphone, no matter what it was and she sounded like a fanboy(girl), but in previous posts, she made it clear as to why she wants to stay with Apple and its because of the functionality… I agree with her 110% because as a business person, my computer talks perfectly with my phone… The cloud system is unbeatable between al apple products and u cant beat getting a text message right on your desktop… and with dropzone now coming to the new IOS7, you dont even need to physically touch the phones… nough said i think

        • sarah

          08/01/2013 at 10:09 pm

          R3Fury, ill b honest with u. that first post i made was the first post i had ever made on any forum and i was a bit weary that i would get hate comments which i did lol but i found it a bit easier to explain myself more in the latr posts. i really purchased my iphone 3g having no idea about apple or anything. the experience of the 3g came as a complete surprise at just how good it was. the latr apple iphones i purchased was the same now im on iphone 5 & the satisfaction is still growing. its just the way i honestly feel. my user experience with apple has been amazing. i dont mean 2 offend anyone. oh btw i cudnt agree with ur comment more. thanks 4 ur comment :):):) peace

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