Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Two new iPhones expected to fall from the Apple tree

By Kevin Hollerbach

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Flickr/William Hook

If you are stuck in a love-hate relationship with your current phone, the end is in sight. Apple is expected to announce one (or more) new iPhone models as well as other products and software during a special Sept. 10 media event. The new iPhones are expected to be released later this month. While Apple’s complete plans remain a mystery, the online rumor mill has been anything but quiet. Here are some new releases to keep an eye out for:

iOS 7

One Apple specialty that is rumored to be released this month is the latest edition of its mobile operating system, iOS 7. Previewed by Apple at the World Wide Developers Conference in June, it will be available as a free software update for iPhone models ranging from the iPhone 4 to the newest, yet-to-be-released model, as well as iPad and iPad 2 models.

IOS 7 boasts a completely overhauled user interface – a result of a new head software designer at Apple headquarters. The update will have a significantly simpler, cleaner look than previous versions.

The screen’s background moves slightly based on the angle at which the user holds the phone, giving the home screen the perception of depth. It also includes new features such as “Control Center,” which allows users to access commonly used settings – such as Wi-Fi, brightness and Bluetooth— easily from any application. A new feature called “Airdrop” is packaged with iOS 7 as well, which allows users to share files between iPhones and Macs easily without having to send a text or email.

Though the registered developers who have been able to beta test iOS 7 have been overwhelmingly pleased with all of the changes, the public will be the deciding factor in the success of iOS 7.

iPhone

Apple’s product-naming system is fairly easy to predict by now. First, Apple releases a phone with a product number, such as 3G, 4 and 5. It then later revitalizes that model’s shell with a better processor, camera and battery life, earning the addition of an “S” to the name.

This year looks to be no different. The subsequent iPhone model will most likely be named the iPhone 5S, rather than the iPhone 6.
Appearing in leaked photos on sites like Forbes and Mashable, the iPhone 5S will come with dual LED flashes on the backside to help the camera perform better in low-light settings. It is rumored that the sensor in the 5S will remain at 8-megapixels, but that other improvements to the camera will make up for the stagnant resolution. Some reports suggest that there might be a high-speed video function as well, allowing users to make stunning slow-motion videos.

There is no official word of an upgraded battery life or processor, but a new dual-core A7 chip is probable and would boost the phone’s processing power by about 31 percent, according to TechCrunch. What’s more, rumors have suggested that gold might be added as a third color option for the 5S, and some have stated that this color could replace the black/slate color option available for the iPhone 5.

As for a few less conclusive predictions, some developers beta testing the new iPhone discovered the ability to unlock the phone via a fingerprint scan within the code of the iOS 7 beta software. In addition, in photos of prototypes for the iPhone 5S, the home button appears to be a concave sapphire crystal button that will also function as the fingerprint scanner. Many users also await the ability to perform simple tasks with Siri, Apple’s voice-activated phone navigation application, when an internet connection isn’t available.

Other leaked photos from supply chains have implied that an even newer iPhone model, the 5C, (with the “C” standing for “color”) will be released this month. This model is presumed to have the same specs as the iPhone 5, but with a colored plastic back available in black, white, red, yellow, blue and green. For a lower price, this phone will be missing some features that the iPhone 5 and 5S are packaged with.

iPhone 5S is expected to begin at $199 with a contract, the same price point as the iPhone 5 upon its release. The slightly less complex iPhone 5C will probably be placed within the same price bracket as the iPhone 4: free with a contract. Some speculate that Apple plotted the cheaper alternative to gain an edge in competitive smartphone markets overseas, where cheaper phones hold a stronger share of sales.

iPad

A new iPad or iPad mini is expected to arrive this month, but whether it will be announced at the Sept. 10 media event on is yet to be seen. When the update does arrive, the new, larger iPad will have a design refresh with a black back and thinner bezel, according to leaked pictures on CNET. The update will make the tablet’s appearance similar to its younger relative, the iPad mini. The iPad mini may be updated as well, and new features are likely to include a retina display like the standard iPad.

In addition to its flagship devices, Apple is also working behind the scenes on a full-sized Smart TV—a television with Internet features— and an iWatch. It is possible, but unlikely, that either of these devices make an appearance on scheduled media event day. But until that day comes, no one can be certain what will fall from Apple’s tech tree.

Kevin Hollerbach can be reached at [email protected]

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