What Most Missed in Apple’s iPhone 5s & 5c Announcement


Beyond Fingers and Paint…

Apple at launch will be the best health monitor, handheld gaming, camera and video editing tool ever created… oh and you can check Facebook, Tweet, text and make a phone call too.

The 64 bit processor is a huge deal for the current product and has created another leap forward for smartphones.  Apple could have stopped there, let developers create amazing things, but they didn’t and announced the M7 chip as well. The M7 combined with the A7 is the nervous system and brain for the quantified self.

Cool Technology Missed (it’s only a paragraph of boring for non-techies before the fun stuff):

32 bits of information can only access 4 GB of RAM, a 64-bit machine can access 17.2 billion gigabytes of system memory. With 64-bit, each application has access to 8 TB of virtual memory without any special API, instead of 2 GB limit with 32 bit.  This becomes an issue as people want to do more tasks on the phone rather than on a desktop like video editing.  It also gives a huge advantage for companies moving towards being able to display and control applications in the cloud and security associated with those applications.  All of these are RAM hogs that may need what only a 64-bit chip can provide.  If you want to learn more about 32 vs 64 bit, Google it… it’s a huge leap forward.

Why it Matters – Quantified Self

The M7 chip is a dedicated health and fitness chip. This will help preserve battery life when using these apps, and will enable a whole new set of peripherals that will perform better on an iPhone than any other device.

Fitness apps are the big data play for individuals allowing us to measure sleep, activity, food, oxygen levels, heartbeat, glucose levels, etc. or lumped all together in the term the quantified self.  For perspective on how big this trend is, API calls on fitness apps last Halloween were almost non-existent, by Memorial Day weekend they were over 50 million per day. Just looking just at one peripheral, the Jawbone Up band, it is recording billions of steps and 700k hours of sleep per day.

Why do Americans care? Well because it’s killing them.  The leading cause of premature death is cited as behavioral patters per the New England Journal of Medicine. Having a device that Americans on average check 150x per day, is the logical command center for tracking our health.  The M7 combined with the A7 is the nervous system and brain for the quantified self.

Why it Matters – Camera and Video Editing

100 hours of video are uploaded every minute from ZERO six years ago (aka before the iPhone,) this will become the easiest, fastest device to do that with. The 5S has two LEDs one white, one amber. It analyzes the lighting in the room, adjusting the color of the flash accordingly. I might actually turn on my iPhone flash.  Combined with the auto-focusing feature it will create the best pictures every time.  Photographers look out.  With Vogue recently shooting an entire fashion shoot with just an iPhone this might make SLRs worry.

What Wall Street Missed – Global Cheap strategy – 5c and Free 4s

With the 5c, and the 4s as the real cheap alternative, Apple is looking to capture the global market. Globally there are roughly 1.5B smartphone users compared to 5B mobile feature phone users.  In the US 58% of all phone subscribers have a smartphone (219M) versus only 29% in China (354M).

As of last May, only 15% of global internet traffic was over smartphones.  Last June nearly three-quarters of Chinese accessed the internet via a mobile phone, passing those accessing it via a desktop and up from 22% in December of 2007. The US is growing at 28% Y/Y, while China even with the larger base is growing at 31%. The migration of the rest of the world to a mobile world is core to Apple’s strategy and these phones address it.

What Many Media Outlet Got Plain Wrong… aka the corrections:

No NPR the 5c is not “basically the same as a 4s.”  It’s more of an upgraded 5 (improved battery life,) the 4s is available for free (with a contract.)

You cannot pre-order the new 5s.  It will be available on 9/20. (Which is annoying!!!)

5 thoughts on “What Most Missed in Apple’s iPhone 5s & 5c Announcement

  1. Where is NFC, IR, user memory expansion to 64GB, removable battery, SD card slot, wireless charging on the iPhone 5s? There is no mentioning of 2gb RAM of Samsung over 1gb on iPhone? 13MP autofocus camera, 1080P video? If you count fingerprint scanner for 5s advantage, than you must count all this for Galaxy S4 advantage. Apple is trying “catch-up”. Not to mention that Sony Xperia Z1 and LG G2 are all superior. Android offers more, Apple tries to offer relevant.

    If you are purely a consumer looking for the herd to take care of you then Apple is it.

    If you can think for yourself then clearly the Android will be much better all around.

    Oh I know the response is going to hurt my head!

    1. The simple fact is Apple is leading the market and has made a giant leap forward with the A7/M7 architecture.

      Now to address your points… first with the chip set, the 2GB of RAM is the maximum that can be supported by a 32-bit chip.

      NFC – i’ve been following (and integrating) NFC chips for over a decade. While there are some neat security and payment features you can do with it, all of these use cases can be accomplished using other existing technologies already built into the phone. More importantly, the retail POS technology for mobile payments is better suited for an imager scanner than NFC. Combined with almost non-existent consumer adoption of mobile wallets, the need to place another chip set into the phone doesn’t bare out.

      IR – really? Again much better ways to control devices than shooting beams of light.

      64B sd card slot. Besides the security risks associated with a card slot, lets again talk about the use case. On my iPhone5 w 65GB i have 5,063 pictures, 188 apps and 318 videos, and I still have 22 GB of available memory. Maybe you have more and need it that expansion slot.

      Taking quality pictures is not about megapixels. It’s like saying because I have more horsepower, I will get around the track faster. As with bhp, the same is true about the size of your light sensor. The bigger the sensor, the lighter it is. So think about megapixels and light sensors as a power to weight ratio. The depth of field in these pictures i’m guessing will be far superior to most consumer SLRs based upon the stats, let alone a 13mega pixel phone.

      1080P. I’ll give you that. I don’t know why they don’t have that on their phone. But my guess is that since the first feature film was shot 2 years ago an iPhone, they thought the cost/benefit wasn’t there. Personally I think this is a mistake and hopefully corrected with the 6.

      Andriod’s greatest strength is that it’s cheap. So just as GM will sell more cars, than BMW so will Andriod as a platform. Apple knows it needs to offer a cheaper alternative, which is the 4s. The 5c is the middle and the 5s the best (of the good, better, best offer.)

      Also I dont understand your comment about being relevant. As inventor of the category, the maker with the largest share by phone and who took share away from Samsung last quarter they are clearly the leader.

  2. In my opinion, NFC is too similar to infrared which is legacy tech. Not needed. I think people forget use cases. How often do you change your battery? I still have the first iPhone from 2007 and the battery is still great oh and it could still go head to head with the higher end andriod phones. As much as you might claim to “think for yourself” I’m afraid you’ve fallen for a marketing ploy. In case you missed it, Samsung just announced they’d be doing a 64 bit phone with finger print recognition too. How quckly the abandon the “more” for less. Seems to me the industry is still looking to Apple for direction

    1. Having worked inside and represented tech companies for over 15 years, there is a huge chasm between announcing and launching. Also would you recommend that all Samsung customers stop their planned purchases of phones until the 64-bit phone launches?

      For readers here is the quote. Speaking with the Korea Times, the Samsung co-CEO confirmed that “our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” but added that these devices would not be arriving “in the shortest time.”

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