Collecting and analyzing the rumors surrounding Apple's 2013 iPhone line, we explore the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C bodies.
When it comes to the iPhone, Apple has gotten into a pattern of tick-tock hardware releases. One year they unveil bold new designs and manufacturing processes, the next year they improve the chips, cameras, radios, and other components inside it. It happened with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. It happened with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And it's happening again with iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Though this year, there might be a few twists - iMore already told you about the gold iPhone 5S - and there's also likely to be the equal but opposite iPhone 5C. "Equal but opposite" in that iPhone 5C might save all its changes for the outside. So what does that mean?
iPhone 5S: Same start, new finish(es)
Based on past patterns and parts leaks to date, the iPhone 5S - or whatever Apple calls the 7th generation iPhone - should look pretty much the same as the current iPhone 5. That includes the 4-inch, 1136x640 16:9 Retina display, the same Sleep/Wake button at the top, Ringer/Mute button and Volume Up/Down buttons on the side, and the same Home button on the front beneath the screen (well, except for the finger print scanner, but we'll talk about that in a future article.) That also includes the same duo-tone glass and aluminium shell. Mostly.
Last year Apple debuted the iPhone 5, a phone no other company in the world could have manufactured, let alone at the scale Apple ships. It was, to put it mildly, manufacturing porn. Yet, because it had the same rounded-rectangle silhouette as previous years, many thought it boring. Since a triangle phone is probably out of the question, and since better manufacturing doesn't seem to matter, this year it looks like Apple is going to give the market what it truly, desperately wants - superficiality. The semblance of change. The same body, the same duo-tone design, but in a new color.
A gold iPhone 5S won't *be* different, but it will *look* different, and to many people that's all that matters.
Light gold, not Threepio gold. Think the current silver model tinted gold. A gold iPhone 5S won't be different, but it will look different, and to many people that's all that matters. That's how everyone else knows they have the new iPhone. It's also a hugely popular color in the after market, will appeal to Asian markets as well, and fits into the premium palette Apple's been using on the high end. It partially addresses the iPhone 5S problem.
There have also been some part leaks to suggest a steel gray color has been at least tested as well. Black is really hard to anodize, and black iPhone 5 models have held up worse to wear than their white counterparts, so perhaps Apple has experimented with different shades of slate, or - though I've heard nothing to suggest this - they'll be field an all-metalic line of silver, gold, slate, and steel this fall. Absent more steel gray parts leaks, however, it seems less likely that's being pushed to scale.
At least this year.
Either way, hopefully Apple has been working the kinks out of their anodizing process, or considering more layers, so that we get a great looking and durable finish.