Today, as expected, Apple announced two new iPhones: the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. They have some noteworthy features, including a fingerprint reader and ultra-fast 64-bit processor for the iPhone 5S and a new plastic case available in mouthwatering colors for the iPhone 5C, which carries the lowest price tag ever ($99) for a new iPhone.
The iPhone 5C comes in white, pink, yellow, blue, or green. The 16GB version is $99, and the 32GB model is $199 (with a 2-year contract). The iPhone 5S goes for $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. And yes, there's a gold model, plus silver and slate gray.
Both phones feature a significantly improved operating system, iOS 7, which will be available for download on existing iPhones (4 and up), iPads (2 and up), and 5th generation and newer iPod Touches on Sept. 18.
Yet the phones announced today haven't taken the radical leaps in screen size and other capabilities that we've seen on phones from Apple rivals such as Samsung, LG, HTC, and Nokia.
The new iPhones' Retina displays, for example, are still 4 inches, with the same resolution as the old iPhone 5's. That's not bad, but larger displays have a clear advantage for reading Web content and viewing multimedia.
And there's apparently no support on these iPhones for near-field communication (NFC), a wireless technology that other phones from other makers use to easily pair with and stream their content to wireless speakers, HDTVs, and other devices. You also need NFC to use your phone to make e-wallet payments at the register, though those services have yet to take off.
Here's my quick take on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C phones, which I will be reviewing on Sept. 20, when they go on sale.