If it's time to upgrade your phone, you're more spoiled than ever for choice. And this year's iPhone offerings are set to arrive in Geraldton stores this Friday.
Apple this year are breaking with tradition and releasing two distinct models, the colourful iPhone 5c, and the upmarket iPhone 5s.
The 5s adds a handful of new features above last years "5", mostly under the hood though. The chip is a lot faster, and they've added a separate chip dubbed the M7 to handle the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope without having to wake up the main chip (battery savings).
It's also the first smartphone ever to switch to a 64bit (from 32) processor. The main advantages this will bring will be seen in the future as smartphones gain more capabilities and the line between smartphones, tablets and desktop computers gets blurred.
The camera has had another big upgrade. Although the number of pixels is still at 8, the actual size of the pixels has increased, improving your photos. In addition, with the extra processing power on board, new features like super slow motion, burst mode and auto image stabilisation are present, and the camera also now has an ƒ/2.2 aperture. Perhaps most noticeable though is the addition of an amber coloured LED flash in addition to the usual white one. They automatically mix depending on lighting conditions to give your pictures a more realistic look. (We've all seen those ghostly looking pics taken with white LED flashes.)
The iPhone 5s now also boast a fingerprint sensor on the home button. Apple says less than half of iPhone owners bother with a password on their devices. The fingerprint sensor, dubbed Touch ID, will allow you to set multiple fingers as the key to opening your phone. Additionally, you will be able to use the Touch ID instead of entering your password when downloading apps, music etc from Apple.
There's a new colour range in the lineup. The existing white edition stays the same, the black phone is now called "space gray" (gunmetal must be too politically charged) and features a lighter back, and there's a new gold colour in the range.
Available in the usual 16gb, 32gb, 64gb.
The 5c (c for colour, not cheap)
While everyone expected the 5c to be announced, (it's hard to make 10 million of these things and keep them a secret) most people were expecting the 5c to be a much cheaper version of the iPhone.
Instead, it seems Apple wants to preserve its brand appeal. The 5c specwise is about the same calibre as last year's iPhone 5, although battery life has been improved. It's available in 16gb and 32gb, and a range of colours. It is cheaper than the 5s, but not heaps.
Apple's launch video described the 5c as "unapologetically plastic", and indeed that is it's primary distinction. It's colourful range will appeal t those who find the traditional black and white a little stale, and the lower price may open the door for more iPhone sales overall.
It misses out on the internal upgrades bestowed on the 5s, and doesn't have the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Not ready to upgrade your phone yet? Well your iPhone is in for a treat anyway with Apple's new mobile operating system (iOS) version 7 ready to land on your phone this week. Expect a little prompt to appear on your phone this Wednesday or Thursday telling you to install iOS 7. It's a radically new look, and certain features have moved, improved or disappeared altogether. But for the most part it retains its familiar iPhone feel and features and only takes a couple of days to get used to.
In fact, after a few hours of using it, the old operating system just looks wrong.
Be warned though! If you hate change, don't install it until you've had a play with it on someone else's iPhone.
Want to win an iPhone 5c?
Everything Geraldton is giving you the chance to win an iPhone 5c. The competition ends October 31 2013. Click here to learn more and enter.
If you want to check out the new iPhone when it arrives this Friday, head in to the Telstra Store in the Centro Stirling Shopping Centre. Click here for their trading hours and more info.