Making an impression
Apple's dual announcements of new iPhones this week were all about style and functionality. The style entry is the new iPhone 5c, which looks a lot like the existing iPhone 5 on the inside but is “unapologetically plastic“ outwardly, available in a number of colors and further customizable through a $30 case with swiss-cheese like holes providing color variations of its own.
The new mobile functionality was mostly contained in the iPhone 5s announcement. ReadWrite did a quick need to know overview of the new features, which distilled down to four main factors for mobile marketers:
(1) The 5s has a finger print scanner. Ars technica looked at the tepid response from security experts while Business Insider looked at the mobile commerce benefits, part of Apple's efforts to manage the online identity of its users.
(2) It has 64 bit, desktop level architecture. Gizmodo summarized what this means for users, even those who are non-gamers. BGR was one of several blogs pointing out that 64 bit architecture was mostly about future applications, since it really needs 4GB of RAM to shine and mass market phones with that amount of memory are still a ways off.
(3) In addition to the new A7 processor it contains a co-processor delegated with the task of figuring out what the user is doing and assisting apps with contextual messages. The M7 co-processor will coordinate input from the phone's compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope. Nike is the first app developer to jump on board but the M7 can also benefit more sedentary apps that just want an effective way of knowing if the user is working, walking, or driving. When the user switches from driving to walking it will mark the location of the (presumably) parked car to help find it later.
(4) It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to facilitate POS messaging and transactions through a system called iBeacon. Gigaom explained how iBeacon works, covering a 50 meter area and presenting a powerful alternative to the NFC standard embraced by Google and its Android ecosystem.