iPhone 5S

  • Will look mostly like the iPhone 5, with internal upgrades.

  • Larger rear flash, enhanced camera.

  • An enhanced processor.

  • Fingerprint scanner?

  • September launch

Our review of the iPhone 5s can be found here.

Apple’s next step forward in smartphones will likely be the iPhone 5S. It will most likely resemble the iPhone 5, but with a larger (dual LED) rear flash.

Along with that larger rear flash, we believe the iPhone 5S will feature an upgraded camera. Sony’s recent 13-megapixel sensor may be featured, or an enhanced version of the iPhone 5’s 8-megapixel sensor could be included; rumors have pointed to a bump in lens speed to f/2.0, increasing light-gathering abilities. It’s also expected that the processor will get a boost from the iPhone 5, as has been the case for past annual updates; it could merely receive a clock speed bump, or also benefit from additional CPU or GPU cores. Overall, we’d expect the 5S to be the typical S model, with internal changes in the same body as its predecessor, targeted largely at those who didn’t buy the iPhone 5.

Our sources suggested the July-August timeframe as a target for launch, but it’s clear now that the iPhone 5S will be launched in September, after the announced Sept. 10 event.

Other rumors:

Production for the phone will start in the second quarter of 2013. We believe that this happened.

The iPhone 5S will come with Near-Field Communication (NFC) capabilities and/or a fingerprint sensor. NFC rumors have been popping up for years now. Both NFC and fingerprint speculation has escalated since Apple’s purchase of mobile security firm AuthenTec, and Apple is believed to be working on a wireless digital payments system that will utilize the over 300 million credit cards already on file at the iTunes Store. It has been reported that fingerprint sensor issues might push back the start of mass production past June.

Rumors have suggested that the iPhone 5S will somehow incorporate wireless charging, though it’s unclear whether Apple would support an inductive charging surface or a patented proximity-based through-the-air-based charging technology.

Some rumors have claimed that the iPhone 5S may have two or three separate screen sizes. We don’t think so.

The new camera will feature an improved night shooting mode. This is quite possible.

Like the iPhone “5C,” it’s rumored the 5S could come in colors other than black and white, such as gold and green.

Apple could call the iPhone 5S “iPhone 6.” There’s no ruling out this possibility, but it would be unlikely given the company’s past naming conventions. We believe the iPhone 6 will be a separate device.

  • iPhone 5S

    Wireless charging has been rumored as a possibility for the iPhone 5S. An Apple patent application from last year detailed an inductive charging mat.

  • iPhone 5S

    If NFC does come to the iPhone 5S, Passbook/digital wallet expansion seems inevitable.

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