Sep 13, 2013
Next chapter for Apple
The iPhone is still Apple’s most valuable and important product, and its recent unveiling of the 5S and 5C has sparked both admiration and controversy across the internet. Apple have accepted the fact they can no longer target the entire population with one model of the iPhone. The new phones release on September 20 in the UK.
This is the first simultaneous release for Apple, going against tradition. Instead of bumping down the iPhone 5 to a lower cost, they have introduced the budget 5C model, which had been rumoured for some time. This could attract people away from Android or Windows phones, who want a smart phone for a lower price, and are not too fussed about specifications. It also comes in varying colours, appealing to a different kind of market, with personalised goods being a growing trend in various industries. And with this, people looking for a mid-entry phone will be tempted.
The difference in styling, with the 5C in bright colours compared to the gold and slate of the 5S seems to show a significant difference in audience. The 5S, fitting the traditional model of face-lifting the iPhone, continues the trend of enhancing features. The main update is a fingerprint sensor, named Touch ID, similar to one found on Motorola’s Atrix, which never really caught on. Gimmick or not, it’s certainly useful, that is, if it works effectively.
The big news for gamers is that separate controllers will be available for iOS, branded MFi (made for iOS), ensuring a certain standard over them all. There are sure to be various versions, including those that clip onto the phone, and separate controllers entirely, more suited for the iPad or Mac. This could compete with the recently announced PS Vita TV, and other consoles. If combined with app-enabled Apple TV, it could become a home console with the necessary controller. Better yet, with a wrap-around controller, it spells further trouble for the PS Vita and 3DS, with the iPhone becoming a glorified handset with proper handheld support. Spending a small amount on a controller compared to a new mobile console may be an easy choice for a lot of iPhone users. Android has had controller abilities for a while, yet with varying support, nothing has really come of it. But with a standard uptake of controller support, Apple could be onto something.
The 5S is the first 64-bit phone, boosting power significantly, meaning that graphics could improve significantly, and prove even more dangerous to the mobile gaming market. The Sprite Kit for developers also supports 2D gaming, making them look as good as possible on the iPhone. The Games Centre is also getting a facelift, alongside gaining new features such as a yet more leader-boards, showing Apple’s intentions on challenging the gaming market.
Time will tell
What does this mean for gaming and the mobile platform? Well, this all depends on how the public react to the devices. If support is strong, then Apple and iOS will remain as significant as ever. If not, then things could go Android’s way. And perhaps Windows may gain some traction. Otherwise, it seems the innovation-filled team at Apple have run out of new ideas. Boosting power, and reusing the fingerprint concept, are both perfectly acceptable features; but it is nothing new, and doesn’t come close to how the original iPhone revolutionised the mobile market.
The problem with the 5C is that it is marketed as a budget phone, yet realistically does not come at a budget price. At £469 for the 16GB edition, it is still quite pricey. In comparison with Google’s flagship Nexus 4 at for £159, the price does not seem to be budget at all.
All that is left is news around the new iPads, and whether the Mini will adopt a Retina display. How the next Apple devices are adopted and perform is key to seeing where the next generation of mobile platform goes in terms of gaming, and whether similar power-boosting methods are undertaken. Android appears more threatening to the once untouchable Apple, and so their actions have never been more important for the future of their company.