At its event today, Apple announced the long suspected division of the iPhone line to include the new iPhone 5C as a budget alternative to the existing iPhone lineage, carried on by the new iPhone 5S. The 5C is offered starting at $99, has a polycarbonate back, and comes in 5 bright colors. The 5S is offered starting at $199, is aluminum, and comes in 3 metallic colors: gold, silver, and slate gray.
The 5S has a full set of improvements including a new processor, 64-bit architecture, an improved camera (it shoots 720p video at 120 fps to allow for some impressive slo-mo shots), and possibly most exciting, “Touch ID” fingerprint authentication. The iPhone 5S is a veritable media machine, but what could be most intriguing about the device is the new security peripheral: the Touch ID sensor.
While the fingerprint reading is never made available to other apps, the end of the password could be near, as services could issue “trusted device” status to a user’s phone, given the greater security of a fingerprint scanner. Soon we’ll know if the nuts and bolts of the technology will allow for extended permissions chains to link the device’s master unlock function, driven by a thumbprint, could be used with third party applications without actually revealing the thumbprint to the app as a form of primary authentication.