Apple laid out a fresh vision for its path in the smartphone market last week by introducing two distinct iPhone models at different prices. But how do the new phones compare with the others already on the market? Here, we take a look at the iPhone 5C and the 5S and each phone's top competitor:
The iPhone 5C: Apple's iPhone 5C essentially fills the spot left by the now retired iPhone 5, and shares many of the same specifications. Now, instead of trying to save a bit by buying a year-old phone with last year's specs, price-conscious Apple fans can buy a new phone with slightly better specs than last year's. It's not a bad deal. The plastic casing on the iPhone, by most accounts, doesn't make the phone feel cheap, and the new color options allow users a chance to express their own Day-Glo personalities.
The iPhone 5C is likely to face its most competitive pressure from phones such as the Moto X -- Google's super-customizable smartphone, also originally conceived as a more budget-conscious phone. Both phones carry mass appeal, thanks to their customization options and light construction.
There are a few key differences, of course. First, the obvious: The Moto X runs Android, and the iPhone 5C runs iOS. That debate is its own whole kettle of fish, so we'll put that aside for now. Apart from that, the Moto X has a larger screen -- 4.7 inches vs. 4 inches on the iPhone 5C -- and a high-megapixel camera with 10 MP sensor vs. an 8 MP for the 5C. But Apple's cheaper iPhone has a smaller and better-resolution screen and is also a little lighter, slimmer and more compact.
The iPhone 5S: The top competitor here is most likely the Samsung Galaxy S4. Here again, Apple's four-inch screen gets dwarfed by the S4's five-inch display, which is bad for Web and video browsing, but good for portability. The iPhone 5S also is expected to have a more premium feel, with its glass and aluminum construction, compared with the plastic of the Samsung model. That matters to some people, especially when they're plunking down about $200 for a phone. Apple's new processing chip also holds a lot of promise, if the 64-bit processor is as fast as Apple claims. That potential power gives developers a lot of room to run.
Given what Apple has released about the 5S so far, it's hard to say which smartphone will win on screen quality. The Galaxy S4 has impressed with its big, bright screen, but Apple's retina display is also top-of-its-class. They're likely matched fairly evenly on the camera, too: The S4 has a 13MP camera, compared with the 5S's 8 MP. But Apple says it's improved it camera sensor and software and claims users will now be able to snap "SLR-quality" shots.
Each phone also has its own smaller features that may appeal to specific sets of users. Apple's fingerprint scanner will make for easier to buy applications; Samsung offers hands-free controls and automatic scrolling during reading among its features.
-- Washington Post