Apple's iPhone 5C and 5S – what the industry thinks

touchid_hero.jpgSo there you have it – a pair of new iPhones. What do you think? Did they float your boat? Are you going to be ready to upgrade in a week or so’s time?

Here then is what some industry figures have had to say about the products..

Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum think that overall it was pretty good day for Apple. He is especially taken with the iPhone 5S.

“Clearly there’s little need for gimmicks in the flagship 5S, in a launch replete with significant spec upgrades over and beyond the usual screen improvements. Apple, is certainly offering meaningful innovation here. Moving to a 64-bit architecture means Apple can genuinely claim to have brought something new to the smartphone party. It should certainly help the company further cement its lead as a mobile gaming platform and will give the Android fraternity something to think about in a space whose significance is sometimes downplayed beyond the gaming world.”

Cripps highlights the new sensors which work even when the main processor isn’t activated is a very clever move

“Ingratiating itself to the burgeoning community of health and fitness application developers with new sensors is also a good move by Apple at a time when consumer and professional interest in those categories are booming.”

As for the iPhone 5C he suggested that

“Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves. “It does though indicate an acceptance that the consumers in the upper reaches of the smartphone mid-market are increasingly looking to distinctive devices of their own, and are not happy to accept cast offs or dumbed-down versions of former flagships. Colour variations and a clear design of its own is a good way to do this and clearly Apple isn’t too proud to follow its smartphone rivals in using this tactic.”

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u is, as you would expect pretty excited by the new releases:

“We’re expecting some very happy customers after today’s Apple announcement that a more affordable version of the new iPhone, the iPhone 5c, will be available alongside the iPhone 5s. Our research has shown that there is a strong appetite for both options – with 27 per cent of people indicating an interest in getting their hands on a lower cost iPhone and 33 per cent more inclined to buy a premium version.”

Hooton believes that Apple has hit the two main drivers which encourage people to upgrade.

“Our research has also shown that the two main drivers for customers considering purchasing the new iPhone are the highly-anticipated new operating system (59 per cent) and a brand new design (38 per cent) so the fact that both of these have been confirmed today, is sure to excite those who have been waiting eagerly for the newest addition to the iPhone range”.

Lynnette Prigmore, Head of Product at accessory specialist Proporta also welcomes the new phones.

“We’re delighted to meet the iPhone 5C and its many colours, as well as giving a nod to Apple for recognising its customers’ need for personalisation with an array of silicone cases. We’re pleased to offer even more in the way of accessories, including a clear Hard Shell to show of those lovely colours, which will be available tomorrow morning from”

She adds

“With any new Apple model, it’s a race against the clock for accessories manufactures such as ourselves, and the timing of these new iPhone models will definitely see us wanting to have cases and screen protectors in stores as soon as possible. Our new collections from Proporta and our branded partners such as Ted Baker, Barbour, Joules, Quiksilver, Naf Naf, Roxy and the newly signed, V&A Museum, will be available to pre-order from our website first thing, with more designs to follow in the coming weeks.”

Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis was quick to offer his opinions. He is impressed by the iPhone 5C but thinks Apple has left it late to launch it

“Apple released a cutting-edge $99 smartphone today (under 2-year contract, of course) to compete with the cornucopia of Android phones in that price range. Why? Two words: Market. Share. Android is crushing iOS on activations (i.e. new devices being turned on), and it’s because all the affluent folks out there have already bought smartphones. The only market left is the bottom half, and they’re not going to pay Apple’s $200-300 premium over an Android phone. Marketshare has a cascading effect, because the person with the most market share is the one who gets the App first. That running order was Apple then Android and maybe Windows 8 or Blackberry. Last year advice started to come out from VCs to start on Android and get a lot of users, then release an iOS version. That scared Apple into doing this. However, they should have never let it come to this. All the revenue in the bank they have from only selling up market products isn’t worth losing their marketshare lead. Now they are playing catch up–a huge blunder. They should have had the 5C option out two years ago. Then they would have 75% of the market.”

Calacanis adds that the key announcement of the day was the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S – TouchID.

“TouchID is a huge step for Apple because it is a major piece of two huge businesses: identity and payments. Today’s announcement is a shot across the bow of Facebook’s authentication as well as PayPal/Visa/American Express. In the future you will not authenticate into a new game or SaaS product with your Google or Facebook IDs, you’ll authenticate with the more powerful TouchID from Apple. When that software or App wants to bill you, it will hit your credit card on file with Apple. So, imagine you use Fandango to buy movie tickets, well, you’ll just put your thumb on the scanner and the tickets are bought. Same with Fab or Groupon flash sales. This is the top of the iceberg for Apple, and it’s the announcement of the day.”

Ashley Norris