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Apple iPhones Dial in New Colors, Fingerprint Scanners

 by Ruth Schneider   Posted on September 10 2013

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It was a busy morning in Silicon Valley, as Apple announced major changes in its popular line of phones. Get ready to say good-bye to iPhone 5. Yes, already.

"In the past, when we've launched a new iPhone, we lowered the cost of the old iPhone, making it more accessible to new people. But this year, we're not going to do that," Apple's CEO Tim Cook said.

Instead, Apple is offering two new phones, the iPhone 5C and 5S, and they are killing off the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S will be only available in 8GB and will be free to customers willing to accept a new two-year contract.

Here's the breakdown from Apple's big day:

iOS7 release

When it drops: Sept. 18

What makes it cool: The new operating system for iPhones and iPads is "like getting an all new-device, one that's so much more useful and elegant than ever before " according to Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.

One of the key new features is iTunes Radio, a free Internet-based radio that is integrated with the music player, and meant to compete against apps like Pandora and Spotify. The new operating system incorporates web searching on the home screen. The camera will gain new photo options such as the ability to shoot squares (for Instagram users) and panoramicimages.

Cost: Free

iPhone 5C

When it drops: Sept. 20 (Pre-orders start Sept 13.)

What makes it cool: This is the first iPhone to stray from the black and white themes and add color. The colors available are green, white, blue, red, and yellow -- and the color theme includes matching wallpapers. The new phones are touted as more durable than before, with steel frames and polycarbonate (a sturdy plastic) shells. Apple also introduced a line of new cases with contrasting colors that cost $29. The iPhone 5C will come with iOS7.

Cost: 16GB is $99, 32GB is $199 (with a contract)

iPhone 5S

When it drops: Sept. 20 (No pre-orders. If you want it, be prepared to stand in line)

What makes it cool: The fingerprint scanners are what everyone is talking about. Gone is the passcode, replaced with the touch of a finger. (And don't worry. The NSA doesn't have it. Your fingerprint is stored on the device, not Apple's servers.) The 5S also has new colors -- gold, silver and space grey. The camera on the 5S gets a significant boost with bigger pixels and a redesigned flash, and Apple is touting its abilities as "SLR-type stuff." There's also a new "burst mode" that takes multiple photos in quick succession. New leather cases made specifically for the 5S cost $39. The iPhone 5S will come with iOS7 installed.

Cost: 16GB is $199, 32GB is $299, 64GB is $399 (with a contract)

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