The term 'Mac Planet' looks dated nowadays. Macs used to be Apple's core business, but with the release of the first iPhone in 2007, that's been steadily changing. Since this blog covers all of Apple's undertakings, I hope you like the new title.
Apple can't do anything right by some people. These include those who simply hate Apple and/or love competing products; tech journalists who barely noticed the company until iPhones and iPads forced their attention; and by stock marketeers. From these sectors, Apple will be lambasted for bringing out new products no matter how good they are.
Goodness hardly matters any more. The marketeers want growth at any cost, because that means profits for them, and the journalists ... well, they could do a little research. Those who love competing platforms, good for you. Why the anti-Apple passion? As (clearly, I should hope) an 'Apple fanboy', I couldn't care less about Samsung or Google. If their products work well for you, great. If it means Apple looks harder at what it intends to release, great. If it means you can get smartphone goodness at a better price than us, great.
But I don't understand your problem with us.
Ron Miller reckons Apple has become like The Rolling Stones: "Apple has to get up on stage again and again and figure out a way to blow the audience away - and it's not always easy."
I disagree - I don't think Apple has to do that at all. Apple only really needs to please the Apple faithful, and over the last few years that's been an expanding demographic. But people like me were still there when it wasn't. To us, to continue a musical analogy, Apple is more like a whole genre we love, and we're happy to witness its evolution, welcome new fans and be swept along in the evolution.
As part of that Apple evolution, let's look more closely at the two new iPhones.
First the iPhone 5C. "That's not cheap!" the angry masses shout. Were we surprised? Not at all. I've been saying this for ages in Mac Planet: for Apple, 'cheap' is a relative term. Apple just doesn't do cheap. Seriously, you really should know that by now.
Why plastic at all? An aluminium iPhone goes through several stages of CNC machining and anodising. These processes take time. By contrast, injection-moulding plastic shell takes just one or two steps. The iPhone 5C is injection moulded from a single piece of plastic for a stronger, simpler part.
This means it's much easier for Apple to keep up with demand. Even so, Apple's injection-moulding and machining process for the 5C is high class, with the case CNC-machined after the moulding. It might be plastic, and mass-producable, but it has a lacquered back plate and it's not exactly the cheap way of doing plastic moulding. Gizomodo details the whole process, if you're interested.
The point is, iPhone 5C may be pretty much a 5 under the shell (with improvements including a bigger battery) but it looks and feels like a new iPhone.
As for the 5S, it's still in that desirably tough aluminium iPhone 4 and 5 users are familiar with. It's inside that counts. The 64-bit architecture of its new A7 CPU will help speed up the intensive image processing necessitated by the features of the new camera. It will handle games with better graphics that can take place in larger worlds. All CPU-intensive operations benefit.
On computers (Macs have been 64-bit for years) the basic advantage is that apps can address more than 4GB RAM, so maxing out your RAM pays more dividends. As Gizmodo again points out, Apple (along with every other hardware manufacturer) has been moving to 64-bit for a long time. Not only does it allow for more RAM, it enables a path for Apple to release a MacBook Air, or some sort of laptop-tablet convertible, on a super-efficient mobile processor. It also creates a possibility of OS X onto a mobile device. iOS is already a subset of OS X - the convergence of the two systems (meaning they could eventually run each other's apps) has obvious benefits.
More importantly, an iPad with an A7 chip or better will be simply awesome, and that outcome has to be inevitable.
Samsung users can scoff, but Samsung will be there shortly. Apple just did it first. (Dare I say 'again'?)
The camera on the iPhone 5S is an improvement on the 5's. With f/2.2 aperture, larger 1.5 micron pixels and 33% improved low-light performance, these are positive advancements. But the 120fps capability for video may be the most impressive feature.
No Film School details what that actually means for videographers.
Both new iPhones have bigger batteries. They're slightly bigger inside the same case dimensions size (about 10 per cent for the S and 5 per cent for the C). They both output 3.8 volts (same as the iPhone 5) but the iPhone 5 battery is rated at 14440 mAh, the 5S 1570 mAh and the 5C 1507 mAh.
Battery life is given, for both models (on Apple's web pages for the models under Tech Specs) as talk time up to 10 hours on 3G, standby time up to 250 hours; internet use up to 8 hours on 3G, and up to 10 hours on LTE; up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; video playback up to 10 hours; audio playback up to 40 hours.
How about receiving the new models in New Zealand? Getting iPhones to markets across the planet is a massive undertaking, which partly explains the staggered rollout across the globe. FedEx uses Boeing 777s to transport about 450,000 iPhones per flight in 15-hour non-stop trips to the US. Bloomberg has a story about what delivering iPhones across the world entails.
Also, don't forget iOS 7 is imminent. It will be free. I have talked to lots of people a little dubious about the way it looks, but it's better in real life, on an iDevice, than it looks on web pages. Even though we won't get iPhone 5C and S on September 18th, we will all get iOS 7, for iPhone 4 up and iPad 2 up, and this will give all of us improvements on the devices, with iCloud and with synching to our Macs.