Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone from Apple has become the best-selling mobile phone in the United States. And that reign is likely to continue with the iPhone 5, which just kicked off its sixth production cycle. As of 2013 there are three versions of the phone. Although Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012, the manufacturer discontinued the phone a year later, replacing it with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. While the 5S is the successor to the original model, the 5C is the brand’s less expensive model, geared towards budget-oriented customers.
The original iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, the sixth version of Apple’s mobile operating system. However, the 5S and 5C are based on its successor, iOS 7, which was released five days before the newer models.
The original iPhone 5 offers two color schemes: Black/Slate and White/Silver. With the newer versions, Apple introduced three color options for the iPhone 5S (space gray, gold, and silver) and five for the iPhone 5C (white, pink, yellow, blue, and green). While the iPhone 5 and its direct successor each weigh 3.95 ounces, the 5C—which is a little taller, wider and thicker—weighs 4.65 ounces. All iPhones have the same 4-inch LED-backlit LCD touchscreen with 640-by-1136-pixel resolution.
Both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5C offer three storage choices: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The iPhone 5S only comes with 16GB or 32GB of storage. However, it matches the 1GB of RAM of its siblings.
As 4G devices, the iPhone 5 models come with technology for sending and receiving video and music wirelessly. This includes Wi-Fi with adherence to the 802.11a/b/g/n set of standards and Bluetooth 4. Customers can also use the phones as Wi-Fi hotspots.
The iPhone 5 has two video cameras: iSight and FaceTime. The 8-megapixel (MP) iSight camera is the primary one; it records video in 1080p mode at 30 frames per second (fps). The iSight comes with a slew of features, which include video stabilization, LED flash, autofocus, face detection, 3x digital zoom, and geotagging. The secondary camera, the 1.2 MP FaceTime, records video in 720p at the same fps as the iSight.
Power and Battery
Each iPhone 5 model has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, with 1,440 mAh on the original, 1,560 mAh on the 5S, and 1,510 mAh on the 5C. The original model provides a stand-by time of up to 225 hours, talk time of up to 8 hours, and music playback of up to 40 hours. The newer models surpass the original’s stand-by time and talk time by 25 hours and 2 hours, respectively.
Pricing and Carriers
As of October 2013, only the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are on sale. With AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon wireless service, the starting prices of the 5S are $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB. As a T-Mobile contract-free phone, the prices shoot up to $649, $749, and $849, respectively. Priced lower than the 5S, the iPhone 5C starts from $99 for the 16GB and $199 for the 32GB on a monthly mobile plan; it is $549 or $649 as a contract-free phone.