For months, commentators have pointed out that platforms like Instagram, Vine, and Youtube are overtaking Facebook among teen users (ok, in fairness, Facebook owns Instagram, so do we count it towards or against the mothership?). It’s worth pointing out the social media platforms attracting the attention of today’s teens are primarily photo- or video-driven, because Apple’s new iPhone announcement yesterday subtly pitches its product to the teen market. Phil Schiller spent nine minutes discussing the iSight camera during Apple’s keynote; that’s a little more than 10% of the total address’ 85-minute duration and one of only three features highlighted, behind the new 64-bit A7 processor and Touch ID. Safe to say that Apple bets the camera, and its handful of new features, in the new handset platform will get a real workout.
As they come from the new iOS 7 operating system, most of these new camera features should apply to both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, Apple’s eagerly awaited, less expensive model. It is both plastic and colorful, exactly what your parents have been waiting for in a new iPhone, yes? No. They want the new gold 5s, which leaves the iPhone 5c squarely marketed to today’s teens, who are tired of having the same old black or white phone as their folks. But, what about emerging markets? Retailing at $549 and $649 for off-contract 16g and 32g capacities, respectively, these are not the cheap iPhones your pundits were looking for. Less expensive, yes, with an on-contract price in the US of $99, which means, along with the steel frame reinforcing the structure, Dad will be much more likely to pull the trigger on this iPhone for the kids.
Despite all those great camera features and colors, Apple held a few tricks up its sleeve to keep the iPhone 5s in front of teens — remember that 64-bit processor noted as a key feature at Apple’s presentation? Phil Schiller invited the creators of award-winning iOS game platform Infinity Blade to come up and demo the new edition of their game. With 2x the processor speed and 2x the graphics performance, the iPhone 5s makes new gaming features possible to studios and designers. Safe to say that Apple hopes for more than Angry Birds this time around and bottom dollar says they bet the kiddos follow the games.
Finally, that 64-bit A7 processor also makes possible new camera functions, like 120 fps slo-mo mode. Coupled with the inclusion of iMovie, slo-mo mode makes the iPhone 5s a Youtube/Vine star-maker. Twerking and ball-pit antics abound — wait’ll the kids can do it in super. slow. mo. without even leaving their phones. Then, there’s Burst Mode, where keeping your finger on the shutter button results in 10 shots per second; have you seen what Google+ is doing to multi-shots with its auto-awesome feature (another lurch towards the teen market)? There’s auto-stabilization, where the iPhone shoots several shots and combines them, resulting in the sharpest possible picture (particularly good for action shots like the skateboarding and BMX freestyling highlighted during the keynote and neither of which your dad will be doing).
So, while you may think the new gold iPhone 5s is strictly for the Jersey-Shore-cum-Williamsburg-Brooklyn set, think again. Apple is banking the kids will ditch their Android handsets (because rooting is so 2010) and line up for the iPhone once again. Or, maybe not, as only the iPhone 5c can be pre-ordered starting on September 13. Then, again, this is not your parents’ iPhone.
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