Apple has announced the latest evolution of the iPhone,the iPhone 5S, it's, which will include finger print recognition technology and the lower priced iPhone 5c. Craig Le Grice, chief innovation officer for Blue Rubicon offers his initial reaction to tonight's announcement.
The iPhone 5C is a very smart strategy.
It'll open up new customer demographics (especially those with less budget to spend on a device but also those seeking more expression from hardware - something Nokia started to reclaim). It will also be a key lever in new geographies - Eastern and Southern Europe close to home but South East Asia, South America and Africa are the obvious wins. Both of these areas are fertile for Android currently.
I'm impressed that the build quality we know Apple for is still there in a plastic device. The steel underframe, seamless design and precision engineering will help it 'feel' beyond its construction material.
The 5S feels like a significant upgrade too - despite not being "iPhone 6", obviously. The new hardware underneath will provide users with a noticeable upgrade. Combined with iOS7, Apple's hope of "an entirely new phone you know how to use" seems highly possible. The new colours - even the much debated gold (which I actually think will be very successful for them) - create a nice family and feel premium over the 5C.
But the killer feature, for me, is the fingerprint recognition system - Touch ID. Apart from making password / authentication that much easier, it positions Apple well to move in on the payments space. Fast, secure and convenient mobile payments is a multi-billion dollar industry that nobody has really cracked yet. If Apple does (with its hundreds of millions of credit card connected user accounts) it'll have found its "new iTunes" / "new iPod" / "new iPhone" level component to its ecosystem.