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Phones

Apple reveals iPhone 5s, available 20 September

Tim Cook has introduced Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone 5s, onstage at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.

Tim Cook has introduced Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone 5s, onstage at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The iPhone 5s in silver, gold and "space grey". (Credit: CNET Australia)

Apple has announced a new flagship iPhone, the iPhone 5s. Apple's Phil Schiller pointed to four key upgrades in the new device — processing power, camera technology, fingerprint sensing and the new iOS 7.

The processor is the new A7 chip, a design that delivers the first 64-bit mobile processor. The A7 is reportedly twice as fast as the chip found in the iPhone 5 in both CPU and graphics performance. It also supports the OpenGL|ES 3.0 graphics engine, which Apple claims puts console and desktop graphics right onto the iPhone 5s. It is accompanied by a new M7 motion processor that constantly monitors motion activity separately for new concepts in motion-tracking software. Apple pointed to a new Nike+ Motion app as the first to take advantage of the new tracking system.

The new camera upgrade features larger pixels on the new sensor, which is 15 per cent larger than before. It also ups the aperture to f2.2. The iPhone 5s features a new "True Tone" flash, which combines two coloured LEDs to allow for over 1000 colour adjustments to compensate for different lighting scenarios. The new iOS 7 camera software combines to give the camera burst capabilities that can happen invisibly to let the camera choose the sharpest image in any given attempt at a photograph, as well as burst firing modes. A new Slo-Mo video mode is also available that can shoot 120fps and allows you to choose the moment to shift from full speed to slow motion in the clip for a slick video moment.

The new Touch ID fingerprint-reading system is built directly into the iPhone 5s' home button. The button now features a sapphire crystal top layer and a stainless steel ring for reading your fingerprint, which is read at 500ppi at any angle. The system scans your sub-epidermal print to give a very accurate fingerprint response. At launch, the fingerprint technology is available to both unlock the iPhone and to access iTunes purchasing features without a password. The fingerprint information is encrypted, and is not backed up to iCloud or available to other applications.

The Apple iPhone 5s will be available from 20 September in a number of countries, including Australia.

Apple announced not one, but two, iPhones today, with the introduction of the iPhone 5C as a replacement for the iPhone 5. In previous years, the preceding model would remain in the market as a lower-cost device, but this year, Apple has chosen to create an updated, colourful option to replace the previous model.

The 8GB iPhone 4S will also remain in the market as a low-cost option, expected to become free on many contract plans.