Apple iPhone 5S, 5C Release Date Nears: Pre-Orders Open Friday, Carriers Announce Launch Times

 @redletterdave
on September 12 2013 1:00 PM

Fans of the two new iPhone models from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may want to pre-order the colorful iPhone 5C and "forward-thinking" iPhone 5S and as soon as possible, considering the hype surrounding these phones. Announced at a company media event on Tuesday, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will be available to pre-order through Apple and all major carriers on Friday, Sept. 13. The release date for both iPhone models is set a week after pre-orders open up, on Friday, Sept. 20.

We have all the pre-order information you need for the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S:

Apple will take pre-orders for the iPhone 5C on its website starting Friday, but the company hasn't yet provided a specific time when it will begin taking orders.  Apple hasn't provided an option to pre-order the iPhone 5S on its website, which means standing in line at an Apple Store will be your best chance to buy the iPhone 5S directly from the source.

Verizon says its pre-order period begins Friday morning at 3:01 a.m. EST (12:01 PST), but the company doesn't specify if pre-orders will be available for both iPhone models. In the same way Verizon can't physically sell the iPhone before the Apple Store does, we believe Verizon will again follow Apple's lead and limit pre-orders to the iPhone 5C only.

AT&T offers no information about when pre-orders will go live on its site, but the company does provide the option to sign up to receive an email so you'll be the first to know when the carrier will begin taking pre-orders. Again, we're assuming AT&T won't take pre-orders for the iPhone 5S unless Apple changes its mind for its own website, so plan on just the iPhone 5C here. And if Apple and Verizon both take pre-orders Friday morning, we'll assume AT&T wouldn't wait much longer in the day to open the flood gates on its website.

Sprint says pre-orders for the iPhone 5C begin Friday morning at 3 a.m. EST, and only says the iPhone 5C will be available upon its Sept. 20 release date.

For those interesting in purchasing an iPhone 5S, or those who don't want to pre-order an iPhone 5C online, the best chance to own an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C on its release date is to simply stand in line. We'll release a separate article with details about store locations, times and availability, but Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Radio Shack, Best Buy and even Wal-Mart are looking to sell the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on their release date -- next Friday, Sept .20.

The U.S. is one of 11 countries that will release the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on the Sept. 20 date; that list also includes Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

About The iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5C either replicates or improves upon the features in its predecessor, the iPhone 5, but there are a few noticeable differences. First, Apple has replaced the all-aluminum unibody enclosure of the iPhone 5 with a reinforced polycarbonate solution, and the iPhone 5C will also release in five different colors instead of two (black and white), including blue, green, yellow, pink, and white.

Inside the shell of iPhone 5C, most of the specs look identical to those in the iPhone 5. Running on the same A6 chip, the iPhone 5C features the same 4-inch Retina display, the same 8-megapixel camera with 2.4 aperture and single LED flash, and will also run iOS 7 upon its release. Apple has improved a few features in the iPhone 5C, including the front-facing FaceTime camera and the phone's battery, and the iPhone 5C also supports 13 LTE bands, which is more than any other current smartphone (besides its cousin, the iPhone 5S).

About The iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5S features the same 4-inch Retina display and chamfered diamond-cut edges as the iPhone 5, but the newness of this phone comes from within (the only exterior differences are the new dual-LED flash and the three color options, including the new gold and space grey themes). The iPhone 5S features a new A7 processor, which has a 40 times faster CPU performance and 56 times faster GPU performance from the original iPhone, and Open GL 3.0, which is the same graphics engine running in the new Nexus 7. More important to note, however, the iPhone 5S comes equipped with Apple's new M7 chip, which helps offload much of the motion-sensing processing from the A7, but also contains all the motion-tracking hardware Apple would need to make its highly-anticipated iWatch a reality. By packing so many components into the M7 motion co-processor, including an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, the M7 can continuously measure motion data for the newest generation of health and fitness apps.

The iPhone 5S will also release a slightly modified battery for greater life (even better than the iPhone 5C battery), plus a new camera system that's faster, more color-accurate, and feature-rich with new options like Burst Mode and Slo-Mo video shot at 120 fps. But among the new features, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is likely the centerpiece of the iPhone 5S, as the unique technology lets users bypass their passcodes or make secure purchases by authenticating their ownership of the phone with their finger or thumb, simply by placing it on the iPhone’s signature home button. With 360-degree readability, you can hold your finger or thumb in any orientation and it can still be read correctly. Touch ID can also handle multiple fingerprints too, so you can grant access to your iPhone 5S to only certain people.

What do you think about the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C? Do you plan to buy any of these phones upon their Sept. 20 release date? Let us know your thoughts on the latest Apple smartphones in the comments section below.

Follow Dave Smith on Twitter

Share this article