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SAN FRANCISCO (
Apple's(AAPL - Get Report)unveiling of the iPhone 5s (yes s, not S) and iPhone 5c on Tuesday showed the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant can still innovate and throw a few surprises at us. Even if those surprises aren't the "ooh" and "aah" moments of the past, but rather ones for the future.
Perhaps the most impressive new feature of the new iPhone 5s is the fingerprint technology, known as TouchID. Built right into to the home button, Apple is taking security to a whole new level, using its
AuthenTec purchase from last year as the major innovative focal point for the new phone. TouchID, which is 170 microns thin, and has a 500ppi resolution, allows for 360 degree readability. You can put your finger anywhere over the home button, and the sensor knows it's there without you having to press. It's incredibly responsive, and something that people will get used to incredibly fast.
Not only is TouchID adding an extra layer of security, with Apple's Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering, calling your fingerprint "one of the best passwords in the world," it's also helping take Apple further into payments working with iTunes purchases. During Apple's second-quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said the payments industry was in its "infancy." With Apple adding TouchID to the 5s, the payments industry is about to get a boost like only Apple can provide.
Also shown off in the new 5s is the A7, a 64-bit chip using technology from
ARM Holdings(ARMH). The A7 is the first 64-bit chip in any smartphone, allowing for an incredibly fast phone and adding graphics capabilities unlike any other phone.
During the demonstration,
Epic Games showed off its popular game
Infinity Blade. The level of detail on the game was remarkable, adding unbelievable amounts of detail, rivaling something you'd see on an Xbox or Playstation. This will continue to keep Apple in the lead as it pertains to its app ecosystem, especially gaming, where the iPhone is a major mobile gaming device.
In another surprise, Apple also unveiled a new chip for the 5s, the M7. The M7 may go unnoticed (it's hard for anything Apple related to go unnoticed), but it might be the most important part of Tuesday's announcement. The M7 is a motion co-processor, measuring motion data. The M7 will enable a slew of new health and fitness applications, further putting Apple at the forefront of this burgeoning market. Health and fitness are increasingly becoming technology fields, and Apple's new M7 chip is adding to Apple's power.