iPhone 5S Will Be Gold, Come With 128GB, But Have Only 8MP Camera [Report]

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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is one of the few analysts who routinely predicts Apple’s moves correctly. Yesterday, Kuo sent out a research note to investors that was filled with details about the iPhone 5S, including Kuo’s belief that we will see a gold-colored iPhone 5S available with 128GB of storage.

We’ve heard plenty of rumors in the past that the iPhone 5S would come in gold, but many of us didn’t believe it. Kuo says that it’s a certainty, though, as it will help distinguish the iPhone 5S from its predecessor.

The 128GB announcement is also something of a surprise. Technically, Apple’s had the ability to put 128GB of SSD in a device the size of an iPhone for years now, and quietly released a 128GB iPad last year, but this is the first we’ve heard from a reputable source that the iPhone 5S could get the same treatment. It’s a nice upgrade, but the device that could really use 128GB of storage is the iPod touch, turning it into a true iPod Classic replacement. With Apple increasingly emphasizing the iCloud, 128GB isn’t nearly as useful on a device with a cellular connection.

Finally, Kuo augurs concerning the CPU behind the iPhone 5S, the A7, which he says will be 20% faster. Interestingly, he argues that the iPhone 5S will continue to boast an 8MP camera, as opposed to the rumored 12MB camera. Megapixels aren’t everything, though: Kuo thinks that the iPhone 5S aperture will open up to an impressive F2.0, while dual-LED flash will help with night time shooting. That’s a nice upgrade, even without pixels.

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  • tool022611

    I really wish apple would do away with 16/32/64 and move towards 32/64/128. I think it would bring and keep a lot if customers. The way we use smartphones now, 16 gigs just isn’t enough.

  • AJRoberts3

    128 would make a lot of sense on an iPod touch. I think the iPod touch is going to get killed off in favor of the iPhone 5C. Then, the iPhone 5C might come in cellular and non-cellular varieties like the iPad. Or maybe you will be able to a SIM card later? If the 5C is supposed to cost $300 off contract, why have an iPod touch, too. Would make sense for the youngsters I work with whose parents may not want them to have a smart phone at first, but might change their minds a year or two later.

  • crunchdude

    Seriously? 8MP camera for a new phone that looks the same, except for the supposed “gold” color, has the same screen size and quality, as I understand it (it won’t have an IGZO panel, for example), and then you’re not even going to go nuts on the internals even with all the increasing pressure from competitors?

    Yes, I know that megapixels isn’t everything, but it’s still important. Plus it’s a psychological number that almost needs to be double digits just for marketing purposes alone. I don’t care about NFC, but the options presented here, 128GB storage and a gold-colored iPhone 5S? No, thanks.

  • Market_Mayhem

    The way some of you commenters talk is as if Apple is purposely trying to undermine its chances to sell iPhones. One would think there has to be some sort of committee at Apple that decides what would appeal to consumers and what doesn’t. All these things Apple puts into the iPhone are done for a reason. Supposedly, the Galaxy S4 is the most advanced smartphone in the world yet sales still fell well short of what was expected. Big display, fast processor, high megapixel camera, plenty of extra memory with SD card slot, replaceable battery, etc. It’s not going to get much better than that, right? The perfect smartphone? Hardly. Plenty of consumers are still buying the Galaxy S3.

    Stop trying to rationalize specs as meaning everything to consumers. Consumers are not anal tech–heads. Apple will sell far more iPhone 5Ss than the number of Galaxy S4s sold regardless of what the tech-pundits claim. Apple sells to consumers, not tech-heads. Those who don’t want an iPhone won’t buy it. Those who do want it, will buy it. There aren’t that many gold-plated smartphones around and those are rather pricey. There will be plenty of consumers who want a gold-plated iPhone and it will sell in high quantities because it’s the only iOS game in town.

  • HerbalEd

    The way some of you commenters talk is as if Apple is purposely trying to undermine its chances to sell iPhones. One would think there has to be some sort of committee at Apple that decides what would appeal to consumers and what doesn’t. All these things Apple puts into the iPhone are done for a reason. Supposedly, the Galaxy S4 is the most advanced smartphone in the world yet sales still fell well short of what was expected. Big display, fast processor, high megapixel camera, plenty of extra memory with SD card slot, replaceable battery, etc. It’s not going to get much better than that, right? The perfect smartphone? Hardly. Plenty of consumers are still buying the Galaxy S3.

    Stop trying to rationalize specs as meaning everything to consumers. Consumers are not anal tech–heads. Apple will sell far more iPhone 5Ss than the number of Galaxy S4s sold regardless of what the tech-pundits claim. Apple sells to consumers, not tech-heads. Those who don’t want an iPhone won’t buy it. Those who do want it, will buy it. There aren’t that many gold-plated smartphones around and those are rather pricey. There will be plenty of consumers who want a gold-plated iPhone and it will sell in high quantities because it’s the only iOS game in town.

    The article says “gold colored” not gold plated.

  • HerbalEd

    Seriously? 8MP camera for a new phone that looks the same, except for the supposed “gold” color, has the same screen size and quality, as I understand it (it won’t have an IGZO panel, for example), and then you’re not even going to go nuts on the internals even with all the increasing pressure from competitors?

    Yes, I know that megapixels isn’t everything, but it’s still important. Plus it’s a psychological number that almost needs to be double digits just for marketing purposes alone. I don’t care about NFC, but the options presented here, 128GB storage and a gold-colored iPhone 5S? No, thanks.

    Wow! Apple should hire you. You obviously know more about what will sell than does Apple’s tech and marketing teams.

    It’s amusing how whenever a new iPhone model is announced there are so many who predict it’s sure failure. And yet, every new iPhone model has outsold ALL previous models combined. And I’m pretty sure the 5S will do the same.

  • ctt1wbw

    People, cell phones aren’t meant to be a Hassleblad or a Nikon. It still takes fantastic photographs.

  • iPear

    This looks like a pimp’s phone, just saying

  • rammo123

    This looks like a pimp’s phone, just saying

    Pimp or a Middle-Eastern dictator…

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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