In case you have hadn't heard, Apple held an event this week, and announced...wait for it...wait for it...new iPhones! And a couple of other things.
We'll keep it short and sweet. Here's what you need to know:
First off, there is no more iPhone 5. (If you have one, it's now extremely rare and collectible!)
There is now the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 5c.
The iPhone 5s is Apple's new top of the line phone. The body hasn't changed, but under the hood it's a much more powerful phone. This may or may not be felt when you're trying to browse tumblr, but it has a 64-bit processor, which provides a lot of horsepower, creating potential for new apps to do things that wouldn't have been possible before, and providing Apple with a momentary leg up on the competition.
The feature of the 5s that seems small but will probably improve your life on a daily basis is fingerprint recognition. When you touch (not even press) the home button, the phone knows it's you, and unlocks, or approves an app purchase, automatically. You can have multiple fingerprints recognized, if you want the phone to be unlockable by someone other than you.
The camera has also been improved with a larger sensor to provide better quality images, and it introduces a "True Tone" flash that is intended to calculate and provide just the right amount of light needed for the shot.
The 5s is available in the same black and white+silver colors that the iPhone 5 was, and introduces a third white+gold option (which, from the images, I'd describe more as white+champagne). Apple also is offering a full-body leather case for the 5s, in six colors. The iPhone 5s is $199, $299, or $399 with an AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon contract, for 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB respectively. A no-contract, unlocked version can be used with T-Mobile for $749. You can preorder it on September 20th.
If you've got an iPhone 4s or earlier, this seems like an obvious upgrade to us. If you've got an iPhone 5, you'll have to decide if what's new in the 5s justifies replacing the pretty nice phone you've already got.
There's not much to say about the iPhone 5c, other than that it's an iPhone 5 with a plastic (or, as Apple prefers, "polycarbonate") body instead of aluminum, available in five bright colors. In all configurations, it's $100 cheaper than the equivalent iPhone 5s; we'd advise that you spend the extra $100 for the better phone, unless that neon yellow body is calling your name. It's available for pre-order on September 13th.
Both of these new phones will feature the new version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 7, which will substantially change the look and feel of the iPhone experience you are used to. You'll also be able to install iOS 7 on your iPhone 4, 4s, or 5. We'll have more to say about it after it's released next week.
The iOS versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, collectively known as iWork, will now be included for free with all iOS devices. (They used to be $10 apiece.)
The iPhone 4s is still sold as the "free" phone with contract, or $450 unlocked -- but it's only available in an 8 GB configuration, so we can't possibly recommend it. Get a 5c instead.
Ok, now you know everything. If you have any questions, you know whom to ask!