Once the iPhone 6 launches in 2014, we may very well see the end of the iPhone 5 overhaul, currently enshrined in the 5s. The iPhone 4S might even outlive the once-fabled iPhone 5.
Last week, with the launch of the iPhone 5s, he unthinkable became a reality: in one fell swoop, Apple killed the iPhone 5. Sure, the iPhone 5 continues on in the updated form of the 5s, but the iPhone 5 itself has been discontinued, to be replaced by its cheap, plastic, overpriced cousin, the iPhone 5c.
The iPhone 5 wasn’t mothballed because it was a failure. Rather, Apple discontinued it in order to put a bigger gap between the iPhone 5s and 5c. However, with the reshuffling that Cupertino just did — as well as the list of rumored features for the iPhone 6 — there’s enough evidence to suggest that even the iPhone 5s will be killed off by next year.
While the consensus over the iPhone 5c is that it is an epic fail in terms of its price, the iPhone 5s turned out to be much more of an update than what was originally expected. While it has retained the form factor of the iPhone 5, the upgraded camera, Touch I.D. home button fingerprint sensor, new processor, and new color options breathed new life into the original iPhone 5 design. However, the iPhone 6 is bound to be a complete overhaul, and what this means is that it will offer a completely new look and feel.
In addition, it stands to reason that the new fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s is a means to an end, which will factor into the rollout of NFC and iWallet on the iPhone 6. At present, the fingerprint sensor is more of a novelty. In this way, there is a good chance that the iPhone 5s will be obsolete by 2014. The 5s, after all, won’t be able to run iWallet, and so users will have a fingerprint sensor without the iWallet feature.
For 2014, it is very possible to imagine the iPhone 6, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 4S.
Of course, Apple might also look to keep the 5s around and drop the 4s, all in a bit to streamline the size of the screens. If Cupertino chooses this route, however, it would be hard to imagine why anyone would buy the iPhone 5s, as it would be a true “limbo” model by then, featuring some of the next-generation functionality on the iPhone 6, but lacking other critical components.