“Amid the usual breathless anticipation, but to the surprise of no one, Apple introduced a refresh of its iPhone lineup,” writes Forrester Principal Analyst Charles Golvin in a new quick-take report examining the iPhone 5s and 5c unveiled in Cupertino, Calif., yesterday. “With a saturating high-end smartphone market and growth rapidly shifting to cost-conscious emerging markets, logic dictated that Apple’s new lineup would feature an entry-level iPhone. But Apple does not follow conventional logic and sees the market opportunity differently, as evinced by not only its new lineup but also by its total offering of hardware, software, and applications.” In fact, Golvin points out, Apple’s most surprising announcement was not in hardware but in software: Every new iOS device purchased beginning September 1 includes the company’s productivity and creativity apps.

How will these devices fare? According to Golvin, the 5c will sell but underwhelm in emerging markets, while the 5s will succeed as did the 3Gs and 4s. 

Managing Apple Devices Just Got A Lot Easier In The Enterprise

Along with the device update, Apple reviewed a major design update to iOS 7 as well as a number of improvements targeted at IT organizations managing their workforce’s countless iPhones and iPads. “To date, managing iOS devices has meant a lot of manual configuration, workarounds, and security dilemmas for IT, while bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs have raised significant concerns around application ownership and access on the platform,” writes Analyst Christian Kane in his new report analyzing the iOS 7 update. “But now Apple has offered clear direction on how applications should be managed on iOS, with a slew of new management APIs for vendors to take advantage of.” According to Kane, the most important updates IT professionals should be aware of include:

  • New MDM configuration options mean better application management for all apps. 
  • Streamlined MDM enrollment means IT saves a lot of time with device onboarding. 
  • “Open in” management means BYOD gets easier with the separation of work and personal content.
  • App Store license management means improved license management for iOS.
  • Enterprise single sign-on (SSO) means quality of life improves for IT and employees.

The iPhone 5s Will Finally “Mainstream” Biometric Technology

The hottest, and arguably most controversial, feature introduced on the 5s is undoubtedly the fingerprint reader. And according to Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Andras Cser in a quick-take security analysis of the new device, it’s also “a breakthrough in built-in mobile authentication via biometric technology.”

“For some time, we’ve predicted that biometrics (fingerprint and voiceprint predominantly) will gain a bigger role in secure authentication — especially on mobile devices. In 2000, there was huge hype around biometrics, but when the technology didn’t meet those expectations, there was enormous disappointment among S&R pros, and those who felt burned turned their back on biometrics in the enterprise.” So what’s the difference between the hype around biometrics in 2000 and now? Cser outlines reasons such as a smoother user experience and a current market need for biometrics to enable sensitive transactions on mobile devices.

To learn more about Forrester’s analysis around the September 10 iPhone event, visit the new reports: 

Apple Doubles Down On Its Premium Brand With The iPhone 5s And 5c
What iOS 7 Means To I&O Pros And Information Workers
Apple’s iPhone 5S: The “S” Is For Security