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    The New iPhone Just Might Change Everything

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    Image: Apple

    Apple unveiled two new iPhones today, and they just might change everything. There are fingerprint scanners, a better camera, a gold-trimmed version, and a brand new affordable model.

    "Will the iPhone's newest sensor change the world?" The Verge wonders, before concluding that "today could be a turning point for biometrics." Here's a list of all the other ways Apple and the tech press insist the newest iteration of the iPhone just might change everything.

    For starters, the new iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner just might change everything, according to Fast Company. Apple is aiming to

    ... make you and your iPhone two parts of a whole. This humble fingerprint sensor, hidden away under the home button, is just the latest evolution to a product that Apple has been trying to build for 30 years ...

    The future Apple wants us to be heading toward is one in which we are all intermingled with Apple. A future where, united with Apple through design, we do not so much buy Apple devices as we are the device. A future where it's not just you, but iYou. And if Apple pulls it off, it all starts today, with a fingerprint.

    The new iPhone 5S camera also just might change everything, according to The Atlantic:

    "... the iPhone's new camera seems pretty slick... Apple, today, spent a lot of time discussing the photographic capabilities of the 5S. Which is also to say, as Daring Fireball's John Gruber put it: 

    'Apple has quietly become a leading camera company.'

    ... From the cultural perspective, though, it's another reminder of how quaintly outmoded the term "phone" has become when it comes to these devices. Smartphones aren't just computers that are masquerading as telephones; they're also, increasingly, cameras that are masquerading as computers. 

    Here's how the new iPhone 5S gold model just might change everything.

    "The breakout star of Apple's new range of iPhones announced today was the gold version of the iPhone 5S," Business Insider writes. "We think it's sure to be a fashion-statement for some customers—you'll be able to see this thing from across the room." 

    "... admit it, you know deep inside that you probably adore it — humans just have an unnatural attraction to gold," The Verge explains. "And a fun fact before you check out those photos: the last time Apple made a broadly available device in gold was with the original iPod Mini nearly a decade ago. Gold's back!"

    Here's how the new iPhone 5C, the "cheap" $100 version, just might change everything, too: According to the Telegraph, it will "wipe out its rivals," like Samsung and Nokia. 

    Engadget says that "Apple repeatedly mentioned during its event that it's "unapologetic" about the plastic build, and deservedly so—not only does it feel great, it's the most solid polycarbonate build that we've ever laid hands on." 

    So there you have it; after one day and the release of two consumer electronics, there are suddenly some big and stirring changes afoot: Apple has officially launched its campaign to make you (or iYou, if you insist) its biggest product, Apple has begun its dominance of the digital camera market, Apple has made the color gold fashionable again, and Apple is about to destroy its competition with an indestructible-but-affordable step-up iPhone. Is any of it this true? Who knows? I said "might" after all.  

    Which, whatever. This bumrush to report, comment, and opine on Apple products on a release day is nothing new, and neither is pointing out how tired the whole ritual has become. But this go-round felt especially perfunctory; it was almost as if you could hear the groans between the page breaks as a small army of tech bloggers struggled to articulate how yet another iPhone in an interminable line of iPhone-numericals and iPhone-numerical-Ses, might just change everything. 

    Yet this mighty tech story formulation undergirds every Apple story you're likely to read. We're talking about the storied technology giant, the richest consumer product company in the world—and if it is not rising or falling or meeting or exceeding expectations or predicting the future of computing in one way or another, then the media certainly wouldn't be justified in devoting the better part of a news cycle to a product launch.

    It isn't the fault of (most of) the individual writers cited above, either. Megan Garber's analysis of Apple's camera business, for instance, is informative and right on, and the FastCo piece on Apple's efforts to corral your data habits is interesting, too. (Elsewhere, we could probably do without the umpteenth wave of fawning over what is essentially the same iPhone design as in 2007, but again, whatever.) But the rush to squeeze meaning out of every i-orifice is getting tiresome. The tech media views comprehensive Apple coverage as a cornerstone of its job, and these poor bloggers are racking and re-racking their brains for new angles about a rehearsal of the same news we've seen broken six years in a row now.

    Which is to say, it has become difficult to tell whether or not anyone actually looks forward to the release of this new product, which is expected to operate a bit more quickly and come equipped with better component parts than the previous product. It may be that by now, we're all just getting dragged along by the inertia of the myth of Apple, consumers and the media and company executives alike. There are no earth-shattering innovations here, no great leaps forward; to pretend otherwise is a little delusional, and we wouldn't be taking the bait if it weren't Apple.

    In reality, Apple's latest tiny adjustments to its top-selling product aren't going to change much of anything—regardless of whether early adopting diehards and headline writers and tech pundits insist they might.