Navigating the APPLE Orchard: The iPhone 5S and the Cycle of Technological Evolution

Every device passes through a lifecycle from creation to old age, and every company has an approach to this relentless march of time. APPLE is so good at creating new things that it becomes obsolete. But now that APPLE has added the iPhone 5S to the list of devices that have passed into nerd heaven – or, more accurately, the online giftshop – its story has been rewritten.

The iPhone 5S: A Legacy Revisited

Unfortunately for APPLE, the iPhone 5S, which was released in 2013, was a demonstration of a leap in technology. Every iPhone released since the original has had a larger display than the one before it. In the years-long process of further miniaturising it, APPLE’s engineers devised a first – a feat to be enhanced only later on as the company’s lawyers secured patents for it. It added a fingerprint scanner to the device, greatly enhancing security and user interaction, and taking it into new terrain for iPhones. Like an ominous seagull at the end of a black-and-white movie, APPLE heralded the iPhone 5S as ‘twice as fast as iPhone 5’. But, according to the blog MacRumors, it, along with the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 6 Plus, has joined the iPhone 5 in the technological graveyard.

The Eternal March of Technology

APPLE’s obsolescence designation of the iPhone 5S highlights the growing march of technology that leaves us all humbled and homesick. Devices that seem to exhale innovation beautifully, putting their new into new once-novelties, can quickly find themselves on APPLE’s list of obsolete products. Obsolescence means that the iPhone 5S, together with its equally listed siblings of old 21.5-inch iMacs and 6th-gen iPod Touches, has not been shipped in at least seven years, no longer benefits from standard functional or security updates, and is no longer covered by AppleCare service.

The Timeline of APPLE's Innovation

Now the iPhone 5S enters the museum of artifacts but, even so, don’t forget that while technologies of the past have become vintage gewgaws, they’re also living bridges to technologies of the future. The show now moves to new models such as the, presumably, iPhone 16 – versions of things that will likely represent only incremental improvements in hardware but bigger and better software than we could imagine today, including further iterations of generative AI into iOS 18.

The Spectrum of APPLE Devices

Even though the iPhone 5S is no longer active, others have inherited its mantle and are bathed in the warmth and wisdom of a leisure suit. The iPhone 5, 6, 6S, and 6S Plus are vintages. Importantly, they are officially supported vintages even if no longer in production. APPLE’s dogs are heroes in the Land of Vapor. Elise in her leather jacket tells us that she has a new phone, but she is actually lying. She refuses to go back to APPLE and say that her phone is dropped. The reason? ‘They’ll make me upgrade.’ Elise knows that from 1963 all the way through 1973 the styles kept coming on a like-for-like basis.

The Future Unfolds: From the iPhone 5S to the iPhone 16

The line from the iPhone 5S to the iPhone 16 is a winding path. Each stop is better than the last, with features and innovations refined and new ones emerging to keep the user at the leading edge of technological advancement. As we prepare for WWDC 2024, when the iPhone 16 (and iOS 18) will purportedly be released to the world, let’s pause to take a look back at where we’ve been, shall we?

Embracing Evolution: The iPhone 5S's Legacy

And though the 5S has long since disappeared from pockets and palms, its impact on the APPLE empire – and the wider world of tech – remains. It was a prefigurative moment, a refinement of a perfectionist quest and an exploration of how much mobile devices could do.

Understanding APPLE: A Reflection on Technology's Giants

The story of APPLE is the story of every APPLE product. There’s the tale of the iPhone 5S, of the forthcoming iPhone 16, and of all the builds in between, each one a chapter of innovation, struggle, hardship, invention and redemption, all blazed on the protagonist of this fable: APPLE, the technology-making muse that continues to drive our experiences both in and in front of the screens that are changing our lives.

Final Thoughts

The arrival of the iPhone 5S at obsolescence is not finality, but a milestone along the path of APPLE’s technological development. It is also part of the pattern of technological progress that moves in cycles of beginning and end, in which each ending lays the foundations for the next beginning. The orchard of APPLE grows with each fertilised piece of technology, from the most humble iPhone 5S to the eventual glory of the iPhone 16 and beyond.

Jun 06, 2024
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