Early iPhone customers clamor for new colors, fingerprint sensor, better camera

One customer was set to buy two iPhone 5Cs (for each of her parents, in blue and pink) and an iPhone 5S for herself (see video below)

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The gray back of the sleek new iPhone 5S wouldn't even show through her new case. "So it really doesn't matter what the back color is," Rush said.

Many of the customers in line were well aware of the biggest new features of the iPhone 5S and 5C, with the 5S offering a faster A7 processor, a fingerprint sensor, and a better 8 megapixel rear camera, which also also offers a slow-motion feature and enhanced flash.

However, nobody knew that the iPhone 5S's A7 processor is an unprecedented 64-bit ARM-based chip, up from the the 32-bit processors now commonplace in smartphones.

Apple made a big deal of the 64-bit technology at the unveiling of the phones. Nonetheless, for the early customers in Harrisonburg, that feature paled in comparison to the new camera, and even to the three colors available for the iPhone 5S and the five colors for the iPhone 5C, whether hidden inside a case or not.

Vada Kelley, a graphics designer, owns one of every form factor Apple device that's available, including two iPhones. Her current phone is an iPhone 4S.

While waiting in line, Kelley said she really wanted the gold-backed iPhone 5S, (really a champagne gold shade) but initially said she would settle for gray just to get her hands on the latest technology. "I wanted gold, so I'll try the gray and maybe exchange it later," she said, before making her way inside the store.

"Gold's a cool new color and I like it," she said. To Kelley, color is a very basic and important quality in the design of any product, video or Web page. Kelley owns Estland Design and works with many business clients who want effective Web sites.

"I communicate all the time with clients on how their sites are performing, and sometimes use FaceTime," the real-time video chat function in the iPhone, she said. "They want to make sure their Web sites are working well."

While Kelley prefers Apple products for her personal work, she tries all brands of mobile devices to make sure they all work well with customers' Web sites. Still, her focus remains principally on Apple and what it might produce next.

"I'm excited to know what Tim Cook's doing next with Apple TV, not just the little box, but a real Apple TV," she said. "I saw an interview where Cook said they would be putting resources into the next TV."

By the way, Kelley left the AT&T store without her gray iPhone 5S, but paid for a gold-backed version that she'll pick up in two to three weeks. "I looked at the gray and decided I wanted the gold instead, and my second choice would have been white," she said. "I might get a case, but I'm going to see how much I handle it and whether I might drop it."

Obviously, Apple figured out something very basic: color matters.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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