iPhone 5s Sales Soar, Updates To iOS 8.3

Last week, as the iPhone 5s began updating to iOS 8.3, analysts noticed something very odd: sales for the older handset were surging. According to an article on Geeky Gadgets, the iPhone 5s jumped from 10 percent of Apple’s first quarter handset sales to almost 20 percent in the second quarter, something that Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins says is practically unprecedented.

The report suggests that many Apple users prefer the older device to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus primarily due to a $100-200 (respectively) difference in price, coupled with the fact that Apple’s biggest selling point on the iPhone 6 series was larger screens, which many consumers seem not to have been interested in — at least not at that price.

The upward swing in iPhone 5s sales is not looking good for Apple and is one reason Wall Street has downgraded Apple stock from “buy” to “hold.” Perkins also theorizes that Apple won’t come up with anything better than larger screens to entice buyers with their next iPhone model, which also factored into the decision.

That having been said, as far as consumers are concerned, the iPhone 5s is still a top contender among smartphones, and although (as previously reported by the Inquisitr) the release has had some teething pains, the handset received an upgrade to iOS 8.3 last week.

GottaBeMobile outlined the major changes in iOS 8.3 as the update was rolling out to the iPhone 5s. Apple has added over 300 new emoji, along with a system to select emoji skin tone and some other additions intended to be more inclusive, such as emoji featuring same-sex couples. Unsurprisingly, there is also a new Apple Watch icon, heralding the upcoming release of Apple’s new smart watch, as well as a continuous scrolling update to (drastically) improve the functionality of the emoji keyboard.

The iCloud photo library is now out of beta and available to preserve precious storage space for all enterprising iPhone 5s photographers, selfie-artists, or otherwise. Also included are a host of bug fixes, including the iPhone spacebar, WiFi, landscape orientation issues, photo album preview icons, and general iPhone performance updates.

Among the brand new features, iPhone 5s owners who drive a lot have some new features to be thankful for. They can now use Apple’s CarPlay wirelessly; previously, it required plugging in your iPhone with a Lightning cable. Siri has also been updating her skill-set and can now place calls directly to speaker phone.

Apple Pay and Passbook have come to the iPhone 5 series as well, integrating with the new Apple Watch, although the watch will be necessary to make any payments.

Finally, Apple is finally making Google’s two-factor authentication easier for iPhone 5s users, making it possible to log in without an app-specific password.

[Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images]