By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
September 11, 2013

FORTUNE — The good news is that Apple’s (AAPL) new plastic iPhone 5C — the one that comes in colors and starts at $99 with contract — feels solid and not at all cheap.

The bad news is that it took me a half-dozen tries, two reboots and two different phones before I could get an iPhone 5S to register my thumb print. Maybe there’s something wrong with my thumb, but the software had a hard time getting a handle on the very center of my print, and until it did, Touch ID could not move on.

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