Apple announces iPhone 5 – its thinnest, lightest and most powerful phone to date
September 12, 2012
Apple today unveiled the iPhone 5. Whether by accident or design, many of the features of the iPhone 5 were already known – or at least heavily suspected – well before the official unveiling of the device by Apple today. The 4-inch screen in 16:9 aspect ratio? Yep. A smaller dock connector? No surprises there. LTE compatibility? Absolutely. A faster chip packed inside a slimmer casing? Yes and yes. Thankfully, for those of us needing to find something to write, there were a few features that Apple managed to keep under its hat until the official unveiling.
The 4-inch Retina display will likely be the first thing one notices when looking at the new iPhone. It packs 1136 x 640 pixels up from the 960 x 640 pixels of its predecessor, but at the same pixel density of 326 ppi. Pick the device up and reduction in thickness and weight will become apparent. At 7.6 mm thick, Apple is calling the iPhone 5 the thinnest smartphone in the world – a title it probably won’t hold for long. Its anodized aluminum body is 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4s and 20 percent lighter.
Along the underside of the body you’ll find a new “Lightning connector” that Apple says is not only smaller, but more durable and smarter. It is reversible and will adapt to different devices to deliver only the signals relevant to that device. For those with a stack of 30-pin accessories, there is a Lightning-to-30-pin adapter.Other features include:
- An A6 chip that gives up to twice the CPU and graphics performance of the 4S
- LTE/DC-HSDPA based wireless
- An updated 8-megapixel camera with a sapphire crystal lens cover
- Panorama feature for capturing panorama images of up to 28 MP with a sweep of the device
- A new FaceTime HD camera for capturing 1.2 MP stills and 720p video at up to 30 fps
- A new Maps app to compete with Google Maps that features turn-by-turn navigation and a new Flyover view
- New noise canceling tech for reducing background noise alongside a new beam-forming, directional microphone
- Addressing one of the biggest criticisms of Apple’s mobile devices there are newly designed EarPods
- Siri has been upgraded to include support for more languages and provide access to things such as sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings
One notable omission is the heavily rumored near field communication (NFC) technology.
The iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, which will be made available to all Apple users as a free upgrade as of September 19. It will be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. on Friday, September 21, rolling out in 22 other countries on the 28th. Customers can pre-order beginning Friday, September 14.
The iPhone 5 comes in either white-and-silver or black-and-slate, and will be available in the U.S. on a two-year contract from US$199 for the 16 GB model, $299 for the 32 GB model, and $399 for the 64 GB version. The iPhone 4S will also now be available for $99, while the iPhone 4 will be available for free on a two-year contract.
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