After months of frenzied anticipation, on
September 12, Apple announced the iPhone 5, a new iPod touch, EarPods, and the
availability of iOS 6. As the date approached, market analysts were saying that
the iPhone 5 could end up being the largest consumer product launch in history,
with 10-12 million units expected to be sold by the end of September.
months of frenzied anticipation, on September 12, Apple announced the iPhone 5,
a new iPod touch, EarPods, and the availability of iOS 6.
The new phone has a 4-inch screen, is
thinner and lighter, and has a new camera, speaker, and dock connector. Under
the hood, it has a faster processor and 4G LTE data speeds, meaning a faster
The trend in smartphones has been toward
a larger size, so Apple opted to bump up its standard 3.5-inch screen to a generous
4 inches. The larger screen makes the phone taller, but the width remains the
same, so it's still easy to hold in your hand. The result is a new 16:9 aspect
ratio, the same as a high-definition TV and ideal for widescreen movies. The
resolution is an impressive 1136 x 640. And the new display isn't just larger:
it has 44% more color saturation than the iPhone 4S and is less prone to glare.
The home screen can now accommodate an
extra row of app icons, and all of Apple's apps, including iLife, iWork,
iPhoto, and GarageBand, have been rewritten to take advantage of the additional
trend in smartphones has been toward a larger size, so Apple opted to bump up
its standard 3.5-inch screen to a generous 4 inches.
But don't fret - your third-party apps will
work just fine on the new screen. Until developers tweak them to take advantage
of the added real estate, they'll simply have a small black border on the
bottom and top of the app (or on the sides in landscape orientation).
Lighter Design & Aluminum Back
The body of the phone is now thinner and
lighter, with an aluminum back (slate-colored on the black model, silver on the
white model) instead of glass. The touch sensors are now built into the display
itself rather than being in a separate layer, making the display 33% thinner.
At 7.6 mm thick and 112 grams, the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than
the iPhone 4S.
4G LTE Data Speeds
The iPhone 5, like the new iPad with Retina
display, has 4G LTE connectivity. That means that if you access the Internet
when you're out and about, email downloads and web access will be much faster.
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are building 4G LTE networks, and 4G LTE is
already available in many cities nationwide. How fast is it? Speeds vary
widely, but in general, it's faster than your Wi-Fi at home. Download speeds
can be as high as a blazing 56 Mbps (according to PCWorld tests). Average
download speeds range from 8-15 Mbps, which is still extremely fast.
A6 Processor & Lightning Dock Connector
The iPhone 5's A6 processor offers twice
the speed and double the graphics performance of the iPhone 4S.
The new phone has an 8-pin dock connector
called Lightning that's 80% smaller than the previous 30-pin connector. An interesting
feature is that you can plug in your cable either side up, since the dock is
What if you have accessories, such as a
speaker dock, that are compatible with the previous 30-pin connector? Apple
also announced a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter for $29 that will be shipping in
The iPhone 5's 8-megapixel iSight camera
has some great new features. Dynamic Low Light Mode combines pixels in the dark
so that your camera performs much better in low light. The phone also has a new
signal processor in the A6 chip that improves low-light images and captures
photos faster. Other camera features include precision lens adjustment and a
iPhone 5's 8-megapixel iSight camera has some great new featur The iPhone 5's 8-megapixel iSight camera has some great new
An amazing new feature is the ability to
take 28-megapixel panoramic photos simply by sweeping a scene. The camera takes
the photos and stitches them together in real time.
The camera also takes 1080p video and now
has improved stabilization. It includes face detection for up to 10 people. And
you can take photos while shooting video.
The front camera is now also high
definition at 720p, and you can do FaceTime over a 3G connection.
Even though features such as a larger
screen and LTE connectivity take a lot more power, the iPhone 5 makes up for
it with a longer battery life. You get 8 hours of talk time, 8 hours of LTE web
browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, and
225 hours on standby.
The iPhone 5 has three microphones: bottom,
front, and back. The speaker takes up 20% less space, yet has been given a
boost in power, with 5 magnets compared to the previous 2. It also has improved
noise canceling and a feature called "widescreen audio" that makes
voices sound more natural.
The iPhone 5 follows the pricing model of
its predecessors: $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB,
with a two-year contract. The 16 GB iPhone 4 will now be free and the 16 GB
will start at $99 with a two-year contract.
Apple also announced new iPods, including
an iPod touch with a 4-inch, 1136-by-640-pixel screen just like its iPhone
brethren. And it, too, is thinner and lighter than before. Unlike the iPhone,
though, the touch has been spiffed up with a variety of new colors.
also announced new iPods, including an iPod touch with a 4-inch,
1136-by-640-pixel screen just like its iPhone brethren
It also comes with the new Lightning dock
connector, and now has a faster A5 processor, with graphics performance up to 7
times faster. It has a 5-megapixel camera and shoots 1080p video.
Best of all, the new iPod touch comes with
Siri. Prices are $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for 64GB..
The iPhone 5 and new iPod touch will come
with EarPods, a completely redesigned set of headphones. They fit better, have
greatly improved sound quality, and feature an improved remote for adjusting
volume and answering calls.
Maps: gives turn-by-turn directions out
loud and has a 3D image of the road ahead. Flyover shows aerial 3D images of a
city. Other features include live traffic updates, rerouting around traffic,
and Yelp integration.
Passbook: conveniently gathers digital
coupons, airline tickets, and other vouchers offered by third-party apps in one
Siri: adds information related to sports, movies,
and restaurants, and posts directly to Facebook and Twitter.
Do Not Disturb: in Settings suppresses
incoming calls and notifications, or can let through calls from specific
When you receive a call, you can swipe to
reveal two options:
Reply with Message automatically sends a text message
to the caller.
Remind Me Later has options such as "In 1
hour" and "When I get home."