Apple announces iPhone 5

September 13, 2012

Apple launches its latest iPhone model, the iPhone 5 – a thinner, lighter smartphone with a larger screen.

At just 7.6mm thin, the iPhone 5 – which starts at $799 – is the world’s thinnest smartphone, according to Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, who took to the stage in San Francisco to make the announcement. It’s 18 per cent thinner than the iPhone 4S and, at 112 grams, is 20 per cent lighter than the 4S as well.

It has a 4in Retina display of 326ppi and 1136 x 640 resolution. Every iPhone to date has had a 3.5in screen.

There’s now a fifth row of icons on the Home screen, and more apps on every screen. All the software that comes on the iPhone 5 has been updated to take advantage of larger display. Everything shows more data.

Older apps will be ‘letterboxed’ with black bars on either side. Cook said that Apple had given some developers early access to see what they’d do.

“We learned that they can update their apps really quickly,” he said. “And they don’t want to just make it bigger, they want to do more.”

The new iPhone is made entirely of glass and aluminum and “designed and built to an exacting level of standard, unlike anything anyone in the industry has made before,” Schiller said.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the hardware engineering that’s gone into this product is the best Apple’s done to date.”

The iPhone 5 also has 4G LTE capabilities, though at this stage we’re unsure if this is compatible with Australian LTE networks. The new phone has better WiFi too, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 802.11n is 2.4GHz and dual channel 5GHz, up to 150 Mbps.

The device is powered by an A6 processor, which is two times faster than the A5, according to the company. It is also 22 per cent smaller.

Apple claims to have exceeded the battery life of the iPhone 4S in the iPhone 5, with 8 hours of 3G talk time and browsing, and LTE browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 225 hours of standby time.

The iPhone 5′s camera is 25 per cent smaller, and has aqn 8 megapixel sensor, 3264 x 2448, backside illuminated, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, and a fast f/2.4 aperture. It also has a new low-light mode, and a sapphire lens cover helps protect your lens and make your images clearer and sharper.

There is also a new Panorama feature in the iPhone 5 that can capture a 28-megapixel Panorama photograph in real time.

Apple has improved the video in the iPhone 5 too. It can capture 1080p HD video, has improved stabilisation, face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take photos while you’re recording.

The front FaceTime camera has HD 720p HD camera with backside illumination and FaceTime over 3G.

There are now three microphones in the iPhone 5, one at the front, one at the bottom and one on the back. This aims to improve voice recognition. The earpiece is noise cancelling too.

As expected, Apple has introduced a smaller dock connector with its iPhone 5. The connector has been reduced from the previous 30-pin design to an all-digital 8-signal design. It is 80 per cent smaller than the previous connector and is reversable. Oh, and it’s called ‘Lightning’.

For older accessories that are compatible with the 30-pin connector, Apple has created a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter.

The iPhone 5 is Apple’s new flagship iPhone, replacing the iPhone 4S. However, Apple is expected to keep the iPhone 4S as a more cost effective model. Australian pricing has yet to be announced, and Apple’s Online Store is still displaying the ‘We’ll be back’ welcome message. The new phone is expected to go on sale as soon as the event ends.

The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6, Apple’s latest propriety system with Maps, Flyover, improved Siri, Facebook integration, Do Not Disturb, Passbook and more.

With Macworld Australia

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