iPhone 5 Makes Its Debut
September 12, 2012

Finally! Apple Announces iPhone 5!

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

It´s finally here. Some 344 days after the last iPhone launch, Apple took over the Yerba Buena Center – a venue normally dedicated to iPad launches – to announce their latest smartphone, and yes, it´s called the iPhone 5.

First to take the stage, Tim Cook began the event in the great Apple tradition of bragging on their own numbers; and they had plenty of reasons to brag. As of Friday, there will be Apple stores in 13 countries, yielding 83 billion customers every quarter, or 1 million per day.

After a few more stats had been announced, Phil Schiller took the reins to introduce the next iPhone to an excited room of press and Apple employees. By and large, this phone looks very much like what we´ve been seeing for the past several months. The 3.999-inch screen is there, complete with 326 PPI Retina screen, with 1136x640 resolution with true 16:9 aspect ratio.

True to form, Apple has made this next generation iPhone even smaller and thinner than previous models. Now, the iPhone 5 is 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S, measuring a thin 7.6 mm and weighing in at 112 grams. Though they´ve cut back what little fat existed on the previous iPhone, they´ve also been able to pack in even more power-rich features.

The iPhone´s camera was only slightly upgraded from its already stellar 8MP getup on the iPhone 4S. Though the iPhone 5 keeps the same 8MP camera, they´ve tinkered with the innards a bit to get even better low light performance as well as brighter, crisper colors and faster image capture. Oh, and there´s also a Sapphire Crystal lens fronting the new camera.

Apple also announced a new, Panorama mode, allowing iPhone users the ability to take wide, panoramic shots from directly within the native camera app.

Apple also increased the brains inside the phone, jumping from the A5 found in the iPhone 4S to a new, A6 processor. This move represents the first time the iPhone has leap-frogged the iPad and earned itself a faster chip. This new A6 is 22% smaller and, according to Schiller, makes the new iPhone 5 run up to two times faster than the previous iPhones with twice the CPU performance and twice the graphics performance. This means pages load faster, music is downloaded more quickly, and images are saved almost instantly. Overall, battery life has remained mostly untouched from the iPhone 4S. According to Schiller, the new battery gets 8 hours of talk and 3G browsing time, as well as 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and 225 hours of standby.

The iPhone 5 also runs on 4G and LTE, just like the iPad before it. All major American carriers, save T-Mobile, will be able to take advantage of their respective carrier´s next-generation network. Unlike the iPad, the iPhone 5 will feature global LTE, which will enable LTE speeds in Asia, the UK and elsewhere. According to Schiller, the LTE in the new iPhone 5 is capable of a reported 100 MBps. The all-glass back has finally been laid to rest on the flagship phone, though 2 small “windows” remain on the top and bottom of the back of the device in order to allow Wi-Fi and radio antennas to function at their best. And about that Wi-Fi, the new iPhone 5 adds the 5GHz band to Wi-Fi as well as 802.11 a/b/g/n support.

In another, unsurprising move, Apple showed off the new, smaller dock connector and dock connector adapters. Similar to another piece of Apple technology, the new dock connector is called Lightening. Explaining their move, Schiller said this new dock connector will enable a smaller phone with a reversible and more durable connector, but made no mention of a speed increase in data transfers.

Though Apple made mention of the new dock connectors (albeit considerably less than the media did going into this event) they haven´t yet announced pricing or availability.

So when can you get your mitts on one of these new phones?

Preorders for this 6th generation iPhone begin September 14th and, like expected, will be available (on September 21 in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. More countries will be added on September 28th.

iPhone 5 pricing remains at the familiar $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64 GB.

To make room for these new phones, an 8GB iPhone 4 is available for free and the iPhone 4s is now $99. The iPhone 3GS, while it will still support iOS 6, is no longer in production.