Apple hosted one of its patented "special events" in San Francisco on Tuesday, this time announcing the pending launch of the iPhone 5 (as well as other products like the new iPod and iPad mini).
While Apple did not allow for live video streaming of the event (a big mistake), website CNET.com posted still photos of the announcement and carried live blogging from a writer in attendance.
Leading up to the unveiling, many users had expressed concerns about the newest iPhone, such as a smaller dock connector, the need for adapters, competing technology, and even the name “iphone5” being inappropriate, seeing as it is the 6th iPhone product. (Read why today's event has been dubbed a disappointment.)
Tim Cook of Apple took the stage and started the event by announcing that Apple stores offer the best buying experience, with 380 stores in 12 countries. The iPhone 5 is expected to be released by the end of September.
They are, however, available for pre-order on September 14.
New features for the iPhone 5:
Phil Schiller, Apple’s top marketing exec, took the stage to bring up the news on the newest iPhone, calling it the phone that “changed phones forever”. This year, they seek to set a new bar with the iPhone, just as they have done with every iPhone before it.
As the iPhone is presented, Schiller calls it an “absolute jewel”. It’s got a metal two-toned back and is slightly taller than the last iPhone. Viewers say it looks “exactly like the leaks”. It is made entirely of glass and aluminum, with buttons in the same places. It is the “thinnest Apple phone ever”, at 7.6mm thick (18% thinner than the iPhone4).
The Retina displays 326 pixels per inch, same as the iPhone 4. The new screen has a 4 inch display. The phone displays 1136 x 640 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This provides more visible email space above the virtual keyboard.
Software has been updated, including more e-mail and more web pages in Safari. There is also a 5-week view in Calendar, which shows more events. They apps have not been stretched or scaled to fit the new screen.
Touch censors have been built into the display itself, which is 30% thinner and less prone to glare.
The wireless is said to be “ultrafast”, and the phone as 4G LTE. The LTE has a single chip for voice and data, single radio chip, and a “dynamic antenna”. It can now switch antenna connections between different networks. Schiller says the networks that will support LTE in the U.S are Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon.
The new chip, the A6, is 2X faster than the A5, including graphics. It is 22% smaller than the A5 chip.
The battery life is 8 hours 3G talktime, 3G browsing. 8 hours LTE browsing, 10 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours video, and 40 hours Music. This is 225 hours of standby.
The iSight Camera has an 8 megapixel sensor, 3264x2448 resolution w/backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f2.4 aperture, and is 25% smaller. The new Dynamic low light mode combines pixels in the dark, which gives you up to two f stops better performance in low light. There is also a built-in panorama mode for 28 megapixel panoramics. The video is also 1080 pixels with face detection for 10 people, and you can now take photos while shooting video.
The front camera has FaceTime HD with 720 pixel support, basckside illuminated sensor, and FaceTime now works over 3G with iOS 6.
The speaker now uses 5 magnets and takes up 20% less space.
The new connector is 80% smaller and can be plugged in either direction. The company also sells adapters. The new adapter is called “Lightning”.
iOS 6 will be running on the new iPhone.
The new 3D navigation can be dynamically adjusted with Siri as the guide. There is a new “flyover” effect.
The iCloud tabs sync up Safari bookmarks across Macs and iOS devices.
The price for the new iPhone is $199, same as the iPhone 4S, for 16GB. There is no 128GB model. It is $299 for the 32GB and $399 for the 64GB.
New features for the Mac computer:
The newest MacBook is the fastest selling OS X release so far. Retina Macbook together with the MacBook Air are the no. 1 in market share for the last 3 months in the U.S., outpacing PC growth.
New features for the iPad:
iPad is driving the post-PC revolution at a breathtaking pace. 17 million sold in the last quarter. Cook claims we are in a “post-PC world”. Also, Web traffic share on the iPad is at 91%, compared to 9% in other tablets. They are in 94% of Fortune 500 companies.