Apple announced its new iPhone 5 at its Cupertino headquarters today with Tim Cook stating, “This is the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since the iPhone.” Rumors of potential iPhone 5 features have been swirling around the internet for months prior to the release; some surfacing even before the iPhone 4S was released in 2011. Curious as to which rumors came to fruition? It turns out most of them did.
Apple has used a 3.5-inch screen since its first iPhone and has maintained that screen size for each subsequent model. With the forthcoming iPhone 5, Apple has broken its own mold by designing a 4-inch screen (corner to corner), making the iPhone 5 slightly taller than the iPhone4/4S, but not wider. The new 4-inch screen will have an aspect ratio of 16:9 with 326 pixels per inch in its Retina Display, which equals a resolution of 1136×640. Thanks to the extra height and resolution, you will be able to have a 5th row of icons on your homescreen, see more email messages at once in the mail app, and your full work week will fit on screen in the calendar app.
Apple announced that the new 4-inch screen will feature 44% more color saturation, less glare in the sunlight, and touch built directly into the screen (rather than on top of the screen) allowing for the iPhone 5’s thin 7.6-mm profile. Movies and apps will now show in full widescreen HD, however, legacy applications that have not been optimized for the 4-inch screen will display in letterbox.
The iPhone 5 camera has similar specs as the iPhone 4S camera, 8-megapixels and 1080p resolution, but Apple pointed out how difficult it is to create a taller and thinner iPhone while still packing a punch with the camera. iSight will be the new name for the camera app and it will also allow users to capture panoramic photographs with up to 28 megapixels. The rear camera will also feature a sapphire crystal lens cover, which Apple claims will help reduce scratches on the lens. While recording video on the iPhone 5 in 1080p HD, you will also be able to simultaneously take photographs. The front-facing camera will now feature 720p HD video and Facetime video chat will be available over cellular networks, subject to carrier policies and availability.
The iPhone 5 will finally support 4G LTE cellular networks, promising faster browsing and download speeds. This feature was expected since many smartphones made the 4G jump even prior to the iPhone 4S release. Wireless connectivity will be moving to a 5GHz band rather than a 2.4GHz, implying it will be faster than the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S’ Wi-Fi connection. The Apple iPhone 5 hardware will also include the new Apple A6 chip, boasting speeds up to two times faster than the iPhone 4S’ A5 chip. Battery life has also been reported to have been markedly improved, with up to 8 hours talk time or LTE browsing time.
As many expected, the iPhone 5 will sport a new dock connector named Lightning, which will feature an 8-pin connector rather than the standard 30-pin connector Apple has used for generations of iProducts. The new Lightning connector will allow for faster syncing and will also be reversible. A minor change, but the 8-pin connector will fit into the port facing up or down, eliminating the frustrating 50/50 chance you are inserting the connector wrong.
Many have expressed concern about continuity of the 8-pin connector when it comes to all of the accessories making use of the 30-pin connector that many have amassed over the years. Fear not, Apple will be making available adapters, to the tune of $30, which will allow the iPhone 5 to be compatible with 30-pin accessories and cables.
If you are looking to buy one, prices for the iPhone 5 start at $199 with a two-year wireless contract. Pre-orders start September 14 and the iPhone 5 will be available as of 8AM on September 21 for Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T in the US and to 28 more countries on September 28.