Not much shocking for those following the rumors, but Apple's iPhone 5 is official. Apple will begin taking pre-orders on September 14, and it will ship September 21 in USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 20 additional countries will join with launches in October.
The big features include an all-new design that 20-percent lighter, 18-percent thinner, and displaces 12-percent less volume. The new iPhone has a 4-inch Retina display with 1136 x 640 pixels at 326 ppi. That roughly measures out to a 16:9 screen vs existing 4:3 displays on all previous iOS devices.
The new iPhone is upgraded to a A6 processor that is 2x faster for both graphics and CPU over the A6. Also added is a big check mark for LTE cellular. Interestingly, Apple's new iPhone measures slightly better on the battery front than the iPhone 4S. When running on either LTE or 3G, users can expect up to 8 hours talk time and 10 hours on WiFi and video playback.
The camera got some attention also. The technology is similar to the iPhone 4S, but thinner. It offers 8 MP with a 5-element lens and f/2.4. A new dynamic mode will increase the f-stop by 2 for lower light conditions. New to the phone is a sapphire crystal lens cover for more durable protection. Also Apple says shutter time has improved on the camera function by up to 40-percent. The front-faceing FaceTime camera got a much needed update to 720p video and 1.2 MP still. Also new for both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 is a panorama mode, which can take stitch together photos for up to 28 MP pictures.
The iPhone 5 and new iPods retire the venerable 30-pin connector for a new Lightning Connector. It's an all-digital link that's 80-percent smaller. It's also reversible so it can go into the phone whether upside down or not. Apple also announced a pair of adapters linking to older 30-pin devices. The 30-pin to Lightning Adapter sells for $39, and the Lightning to 30-pin adapter goes for $29. Apple is also selling a USB cable to Lightning port for $19.
The iPhone 5 also ships with Apple's new EarPods headphones. The EarPods replace Apple's iconic and to many infamous earbuds with an updated in-ear style. The EarPods have an on-cable volume and playback controls, plus microphone.
The iPhone 5 features an all glass and aluminum design. Apple is again selling a black and while model, and each have an aluminum back. The white model is plain/bare aluminum, while the black is anodized aluminum. Contract pricing matches previous iPhone 4S at 16GB/$199, 32GB/$299, 64GB/$399. Apple is also still selling the iPhone 4S for $99 and iPhone 4 is free on contract.
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