Tim Cook took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to unveil Apple’s latest iPhone – the iPhone 5. The September 12 event also saw the introduction of all-new iPod Touches, iPod Nanos and the long-awaited iTunes update. There were also major updates to the iOS iTunes and App stores. Read on to find out everything you need to know about today’s announcement. Foo Fighters not included.
Apple sixth-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5 was introduced by Phil Schiller. Made entirely of glass and aluminium, featuring a four-inch screen (1136 x 640 in resolution), 326PPI Retina display, LTE and an A6 chip, the new model is arguably sees Apple’s biggest update to the device to date. The screen itself features 44% more colour saturation than its predecessors as well as the predicted in-cell technology that integrates the touchscreen sensors with the display itself.
The iPhone 5’s LTE chip also incorporates previous networking technologies as well as the iPhone 4S’ dual-antannae system. It’ll also support the latest Wi-Fi standards – 2.4ghz and 5ghz on 802.11n. Sitting above the LTE chip is Apple’s new A6 processor, boasting a doubling in performance and graphics compares to the iPhone 4S. Despite this, the iPhone 5’s battery life exceeds that pf the 4S, clocking in over 225 hours of standby and eight hours of 3G talk time.
As the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, weighing in at just 112 grams and just 7.6mm thick, the iPhone 5 has prompted a complete redesign of Apple’s core iOS apps as well as GarageBand, iMovie and the iWork for iOS suite. Older apps will run letterboxed – leaving plenty of time for developers to adjust their apps for the new display resolution.
The iPhone’s iSight camera also receives a minor update, boasting the same specs as the one featured on the iPhone 4S, but 25% thinner with a 40% improvement on image capture time. The new camera is expected to perform better in low light and produce better images than ever thanks to its Sapphire crystal lens and cover construction. A long-awaited, leaked feature also made an appearance in the form of panorama image capture as well as the ability to take photos while recording – eat that, HTC. The front facing camera has also received an update to 720p HD quality.
FaceTime has also been improved, requiring just cellular data to make calls. It’s further improved by the iPhone 5’s three built-in microphones, wideband audio technology and noise-cancelling earpiece.
The iPhone 5’s new connector, named Lightning, features an all-digital signal and is now reversible, meaning it won’t matter which way you insert it into your device! Apple have also released an adapter, designed to allow the iPhone 5 to fit into speaker docks with older connections.
Available in both black and white, the iPhone 5 will be on sale as of 21st September in the US and UK (pre-orders will ship on the 14th). The white fronted version has a raw aluminium back and the black version has anodised aluminium back. Pricing follows the same structure as the iPhone 4S – $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB on contract. The iPhone 4 will be free on contract and the 4S just $99. UK pricing is yet to be announced.
The new iPod Nano, introduced by Greg Joswick, features a brand new design that’s 38% thinner than its predecessors (just 5.4mm), a 2.5″ multi-touch display, home button and a redesigned interface. It comes in a seven different colours – presumably aimed at younger audiences, ready for the holidays. Unlike is previous version, the iPod Nano once again features video playback as well as a built-in pedometer, Bluetooth and FM radio. Like the iPhone 5, it’ll be powered, charged and synced via the Lightening connector.
The new iPod Touch, almost as thin as the new Nano (6.1mm), weighs in at 88 grams, yet still manages to sport a Retina display (with the same specs as that of the iPhone 5) and a 5-megapixel iSight camera (again, capable of working Panorama mode). It’s capable of playing widescreen videos and is housed in an aluminium and glass body. The internal specs have also been improved here, with the new Touch featuring an A5 chip that delivers up to two times the GPU performance of the previous model. In a move that’s clearly designed with kids and amateur photographers in mind, the iPod Touch Loop allows for a wrist strap to be attached to the device for greater security. Finally, Siri is now fully-functional (minus the obvious calling features) on the iPod Touch as well, meaning that every one of Apple’s major iOS devices will now run the virtual personal assistant.
In an unprecedented move, Apple have made the new iPod Touch available in five colours; raw aluminium, black, blue green and red. Right in time for the holidays.
As far as pricing goes, the 2GB iPod Shuffle is $49, the iPod Nano is £149 for 16GB and the new iPod Touch is $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. Interestingly, the old iPod Touch is still on sale for $199 for 16GB and £249 for 32GB.
The new iTunes
Introduced by Eddy Cue, the new iTunes featurs an edge-to-edge design that’s far cleaner than its predecessors, taking plenty of hints from its iOS 6 equivalents as far as design and interface goes. It also features a song queue known as ‘Up Next’ as well as a minimalist mini player that still gives you full search and playlist functionality. The all-new iTunes has been pencilled in for a release date in late October, although there are no specific dates as yet.
Released after three years in design, Apple’s new earbuds, the EarPods, feature an all-new design that includes a directive speaker port that’s aimed towards your ear canal, a port in the back for mid-tones, a port in the stem and, the main port. They’re said to maximise airflow to improve sound quality. They’re available from today and will presumably be shipping with all of the new devices mentioned previously.