The new iPhone is finally official. Apple has named its sixth-generation smartphone the iPhone 5 and Phil Schiller has detailed its full set of features, specs, and release details. Measuring 7.6mm in thickness and 112 grams in weight, this is the thinnest and lightest iPhone that Apple has ever made, and is constructed "entirely" out of glass and aluminum. The new iPhone looks pretty much identical to all the leaks and mockups we've seen in the past few weeks — evidently Apple wasn't able to keep a lid on its most anticipated product, after all.
"We're able to add a fifth row of icons."
And yes, it has a 4-inch display! The new screen resolution is the oft-rumored 1136 x 640, meaning the display of the iPhone 4 and 4S has simply been elongated, both physically and in terms of pixel rows. To quote Phil, "you see, we're able to add a fifth row of icons." All of Apple's own software has been updated for the new resolution and screen size, while third-party apps will be letterboxed where necessary. Also in line with pre-launch rumors, the new iPhone's display features in-cell touchscreen technology, integrating the touch sensors right into the display itself. This should make for a thinner panel overall, though Apple also touts it as "the most accurate display in the industry."
There's also LTE connectivity, with a single chip, single radio, and what Apple describes as a "dynamic" antenna. Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T LTE flavors will all be supported by the iPhone 5. Apple rates this new handset's battery life at 8 hours of LTE web browsing.
Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T LTE flavors will all be supported by the iPhone 5
A new 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a hybrid IR filter will be present on the iPhone 5, with a promise of improved low light performance and 40 percent faster photo capture. The sensor is backside-illuminated. Catching up with the competition, Apple is also adding in a new Panorama mode to its camera software. Much like with HTC's ImageSense, the new iPhone 5 camera will allow you to also take still photos while recording video, which maxes out at 1080p resolution.
The iPhone 5's processor has been upgraded to Apple's A6 SoC, which Apple suggests will result in double the CPU performance and two times faster graphics. There are three microphones in the iPhone 5, which will support HD voice and also includes a redesigned loudspeaker that's 20 percent smaller than before. The headphone jack has, as anticipated, been repositioned to the bottom of the phone. Another notable internal change is the move to the new nano-SIM standard, which was ratified earlier this summer.
Apple is today also introducing an all-new Lightning dock connector — 80 percent smaller than its traditional 30-pin cable, this 8-signal, all-digital plug offers a reversible design and improved durability. Apple will naturally provide an adapter for all your old accessories.
Pre-orders begin on September 14th, shipping September 21st
Your color choices? Black and white. Pricing is set at the usual $199 for the 16GB iPhone 5 on a two-year contract, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for the 64GB version. Pre-orders are opening on September 14th, with shipping starting on September 21st. The first countries to get the new handset will be the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. More will then follow from September 28th onwards.