Well, well, well. Has it really been a full year since Apple lifted the lid on the iPhone 4S? Yeah, pretty much. Okay, 11 months, but close enough.
Just over an hour ago, Apple finally unveiled the shiny new iPhone 5, and it’s, well, pretty much everything the rumour mill has been telling us to expect. Ready for some iPhone 5 specs?
It was Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, doing the majority of the iPhone 5 talking, and he didn’t hold back. He describes the iPhone 5 as “an absolute jewel. It is the most beautiful product we have ever made, bar none.”
On the outside, the iPhone 5 is made entirely from glass and aluminium. At 7.6mm, it’s 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S, and indeed the thinnest iPhone yet. It’s pretty light, too, weighing in at just 112g. That’s 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S.
As for the display, the iPhone 5 measures 4in diagonally, with a resolution of 1136 x 640. That yields a PPI of 326 – comfortably above the Retina threshold. As expected, the iPhone 5 display is the same width as that of the iPhone 4S, but taller. Oh, and there are now five rows of icons.
Of course, that means black borders for the 700,000 apps currently on the App Store, but developers assure us they can upgrade their apps “very quickly”. First party apps such as Calendar are of course ready to fill the iPhone 5 display at launch.
Touch is integrated into the iPhone 5 display, so it’s ultimately thinner, sharper, and – interestingly – less susceptible to glare.
As for connectivity, the iPhone 5 boasts “ultrafast wireless”, and 100Mbps LTE (Long Term Evolution). No mention of NFC (Near Field Communication), however.
The iPhone 5 processor is not the A5X (as found on the new iPad), but the A6. We’re told it features 2x faster processing and graphics, while being 22% smaller and more energy efficient. The jury still seems to be out on the number of cores.
As for the iPhone 5’s camera, we have an 8-megapixel sensor, 5-element lens and f/2.4 aperture, complete with “Dynamic low light mode”, “precision lens alignment”, and “Sapphire crystal”. Image capture is 40% faster.
There’s a new feature called Shared Photo Streams that seemingly allows you to set up groups, so you can share photos with your family or biker gang or whatever.
The iPhone 5’s Panorama mode looks suitably slick. Holding the iPhone 5 in portrait, you simply swing the camera around horizontally and it captures the view. Automatic smoothing promises to iron out the bumps.
Video capture on the iPhone 5 is 1080p, with video stabilisation, face detection, and the ability to take pictures while filming. The front-facing shooter is 720p, and Facetime is finally – in some capacity – going cellular (previously Wi-Fi only).
As for calls, the iPhone 5 has three microphones: front, bottom and back. There’s also a noise-cancelling earpiece, and something called “wideband audio” for more natural sounding calls. It won’t be compatible with all networks, but Orange was mentioned as a wideband adopter.
Finally, as predicted, the iPhone 5 will have a significantly smaller connector. It’s an 8-signal, all digital, reversible chap, and 80% smaller. As we’ve been saying, that means incompatibility with existing docking stations and that, but Apple promises a range of accessories to address the issue.
As for iPhone 5 price, it’ll pick up the baton from the iPhone 4S. EDIT: no it won't. Prices are now live on the Apple UK site, and it'll start at £529. Oh dear. iPhone 5 pre-orders open on Friday September 14 (this Friday), shipping on September 21 in a number of countries including – wait for it – the UK, huzzah!
iOS 6 will drop a couple of days before the iPhone 5, on September 19. It’s compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, new iPad, and fourth gen iPod touch.
Phew. I’m sold.