iPhone 5 specs confirmed: 4in Retina display, A6 processor

iPhone 5 specs confirmed: 4in Retina display, A6 processorWell, 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.

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23 comments

blizzard7  Sep. 12, 2012 at 20:42

Man, if you said to me 5 years ago that Apple will become super-conservative with their designs and Microsoft are going to go completely out there with radical new designs (for better or for worse), I would have thought you were insane.

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 20:48

Wonder if you have to wait to receive it on EE, or if it will just work on 3g til it launches 4G

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 20:49

Are you really sold Lewis?

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 20:52

Man, if you said to me 5 years ago that Apple will become super-conservative with their designs and Microsoft are going to go completely out there with radical new designs (for better or for worse), I would have thought you were insane.
What designs? The hardware isn't Microsoft. And how radical is it to have dozens of devices by various OEMs that all use the exact same UI? That is as radical as any PC. Only, they let you change wallpapers, icons, and, sometimes even themes...

It's easy to forget that Apple is ONE company, that makes a very small number of products.
If they diverted to radically from a proven formula the impact could be detrimental. If you don't like the One X, get the One S... if the SGS3 is too big for you, get one of a dozen or so great 4.3in alternatives etc etc... Apple do one device at a time. I think it makes sense for them to stay within certain limits. Not saying it's the best way... But so far it served the intended purpose rather well. There are hundreds of other smartphones for people who don't wanna go for it. So, no problem, really.

lcurdie / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 20:58

Are you really sold Lewis?

Hmm, maybe. I do enjoy a good Apple keynote ;)

Sent from my MacBook Pro while lying beside my iPad and iPod touch

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:01

Betcha Lewis like this:
EA Studios is going to show Real Racing 3 on the legendary race arena Laguna Sega. (I think I heard that right.) Full console quality in your hands. Reflections off the side of the car – which is impressive. "It actually makes the game easier to play. Even has rear-view mirrors." Tasty. There's lens flare, too. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2012/sep/12/iphone-5-launch-apple-live-coverage

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:05

Are you really sold Lewis?

Hmm, maybe. I do enjoy a good Apple keynote ;)


But this was a rubbish one ;)


Would like to know how reflections off the side of the car makes it easier... Sounds distracting at best.

saxo_appeal  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:21

Absolute garbage !! Hardly a massive improvement from the 4S to the 5

and they have the cheek to raise the price starting from £529 for the 16gb....aren't they making enough money from us !!

Thought it was going to be better than this but ((sigh))

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:37

Oh they said the prices had stayed the same. Guess that was US only or contract only maybe.
4s at £449 too.

blizzard7  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:54

Man, if you said to me 5 years ago that Apple will become super-conservative with their designs and Microsoft are going to go completely out there with radical new designs (for better or for worse), I would have thought you were insane.
What designs? The hardware isn't Microsoft. And how radical is it to have dozens of devices by various OEMs that all use the exact same UI? That is as radical as any PC. Only, they let you change wallpapers, icons, and, sometimes even themes...


If we're talking about just hardware, Surface seems pretty radical to me. I've never seen perimeter venting, a touch keyboard on a cover or a flipstand that's less than a millimetre thick. Software-wise compare Windows 7 to Windows 8, then compare Mac OS X Snow Leopard (or even Leopard) to Mac OS X Mountain Lion. What's different?

Stelph  Sep. 12, 2012 at 21:57

Absolute garbage !! Hardly a massive improvement from the 4S to the 5

and they have the cheek to raise the price starting from £529 for the 16gb....aren't they making enough money from us !!

Thought it was going to be better than this but ((sigh))


wow, had missed that, seems crazy price! so for around the price of the 16g you could get the mac mini or a ipad 3 32GB? Thats crazy

manbase  Sep. 12, 2012 at 23:04

looks like my old remote control! and dual core only. no real multi tasking still,no nfc????
note 2 here i come :)

Pondlife  Sep. 13, 2012 at 01:11

It's easy to forget that Apple is ONE company, that makes a very small number of products.
If they diverted to radically from a proven formula the impact could be detrimental. If you don't like the One X, get the One S... if the SGS3 is too big for you, get one of a dozen or so great 4.3in alternatives etc etc... Apple do one device at a time. I think it makes sense for them to stay within certain limits. Not saying it's the best way... But so far it served the intended purpose rather well. There are hundreds of other smartphones for people who don't wanna go for it. So, no problem, really.


An interesting point, of course they used to just do one ipod at a time the same way but they diversified that quite widely and successfully. 2 ranges of laptop too.

Which makes it more interesting that they haven't so far taken that approach with phones. Though I guess there are three iphones for sale at a time rather than one anyway. Not got the same spread of prices as the ipod range by any means though.

Pondlife  Sep. 13, 2012 at 01:30

looks like my old remote control! and dual core only. no real multi tasking still,no nfc????
note 2 here i come :)


Didn't think they'd specified the cores. no nfc is one the pluses for me.

blizzard7  Sep. 13, 2012 at 06:59


It's easy to forget that Apple is ONE company, that makes a very small number of products.
If they diverted to radically from a proven formula the impact could be detrimental. If you don't like the One X, get the One S... if the SGS3 is too big for you, get one of a dozen or so great 4.3in alternatives etc etc... Apple do one device at a time. I think it makes sense for them to stay within certain limits. Not saying it's the best way... But so far it served the intended purpose rather well. There are hundreds of other smartphones for people who don't wanna go for it. So, no problem, really.


What Pondlife said above. Don't like the MacBook Pro... Get a MacBook Air etc. etc.

Besides, number of products does not make a difference to whether you should introduce some revolutionary or industry-leading features.

Remember when the iPhone 4 first came out with the Retina Display. We hadn't seen anything like that on a mass-produced phone before. It was quite frankly, excellent and it gave the rest of the industry a kick up the bum. Now look at the iPhone 5. Next to nothing stands out.

Mcdouche  Sep. 13, 2012 at 07:40

Seems a very small upgrade : /
I like new stuff with my devises, and this doesn't seem very impressive. I also think that a lack of core mentioning is a bad sign - could have easily just increased a duel core to twice the power of the current iphone, which isn't overly powerful.

So really, this seems like an iphone4ss or something stupid, because its really a tiny upgrade.
They need to define retina a bit better, because i'm sick of being able to see the pixels on my iphone4s when close :P

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 13, 2012 at 09:04

Seems a very small upgrade : /
I like new stuff with my devises, and this doesn't seem very impressive. I also think that a lack of core mentioning is a bad sign - could have easily just increased a duel core to twice the power of the current iphone, which isn't overly powerful.

So really, this seems like an iphone4ss or something stupid, because its really a tiny upgrade.
They need to define retina a bit better, because i'm sick of being able to see the pixels on my iphone4s when close :P


A tiny upgrade?
Mcdouche, I'm no Apple fan, but you need to read yourself LOL
They updated and improved upon almost every single element, be it hard- or software.
Just because they didn't include Jelly Bean, it's a tiny upgrade? :p
A "tiny upgrade" in the dictionary features a HTC Sensation side by side with a Sensation XE.
Oh whatever...go on, tickle us.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 13, 2012 at 09:22

Seems a very small upgrade : /
I like new stuff with my devises, and this doesn't seem very impressive. I also think that a lack of core mentioning is a bad sign - could have easily just increased a duel core to twice the power of the current iphone, which isn't overly powerful.

So really, this seems like an iphone4ss or something stupid, because its really a tiny upgrade.
They need to define retina a bit better, because i'm sick of being able to see the pixels on my iphone4s when close :P


A tiny upgrade?
Mcdouche, I'm no Apple fan, but you need to read yourself LOL
They updated and improved upon almost every single element, be it hard- or software.
Just because they didn't include Jelly Bean, it's a tiny upgrade? :p
A "tiny upgrade" in the dictionary features a HTC Sensation side by side with a Sensation XE.
Or the One X and One S - basically the same phone, different screen - diversity?
How big an upgrade is the Galaxy Note 10.1 vs the Galaxy 10.1?
Or shrink the SGS3 to 4.3 inches, or the Lumia 900...
Any company, not just Apple... any of the leading makers could give us a gigantic update - huge. iTunes, mass storage, skype, 3D, any-app-you-want etc etc... they won't. Incrementalism equals sustained profitablility. But for a tiny incremental update Apple have delivered quite a bit.
Oh whatever...go on, tickle us.

lutin  Sep. 13, 2012 at 09:44

I'm an android fanboy. There I said it.

I watch the Apple keynote every year in some sadistic, voyeuristic way as part of me likes to be sent into a jealous rage/ defensive/offensive rant mode when they reveal something that the new iphone has that android doesn't have.

My honest reaction to this keynote was "Meh", nothing to rant about, because they haven't really raised the bar .

I remember when I first saw the iphone 4 I thought "sweet jebus, that's an awesome phone"; nothing on android could touch it. I can honestly say i have never been so close to buying an iphone.

With the iphone 5, i just don't have the same awe or envy.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 13, 2012 at 09:59

I'm an android fanboy. There I said it.

I watch the Apple keynote every year in some sadistic, voyeuristic way as part of me likes to be sent into a jealous rage/ defensive/offensive rant mode when they reveal something that the new iphone has that android doesn't have.

My honest reaction to this keynote was "Meh", nothing to rant about, because they haven't really raised the bar .

I remember when I first saw the iphone 4 I thought "sweet jebus, that's an awesome phone"; nothing on android could touch it. I can honestly say i have never been so close to buying an iphone.

With the iphone 5, i just don't have the same awe or envy.


Nothing wrong with that.
I believe for a lot of us smartphones have lost some of the awe-element. It usually starts with one type... I find Android devices stagnant. I was actually quite the Android 'enthusiast' for a while, but these days I hardly see a difference between the Huawei G300 for £90 and a HTC One S for £400... honest.
My rants of the last 24 hours were about/against nonsense arguments. I have no problems with plain old dislike :p

lutin  Sep. 13, 2012 at 10:08

I'm an android fanboy. There I said it.

I watch the Apple keynote every year in some sadistic, voyeuristic way as part of me likes to be sent into a jealous rage/ defensive/offensive rant mode when they reveal something that the new iphone has that android doesn't have.

My honest reaction to this keynote was "Meh", nothing to rant about, because they haven't really raised the bar .

I remember when I first saw the iphone 4 I thought "sweet jebus, that's an awesome phone"; nothing on android could touch it. I can honestly say i have never been so close to buying an iphone.

With the iphone 5, i just don't have the same awe or envy.


Nothing wrong with that.
I believe for a lot of us smartphones have lost some of the awe-element. It usually starts with one type... I find Android devices stagnant. I was actually quite the Android 'enthusiast' for a while, but these days I hardly see a difference between the Huawei G300 for £90 and a HTC One S for £400... honest.
My rants of the last 24 hours were about/against nonsense arguments. I have no problems with plain old dislike :p


I know what you mean (on the homogeny), and for me the biggest factor when choosing my phone the next time will actually be the camera and to a lesser extent the screen size (I'd find it hard to go to something smaller than my s2's screen now). My head has been turned by the Lumia 920, and if the camera turns out to be "all that", I might well go with it.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 13, 2012 at 10:16

I'm similar at the moment... I really dislike Microsoft, but in terms of new smartphones, the Lumia 920 is the last one of the new gen that has me slightly excited. I wouldn't mind a FREE iPhone 5 LOL

Pondlife  Sep. 13, 2012 at 12:09

You really seem to be fighting internally about the wp8 phones. :)
Failing to spot anything exciting about the Nokias really.
Maybe tiny upgrade was a stretch but doesn't seem a leap forward in the same way as others maybe were.
Didn't take a year to go to the XE and htcs failings are well noted anyway.
One X vs S obviously not hugely different, not sure why that's an issue, a slightly smaller s3 we've said would be a nice idea...
Externally with screens off could barely tell the 10.1 from the Note as I've said elsewhere but definitely differences under that veneer (gimmicky ones in the main for me), and better that those who don't need them can buy the 10.1 rather than pay more for them.

Like you I wouldn't say no to a free iphone 5, not sure I wouldn't trade it in though ;)

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