Apple iPhone 5 | Special event – the recap
Months of heated hearsay finally came to a climax yesterday, as tech giant Apple unveiled their highly-anticipated iPhone 5. The event took place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), a venue which has a history for hosting new Apple product launches. However, the iPhone 5 had to settle for sharing the limelight, as upgrades for iTunes, the iPod nano, the iPod Touch and even new Apple earphones, the EarPods, were also revealed.
The iPhone 5 is Apple’s sixth iteration of the handset, and has been dubbed by many as “tech’s worst kept secret”. In the months leading up to event, several iPhone 5 components (and even a fully operating handset) “found” their way into prying hands. So, it came as no surprise that when the curtain was eventually lifted by Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, an underwhelmed sigh swept across the Twittersphere.
While many of the rumours lined up, there’s no denying the fact that the iPhone 5 is an impressive piece of gadgetry and moreover, a significant upgrade in the handset’s series. Unlike its predecessor, which had a 3.5-inch (diagonal) display, the iPhone 5 now boasts a larger, 4-inch widescreen multi-touch display. Those apps that are optimized for the new-gen iPhone can make full use of this extra screen space, whereas those aren’t will be letterboxed.
Of course, to accommodate this new display, the handset also had to increase in size. The iPhone 5 measures 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, whereas the iPhone 4S measures 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm. Yes, despite its technical enhancements, the iPhone 5 is thinner than previous models. In fact, at 137 grams, the iPhone 5 is thinnest and lightest iPhone ever made!
It’s also the most powerful. With the help of an all-new A6 chip, the iPhone 5 packs more processing punch than its predecessor. More power allows for faster image rendering, which will help with Apple’s new native 3D maps app. On the topic of images, the iPhone 5 houses an 8-megapixel iSight camera, which can now shoot panoramically. This, plus enhanced HD video recording (1080p) in addition to a front-facing HD camera now means that the new iPhone will cater for even the most demanding of photographers/videographers. Another point worth noting is that Facetime, Apple’s popular video calling app, can now be carried out over a cellular connection too.
In terms of design, the iPhone 5 wields a glass and aluminium (anodized and brushed) chassis. The latter predominantly features on the handset’s back-plate, which is two-tone in colour. Once available to pre-order (Friday 14th), the iPhone5 can be purchased in either black or white. Shipping commences on the 21st.
Interestingly, Apple also revealed that the 30-pin dock connector found on previous models of the iPhone will make way for “Lightning”, a smaller (80% smaller, actually), more durable, “all-digital 8-signal” connector. If, however, you own a peripheral that requires a 30-pin connector, Apple has created an adapter/converter which can be bought separately.
It was also announced that the iPhone 5 will run iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system. This includes over 200 new features, which are said “to make the things you do every day even better.”
Additional features include 4G LTE support, ‘ultrafast wireless’, HD Voice, improved video stabilisation and improved battery life (8 hours talk time on 3G and 225 hours on standby).
All of this, and yet the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner, 20% lighter and 12% less voluminous. Incredible.
And now onto the all-new iPods…
Alongside the iPhone 5, Apple also showcased new iterations for both their iPod nano and iPod Touch.
The 7th-gen iPod nano has been significantly redesigned. It now has a 2.5-inch multi-touch display and with a depth of 5.4mm, the ‘renanoed’ iPod is now 50% slimmer than its predecessor.
Clearly catering for the fitness community, Apple’s the new iPod nano comes with a built-in pedometer, which supports Nike+. What’s more, with the help of integrated Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the slimmed-down device can now wirelessly connect with your favourite peripherals. These may include speakers, headphones, car audio and heart rate monitors. No more getting wires caught in your free-weights. Rejoice!
As for Apple’s 5th-gen iPod Touch, there has been a complete revamp. Like the iPhone 5, the new iPod Touch is also the thinnest, lightest and most powerful in its series. Aesthetically speaking, the device is similar to the new-gen iPhone; both have 4-inch retina displays, centrally-aligned front-facing cameras and right-aligned rear-facing iSight cameras.
Unlike the iPhone 5, however, the new iPod Touch hosts a dual-core A5 processor, thus making it more akin to the iPhone 4. That said, Apple’s new portable media player also includes Siri, an “intelligent personal assistant” that does not feature on the iPhone 4.
The most noticeable difference, perhaps, is that the iPod Touch now accommodates for a loop, which is simply colour-matching lanyard that helps prevent against accidental drops.
The new iPod Touch will be available in black, white, blue, yellow and pink. Pre-orders can be made from the 14th September.
And finally, Apple’s new earphones: EarPods!
Three years in the making, Apple finally unveiled a new pair of earphones, which they have fittingly named ‘EarPods’. With 124 prototypes tested across 600+ people, the new EarPods are said to deliver incredible sound by shaping to the “geometry of your ear”. According to MG Siegler, of TechCrunch:
Here’s my instant review: EarPods are a million times better than old earbuds. You can actually hear bass.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) September 12, 2012
Overall, Apple’s ‘special event’ was a success. Having said that, what was built-up to be a inauguration for the iPhone 5, ended up being an iPod-a-thon, which to some extent diluted the impact of the new-gen iPhone. Regardless, one thing’s for sure: the iPhone 5 will sell in its millions.
For more information on the iPhone as well all of the other products mention in this post, please visit the Apple website.