Apple just concluded its iPhone event in the US. If many people have been burned by the launch of the iPhone 4S last year, the launch of the new iPhone made them prophets. Apple is known for being ultra secretive when it comes to new products but this time, it’s surprising how it was unable to keep a lid on the new iPhone. Most of the leaks are true, especially the renders and the mock designs. Most of the main features have even been correctly predicted by blogs and tech sites, something that would have not happened under Steve Job’s reign. Let’s look at the new features and specs of Apple’s new iPhone.
The Name: iPhone 5
The phone’s name has been one of the most debated topics online. Apple has surprised people when it named the latest iPad the “new iPad” instead of iPad 3. It’s therefore understandable that people were unsure whether the new iPhone will just be named the “new iPhone” or iPhone 5. Thankfully, Apple decided to use iPhone 5, which is more in line with expectations and more helpful than an otherwise confusing “new iPhone” name. The name has actually been confirmed by Apple in the event invitation it sent to the media in the US when it used the number 12 with the shadow that shows the number 5.
The Screen Size: 4 inches
Handsets with huge displays like the Samsung Galaxy S III are selling briskly. The availability of handsets with huge screens is one of the advantages of Android over the iPhone. People also wanted an iPhone with a bigger screen and Apple surprisingly listened. Apple was of the belief that the 3.5-inch display of the previous iPhones was the most ideal size and it would not have surprised people if it kept this screen size on the iPhone 5. Apple went with a 4-inch display on the iPhone 5 but it has almost the same per pixel density as the iPhone 4S. What Apple did was to simply make the display longer.
The new Retina panel has a 1136 x 640 resolution, which translates to a 326ppi. The new display ratio puts it a bit closer to 16:9. Apple claims it has better color saturation with full sRGB rendering. The longer display on the iPhone 5 allows for a fifth row of icons on the home screen. Apple has already changed first-party apps like the iWork suite, Garage Band and iMovie to take advantage of the bigger, longer display. Older apps will be displayed in their original resolution until an update is issued. In line with previous rumors, the iPhone 5’s display features in-cell touchscreen technology. This means that the touch sensors are integrated into the display itself, making the panel thinner overall.
The Design: Glass and Aluminum
The design of the iPhone 4S is still iconic, even when compared with other handsets in the market. It’s therefore not bad that Apple chose to work on the same design and merely decided to improve on it. The iPhone 5 therefore features the same overall design, only it is thinner and longer. So the metallic band is still there as well as the volume rocker and silent buttons on the left side. The front display also looks the same but as previously mentioned, it is now longer.
If the iPhone 4 and 4S sported glass rear panel, the iPhone 5 now has two-toned aluminium back panel, which is much in line with the leaked images of the phone. The white version is almost the same as the leaked photos but the black version appears darker. Also, the metallic band on the black version is now of the dark grey hue, not the silver one found on the black version of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is Apple s thinnest and lightest phone to date, measuring at 7.6mm thick and weighing only 112 grams.
New Features: A6 Processor, LTE, Lighting Connector, Earpod, 8-Megapixel Camera, iOS 6
The iPhone 5’s processor has been upgraded to Apple’s A6 SoC. This, according to Apple, is twice as fast as the processor on the iPhone 4S. That should be impressive considering how fast the processor is on the previous iPhone. The graphics performance has also been doubled according to Apple.
The iPhone 5 has LTE connectivity. It’s not sure if an LTE version will also be released in the Philippines since the technology is not widely available yet, though Smart Communications already has a working and commercially available LTE network. Globe Telecom, on the other hand has already announced plans to launch its own LTE service before the year ends. Still, LTE is an expensive proposition at this point, so it’s possible that the LTE version will not reach our shores, officially at least. But Smart, or Globe eventually, could of course still possibly introduce an LTE version.
Apple has introduced a new dock connector called Lighting. It is said to be 80 percent smaller than the traditional 30-pin cable. It is an 8-pin plug with a reversible design. Apple says it will provide an adapter to make the old accessories usable. The headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the phone as anticipated. The earbuds have also been redesigned, and it is consistent with that shown in the previously leaked video. Apple calls the new earbuds the “Earpods” and it features a design that should improve the fit and the sound performance.
The iPhone’s 5’s camera still has an 8-megapixel sensor. It has a backside illuminated sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and a hybrid IR filter that’s faster with improved low light performance. The camera software now has panorama mode and will allow taking still photos while recording video, just like in HTC’s Image Sense.
The iPhone 5 of course features Apple’s latest OS, the iOS 6. It has a slightly improved Siri, a tighter Facebook integration and a new Maps app among others.
Pricing and Availability in the Philippines
Pricing in the US is $199 for the 16GB iPhone 5 on a two-year contract, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for the 64GB version. This is practically the same pricing scheme as the iPhone 4S, so when it arrives in the Philippines, it should carry the same price tag when the iPhone 4S launched. Expect, therefore, for the prepaid or unlocked iPhone 5 to be priced above P30,000 for the base model.
Pre-orders in the US start on September 14 and shipping starts on September 21. The iPhone 5 will first be available in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It will be available in other countries from September 28th onwards. The Philippines will probably get the iPhone around October.