Much as we expected, Apple has today officially announced the iPhone 5. At today’s even in San Francisco, Apple unveiled the newest iteration of the iPhone family, that is in fact called the iPhone 5. Phil Schiller presented the new device, which arose from the stage at the Yerba Buena center.
The leaked designs appear to have been accurate, as the phone made of glass and aluminum with a two-tone back. And yes, a bigger screen with another row of apps.
This is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, just 7.6mm, 18% thinner than before, and weighs only 112 grams. Schiller called it the world’s thinnest smartphone.
As previously guessed, the larger screen is 1136 x 640, thats a 326ppi retina display, 4-inches diagonally.
Apps have been updated to take advantage of the new screen, like showing a full five day week in Calendar, and all iWork apps can use the extra real estate. Un-updated apps will be able to run letterboxed until they get their act together.
The screen is more than just larger, it also apparently has “44% better color saturation.”
The iPhone 5 is also the first iPhone to handle LTE! It’ll be able to go on GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE networks. That’s a max of 100Mbps, thanks to LTE, and it’ll have a single chip for voice and data. The big caveat with LTE is that it often slaughters battery life — here’s hoping Apple manages to keep the iPhone’s stellar battery length going.
When Schiller discussed the battery, he claimed that its actually better than the iPhone 4S, with 8 hours talking or browsing over 3G or LTE, and 10 hours browsing over WiFi. It also hit 40 hours of music, 225 hours on standby.
The carriers at launch will be AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the USA, with plenty of others around the world.
The high-speed also goes to WiFi, as the new iPhone 5 uses 802.11a/b/g/n connections, and can go dual channel up to 150Mbps.
Under the hood, the iPhone 5 will get a new A6 processor, which apparently is twice as fast as its predecessor, but also smaller and more energy efficient.
Apple then brought on stage game developers to talk about the new hardware. Rob Murray from EA came on to discuss Real Racing 3, which has real time reflections in mirrors, and asynchronous multiplayer.
The design team had to fit the camera optics into a much thinner space without sacrificing quality. They’ve gone with an 8MP, backside illuminated sensor, and a fixed aperture f/2.4 lens. It’s 25% smaller, with apparently better low light performance, and a sapphire crystal lens. The A6 chip has also allowed them better processing for faster shots, noise reduction, and better low light images.
You can also now share photo streams with friends and family, and yes, panorama is now official. You hold your phone vertically, and then sweep for a 28MP stitched image!
Video has also been overhauled, with better stabilization and facial recognition. The front facing camera has also been bumped to 720p for video.
Facetime has also been confirmed for cellular networks, but no discussion of who would allow it and who wouldn’t.
The iPhone 5 has three microphones: front, bottom, and back. Schiller discussed something called “wideband audio”, a less compressed way of transmitting your voice across discussions, so that it should sounds more normal. This will require carrier support.
The iPhone 5 is also the first device to officially use the new Lightning dock connector.
The iPhone 5 will be available in either black or white — the white version is raw aluminum, the black is anodized.
It’ll be available from $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB. Unfortunately, there’s still no 128GB version for those of you with huge music collections. Because of this, the iPhone 4S has been bumped down to $99, and the iPhone 4 is free on contract.
Pre-orders will start this Friday the 14th, and ship on the 21st in US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, then 20 countries next month.