Apple unveils thinner, lighter iPhone
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012 7:58AM EDT
One of the worst-kept secrets in the tech world was unveiled Wednesday as Apple introduced its iPhone 5 at a news conference in San Francisco.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hailed the new phone as “the most beautiful product we have ever made.”
The new iPhone is the thinnest and lightest ever made, at 7.6 mm thin and 112 grams, Cook said.
The company said the phone has the same retina display, 326 pixels, as the iPhone 4. But now, with vertical pixels, a fifth row of icons has been added. Apple says users will be able to view more of the web, more email and more calendar events.
The phone also boasts 44 per cent more colour saturation than the display of the 4S.
But the news that got tech enthusiasts most excited was LTE, or Long Term Evolution, a newer standard for wireless communication developed for faster data communication.
Apple said Wednesday it is working with carriers that are investing in the technology, which means that consumers with plans at select wireless carriers won’t be able to take full advantage of the new phone’s cellular data speeds.
During the news conference, the company said it is working with carriers around the world, including Bell, Rogers and Virgin Mobile in Canada that are investing in LTE.
Meanwhile, nearly everything about the new iPhone is smaller, but better, the company said, including the new A6 chip: 22 per cent smaller and two times faster. The new connector, called Lightning, is reversible and 80 per cent smaller. The company said electronics makers are working on new devices.
However, the screen has gotten bigger, measuring four inches diagonally.
Another big upgrade is to the Siri voice-activated service, which will now act as something more of a concierge service. The company says users can ask Siri to update Facebook, make a restaurant reservation and call up sports scores, among other task.
And in a direct attack on rival Google, the company has launched a new Maps app that, among other highlights, includes real-time traffic information.
The new phone will be available in both black and white, and will begin shipping in Canada and the United States, among other jurisdictions, on Sept. 21. By the end of the year, the phone will be available with 240 carriers in 100 countries, the company said.
The 16GB will retail for US$199, and prices will go up to US$399 for the 64GB on a contract. The iPhone 4S will now sell for US$99.
While the new iPhone was the most hotly anticipated item during Wednesday’s presentation, the company also unveiled new iTunes software for late October that has new playlist features and a better search function. It also has a mini player, a small window in which to play songs while keeping the music library open.
The iPod Nano is also getting a bit of a facelift. It will be thinner, with a bigger display, and gets a home button such as that on the iPhone and the iPad. It will also have Bluetooth capability for music streaming.