At its media event today, Apple took the wraps off the long-awaited iPhone 5. Among the iPhone 5's major new features are its larger, 4-inch screen and support for high-speed 4G LTE cellular data. Apple also announced a raft of new iPods, including a new iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod Shuffle.
The iPhone 5 offers:
- A 4-inch, 1136 x 640 Retina Display screen
- 4G LTE wireless networking
- Apple A6 processor, which the company says is twice as fast as the A5X chip in the iPhone 4S
- More battery life than the iPhone 4S
- An improved camera (still 8 megapixels like the 4S, but with improved low-light features and more low-level hardware changes) and, with iOS 6, panoramic photos
- A 720p HD camera facing the user (the camera on the back is still 1080p HD, like on the 4S)
- Lighter weight and thinner than the iPhone 4S
- Support for iOS 6.
The phone will be available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models, at carrier-subsidized prices of US$199, $299, and $399 (with two-year contract). Pre-orders begin Sept. 14 and the phone goes on sale in 9 countries on Sept. 21. It is expected to be on sale in 100 countries by the end of the year.
5th Gen. iPod touch
The new iPod touch takes many features of the iPhone 5, including the 4-inch Retina Display screen, an improved 720p HD front-facing camera and panorama mode, and Siri, for the first time. It also uses the A5 processor for improved performance. The 7th gen. touch comes in black, white, and five other colors. Apple also introduced the Loop, a wristband accessory that secures the touch to the user, which is included with the device.
The new touch offers 32 GB and 64 GB options. Prices are $299 and 399 (the 4th generation model also stays, at 16 GB and 32 GB for $199 and $29). It will be available in October.
7th Gen. iPod nano
A new iPod nano, the 7th generation model, brings a major change to the line. It sports a large multi-touch screen that makes the nano look like a mini iPod touch, as opposed to the smaller previous iterations. It comes in 7 colors and brings video playback back to the nano after it was dropped in the previous model. It also includes Bluetooth.
The nano offers 16 GB storage and costs $149. It goes on sale in October.
iTunes 11, a substantial update to the software that controls content on iOS devices and media libraries, was also announced. The program sports a new interface, a number of new features, and faster performance. It will be available in late October.
Apple also announced:
- The new Lightning dock connector, which is smaller and more durable than the existing connector. An adapter for accessories using the older connector is forthcoming. It is included on the iPhone 5, and all the new iPods.
- New earbuds, called EarPods, that offer improved fit and performance. They're available today.
- iOS 6 will be available to the public on Sept. 19
- The iPhone 4S drops to $99, while the iPhone 4 is now free with a two-year contract
- Over 400 million iOS devices and iPods have been sold all time.
- The company has sold 84 million iPads, all time. The iPad has 68% worldwide tablet marketshare, according to Apple.
- There are now more than 700,000 apps in the App Store, with over 250,000 designed specifically for the iPad.