There weren’t a lot of surprises at Apple Inc.’s under-wraps launch event on Wednesday, with an as-anticipated iPhone launch and preview of the new iOS 6 operating system, along with upgrades to Apple’s line of music products.
For the most part, we’re looking at incremental improvements, nothingrevolutionary. The common refrain: “It’s the best iPhone/iPod/iPodTouch we’ve ever made.”
In terms of details, the iPhone 5 (it did get a number, unlike the newiPad) is all aluminum and glass, thinner at 7.6 mm, and lighter at 112grams. The four-inch screen makes the phone taller, not wider, andalmost brings it into a widescreen aspect ratio. Its new “Lightning”connector is smaller than in the past. Onboard cameras remain more orless the same as the 4s, though a new Panorama mode produces picturesof up to 28 megapixels from the 8-MP sensor.
On the hardware side, what’s under the hood may be the most significantimprovement. Apple says the new A6 processor is twice as fast as the A5it replaces (which gets handed down to the iPod Touch) and has twicethe graphics-handling power. Battery life is eight hours talk, 10 hoursbrowsing on WiFi.
Of course, it’s an LTE phone, with a single radio for talk and data.This was no surprise, and in fact Samsung was reported to have alreadyfiled suit over LTE use before the iPhone 5 had even launched.
Apple will be taking preorders of the iPhone 5 starting Sept. 14, andwill begin shipping Sept. 21 in the U.S. and Canada — the fastestrollout of an iPhone n the company’s history, according to CEO TimCook. U.S. contract-based pricing will be $199 for the 16GB version,$299 for the 32GB version, and $399 for the 64GB version, with theexisting 4S dropping to $99. In Canada, the iPhone 5 will be availablethrough Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido and Virgin.
For details on Apple’s new iOS 6 — which will also be available as anupgrade to older phones and launches Sept. 19 — read SerenityCaldwell’s piece in Macworld.
The launch event lacked Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s trademark “bonusreveal,” but did feature a three-song set from rock band Foo Fighters