In what can only be called the biggest electronics industry announcement of 2012, manufacturing giant Apple Computer has shaken the street with news of its forthcoming iPhone 5—easily the most eagerly anticipated electronics product of the year.
Industry rumors have fueled speculation about this product launch for nearly a year and some of the most obvious predictions have come true as expected. But, as usual, Apple saved a few surprises for the actual announcement at San Francisco’s Yerba Art Center.
Here are some of the revelations about the iPhone 5:
iPhone rumors indicated Apple was delivering a larger display with the iPhone 5 – that turned out to be true. The familiar 3.5-inch screen that’s graced every previous iPhone is finally being updated, with an enhanced screen that now measures 4 inches diagonally.
To LTE or Not to LTE?
LTE is said to be the next wave, and U.S. phone carriers have almost been demanding that the new iPhone be LTE-enhanced. The iPhone 5 is the first Apple smartphone to feature 4G-LTE network connectivity, which offers a tenfold increase in data speed when compared to the average home broadband connection. The iPhone 5 will work with the LTE networks sponsored by Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
It’s been nearly ten years since Apple made any substantial changes to the design of the iPhone dock connector. Today’s announcement of a radical improvement in the docking port was an expected and welcome change. The new dock connector is called “lightning” and the Apple connector trades in the existing 30-pin connector for an 8-pin connector. Apple will be selling adapter cables for use with older equipment.
New iDevice launches are about unveiling sharp-looking products, and the iPhone 5 does offer some cosmetic changes—like a thinner body design that’s only 0.3 inches thick. The new model also features a metal or partly metallic back.
It was expected that Apple would follow its established release model, meaning the iPhone 5 would contain the same A5X chip featured on the most-recent iPad release, except in a specially optimized version for the iPhone 5. Instead, however, Apple announced that the new iPhone will have ramped-up processing speeds—maybe twice as fast, even—thanks to the use of the new A6 chip.
Apple has traditionally followed the format of withholding some special product surprises until the actual announcement presentation. Today Apple announced an improvement to the iPhone 5’s camera. The enhanced iSight camera offers increased ability to take pictures in low-light settings, as well as a new mode for capturing panoramic shots. The camera also enables users to snap pix while shooting video.
Apple also introduced an update to iOS 6, the iPhone’s operating system. The updated software will also be available for download by owners of previous models.
Now that Apple has whipped up its iPhone consumer base to a frenzy, all that remains is for consumers to wait for September 21st, which is when the new devices become available. The 16-GB version will start at $199, with 32 GB and 64 GB models costing $299 and $399 respectively. For consumers who just cannot wait to get their hands on the new iPhone, Apple will start taking pre-orders on September 14th.
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