Apple finally released the much-anticipated iPhone 5 at an event in San Fransisco. The iPhone 5 has left Apple fanboys salivating for almost a year now.
Apple finally released the much-anticipated iPhone 5 at an event in San Fransisco. The iPhone 5 has left Apple fanboys salivating for almost a year now. Most thought it would be unveiled at Apple’s previous smartphone keynote in October last year, but the iPhone4S featured software upgrades and the introduction of Retina Display, Siri and iCloud – all present in the iPhone 5.
For the first time since Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007 – pretty much changing the smartphone landscape as we know it forever – Apple has introduced a major redesign to their phone. Apart from being the thinnest and lightest (112 grams) iPhone ever built, iPhone 5 is also the tallest (think Victoria Beckham with 6-inch heels). At 4-inches long, it has room for an extra row of apps and subsequently, a better content viewing experience (Ok, that’s enough of thinking of Mrs Beckham).
Even though we can attribute the revolution of the lack of a keypad and introduction of the touch-screen to Apple’s major 2007 iPhone launch, I think it’s fair to say that Apple had to eventually succumb to the pressure put by Samsung, HTC and Nokia who have all gone in for larger screens on their current smartphones. Samsung fastest-selling mobile phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is iPhone’s closest competitor in terms of dimensions and specifications still has the biggest screen in the smartphone category at 4.8 inches. With phone doubling up as multimedia devices today, clearly bigger is better.
But behind all these little monsters are the CPUs that power these beasts. I like how every time a company launches a new product they basically write off their old product making you want to chuck it out of the window. The iPhone4S, which is still the preferred choice of millions, is one of the best there is around. But the iPhone 5 runs on the super-slick dual-core Apple 6 chip, which is twice as fast as its predecessor, 22% smaller and more power efficient. Remember people who complained that the iPhone4S sucked up all their battery life? That may well be about to change as the iPhone 5 can do more with less. It has ditched its 30-pin connector, which had a nine-year run on all Apple devices, for a Lightning Connector.
For the first-time ever, Apple has introduced 4G LTE in its phones. This will significantly improve speeds making it easier to download and upload content while on the go and stream content seamlessly without any lag. While this is good news for people across the pond (US), the UK still has to wait about a year before the entire country essentially becomes a wi-fi hub with 4G LTE. But worry not, ultrafast wireless on the iPhone 5 will still make the phone one of the fastest – if not ‘the’ fastest – in terms of browsing the internet. Boredom has a new companion as both FaceTime and video streaming should be smooth as silk on the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 comes pre-installed with Apple’s latest iOS6 operating system which, among other things, will include its very own Maps app (which can be used as SatNav with turn-by-turn spoken directions; a smarter Siri who is now in Grade 5 and has learnt newer things like posting status updates on Facebook and Twitter and making restaurant reservations; a Passbook app which is basically a virtual wallet; better Phone and Safari apps and; FaceTime going off the dependency of wifi, so don’t get freaked out if you see people talking to their phones in the near future. Maybe Apple need another app to tell people when they’re about to walk into pole. It will also be the first iPhone to come without a default YouTube app – the newest version of which can be downloaded from the App store.
Digital cameras are now becoming obsolete and photography is no longer considered a profession. Smartphones are the main cause of that. With the war of smartphones with the best camera heating up, Apple had to up its game to keep up with Samsung and Nokia. It has held ground by upgrading its camera, retaining the 8-megapixel sensor but including upgrades like a sapphire lens cover, 40% faster clicks than the iPhone4S and a sleek Panorama mode, which is again becoming standard on most devices. It also boasts of better pictures in low light without the use of flash. The front-facing camera is bumped up to 720p version, ideal for both Skype and FaceTime.
Apple pretty much observe people, take note of the absence of any Apple device on them and try to make one to suit to suit their specifications. Apple’s white earphones which came with its first iPods were considered cool. But Apple soon neglected them and other companies stepped up with better-quality products, which probably explains why your white earphones are rotting in some corner of your house. To counter that, Apple has released the EarPod. They said these new earphones will direct sound directly into your ear (which was one of the few reasons people got to take a potshot at Apple on Twitter during yesterday’s keynote).
The unique feature of EarPods are that they have sound ports on the sides as well, which helps you hear deeper, richer bass tones. As with everything Apple does, they claimed to have 3D scanned hundreds of ears (I wonder how they did that) to find something that fits comfortably in your ears and provide audio quality that competes with the best earphones available in the market today. The EarPods will ship with the new iPhone 5.
Apps designed for the previous iPhones won’t scale to the bigger screen. They’ll appear with black bars on the bottom end. But I’m guessing it’ll only be a matter of time till adequate adjustments are made for the best experience.
Also, there’s no NFC (Near Field Communication) present in the iPhone 5. While this is another technology that’s becoming standard on most smartphones (Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920 both have it), the iPhone 5 doesn’t. It would certainly have boosted apps like Passbook, which now come pre-installed with the iPhone 5.
Also, the event didn’t reveal anything about the launch of the iPad Mini, rumoured to take on the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD in the 7-inch tablet sector. However, there are strong indications that the iPad Mini will be launched at its own event by Apple in October, so hold on to your wallets in case you have money remaining after buying the iPhone 5.
When can I purchase it?
All major UK mobile networks (3, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone) will offer the iPhone 5 as part of their contracts. Pre-orders start tomorrow (September 14), with the product going on sale on September 21. Yes, that’s the day you need to mark on your calendar as avoiding any routes that fall within a 2-mile radius of an Apple store.
I’m, personally, on the fence with the iPhone 5. I expected…sorry I ‘wanted’ to see more. Maybe we’re still so taken aback with Apple revolutionising products (iPod, iPhone, iTouch, iPad) that we expect them to completely blow us away with every new product launch. But maybe this is a remember that they’re just another technology company – and probably the best one at that.
Are you excited about the iPhone 5? Did it live up to your expectations? Are you going to purchase it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.