Apple Emphasized That iOS 6 Is Better Than Many Expected
Perhaps the only thing that has been known about the iPhone 5 is that it will run iOS 6. During its presentation, Apple went to some pains to show that this, too, is better than you expected. It includes Apple's own Maps app (adios, Google Maps); Safari has been updated to share tabs from a desktop or tablet (just as Motorola's new Chrome-running Razrs do); there are updates to email, such as a VIP feature; new ways to share photos; and improvements to Siri. The iPhone 5 will come in options of black or white. Pricing is $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, with a two-year contract.The company that changed the way people carry around music-per CEO Tim Cook, there are now 435 million iTunes accounts with one-click shopping enabled-also announced changes to iTunes. Apple has changed its design so that shopping for videos, music, books and anything else also has the same look and feel. It also has iCloud built in, a mini-player, and links to more and richer related content, like concert dates for artists. Unlike the new iPhone, the new iTunes will be available in late October. Additionally, Apple updated the iPod Nano-it's now 5.4mm thin, has a 2.5-inch multi-touch display and can play music, videos and games-and the iPod Touch, which is 6.1mm thin, runs Apple's A5 processor and has a 4-inch Retina display. It now also has a 5MP iSight camera, which like the iPhone 5 can take panoramic photos, and will support Siri. Finally, Apple even improved on its earbuds, introducing new EarPods, earphones designed to better fit the geometry of people's ears. The EarPods will start shipping Sept. 12, but come included with the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch and Nano. The 2GB Shuffle-which now comes in new colors-remains at $49. The 16GB iPod Nano is $149, and the new iPod Touch, as before, will sell for $199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB. "Only Apple could integrate these services and bring them all together," said CEO Cook. "Apple has never been stronger." Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil summed up-by Twitter's dictates-the events of the afternoon, writing, "Once you have a balanced product, the best strategy is improvements across the board. It may not be dramatic, but it makes good products." Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.
Apple also lowered the price of the iPhone 4S to $99 and the iPhone 4 to zilch with a contract. It can be preordered beginning Sept. 14, and-again the rumor mill nailed it-will go on sale Sept. 21 in United States and a list of other countries. By the end of the year, it will be available from 240 carriers in 100 countries.