iPhone 5, iOS 6: What You May Have Missed in Apple News This Week
Apple iPhone 5
The most important thing to know about the iPhone 5 is that it features a 4-inch Retina display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1136 by 640 resolution, breaking the 3.5-inch tradition of past iPhones. "It's an absolute jewel," said Phil Schiller, Apple vice president of marketing, introducing the smartphone Sept. 12 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "We couldn't be more proud of it."
Lighter and Thinner
The iPhone 5 weighs 4 ounces and measures 7.6mm thick, making it 20 percent lighter and 18 percent slimmer than the iPhone 4S. The width, however, is the same, so it will be as easy to hold. Samsung's Galaxy S III, arguably its toughest competitor, measures 8.6mm thin, weighs 4.7 ounces and has a 4.8-inch display.
The iPhone's new length means an extra row of icons can fit on the home screen. The rear camera is also notable. Nokia's upcoming Lumia 920 includes impressive camera technology, and Apple needed to also improve in this areaand it did. The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel sensorand important improvementan f/2.4 aperture and an image capture that's 40 percent faster.
iPhone 5 Pricing
Apple has kept its pricing model the same. With a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint, the 16GB model is $199, a 32GB model $299 and a 64GB $399. The iPhone 5 will come in white and silver or black and slate and begin shipping in the United States Sept. 21. It also made a better deal of the iPhone 4S, which is now $99, and will offer the iPhone 4 free with a new two-year contract.
Apple iPod Touch
Apple also overhauled the iPod Touch, giving it a 4-inch Retina display, a 5MP iSight camera with 1080p high-definition video recording, an Apple A5 processor, iOS 6 and even Siri, Apple's "intelligent assistant," who these days is smarter than ever. CEO Tim Cook described music as being "deeply embedded in our DNA," and said that 20 billion songs have been purchased from iTunes since it launched nine years ago.
The new Touch features an anodized aluminum body, measures 6mm thin and weighs just over 3 ounces. It will go on sale in Octoberat $299 for a 32GB model or $399 for a 64GBbut be available for preorder Sept. 14. Apple also showed off new and improved earbuds, called EarPods, which will be included with the iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch and Nano.Â
For the first time, the Touch will come in color choicespink, yellow, blue, white and silver, and black and slate. Another first is "the loop," perhaps a feminine detail but one that should decrease the likelihood of users dropping the iPod while shooting pictures, playing games or listening to music. Touch users now have access to more than 700,000 apps, the full iTunes store and 175,000 games.
Apple iPod Nano
The new Nano features a 2.5-inch multi-touch display, navigation buttons and Bluetooth for wireless listening. It's 5mm thin, offers 30 hours of playback time, and comes with fitness features such as a pedometer and support for the Nike+ app.
iPod Nano Colors
The bright, new 16GB Nano is the thinnest iPod ever made. It will sell for $149 at a yet-to-be-announced date in October and come in pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and slate.
Apple iPod Shuffle
Apple also prettied-up the Shuffle. As of Sept. 12, a 2GB model is available for $49 in pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and slate.
Apple also redesigned the iTunes store, making it closely resemble its App Store and Bookstore. In addition to a cleaner, simpler design, it's integrated with Apple's iCloud, so in iTunes, a person will be able to easily view all the music, movie and TV purchases he's made on all of his iOS devices. There's also a redesigned MiniPlayer and little features like UpNext, where users can queue songs or albums.Â In October, the new iTunes will be available as a free download.