Apple iPhone 5 lands September 28 in NZ
- — 12 September, 2012 22:00
Apple has introduced the iPhone 5, which has a 4-inch Retina screen but is the same width as previous versions, in San Francisco this morning. It features a new connector called Lightning, an 8MP camera and iOS 6.
iPhone 5 comes in either white & silver or black & slate, and will be available in New Zealand for a recommended retail price of $1049 (16GB), $1199 (32GB) and $1349 (64GB).
Pre-orders open on September 21, and shipping begins on September 28 in New Zealand.
The price of the iPhone 4S will reduce to $899 and the iPhone 4 will still be available at $599.
Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, got the gig to introduce the iPhone 5, after a warm-up introduction from CEO Tim Cook, but all eyes were on the new smartphone as it rose from the floor of the stage on a pedestal, spinning, while he made his presentation.
The new handset is made entirely of glass and aluminium, and it's 7.6mm thick: the thinnest iPhone to date. Apple says that it's integrated touch sensors into the display, rather than layering it on top as other manufacturers do, to allow it to produce an iPhone this thin.
At 112 grams the Phone 5 is also 20% lighter than previous iPhones. Schiller said that Apple kept the width of the phone exactly the same so that it would still be as easy to fit in your hand, and as easy to use, as before.
Apple touted the new A6 processor in the iPhone 5 as being twice as fast, both computationally and graphically, compared to the A5 – the processor in the iPhone 4s. Examples given by Apple included web pages being launched twice as fast, and images being saved from the Photo app twice as fast.
The new iPhone has a battery life on 3G of 8hrs browsing/, while for video playback Apple estimates 10hrs and for music 40hrs.
The 4in Retina display (326ppi) has 1136 x 640 pixel resolution – this allows a fifth row of icons on the main screen. Apple also claims that the new screen has 44% more colour saturation than the iPhone 4S.
The new camera is 8MP, with a five element lens at f/2.4. Apple says it has a 'dynamic lens', which can combine pixels to get better low-light results. It can take 1080P video and even shoot stills while recording video.
Apple says that there are now three microphones and an improved speaker for the phone, which should make both phone calls and videochat clearer.
The iPhone 5 features a new connector, Lightning, which is smaller than previous dock connectors and reversible for easy plugging in. Apple said it will be producing a range of adapters to ensure that existing accessories can be connected to the new iPhone 5.
Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that there are now over 700,000 apps in store, and that 90% of apps are downloaded each month. The average customer is using more than 100 apps.
Apple's apps have now been modified to take advantage of the extra pixels on the larger screen of the iPhone 5; this provides for extended information - such as a 5-day view in your calendar. But never fear, existing apps that have not yet been modified for the iPhone 5's screen will look exactly as they did on the iPhone 4 or 4S. Apple says that such apps will be centred or provided with black letterboxing so that they present just as they originally did.
Apple showed several apps that have transitioned to the new format of iPhone 5, including the CNN app and OpenTable.
For games, Apple touted console quality graphics and a new “time shifted multiplayer” that lets the first player have their go hours or even days before the second player.
Apple's iOS Vice President, Scott Forstall, presented some of the 200 new features that Apple claims are integrated into iOS 6.
The new Maps app has turn-by-turn directions and a built-in search engine, for example, and you can now post to Facebook, or Tweet, right from the notification centre, making responding fast and simple. Facebook is integrated into many iOS apps. Safari's new iCloud tabs feature shows browser windows open on any iOS device.
Mail has a feature called VIP that lets you mark certain people as important and collect their messages together.
And there's a new app called Passbook to collect movie tickets, plane boarding passes and the like together - we anticipate that this will be of limited use in New Zealand.
Also expected to be of limited use for Kiwis are the enhancements in Siri. Its new sports nous and ability to book a restaurant or find a good movie are likely to be US-centric, if they work outside of the US at all. Business searching was not usable by New Zealanders in previous versions of Siri, for example.
Owners of iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod Touch 4th gen will be able to upgrade to iOS 6 for free on September 19
A new iTunes Store will also be rolled out on September 19.
iPhone 5 will have fast internet via LTE support around the world. While we won't see that support here in New Zealand because of our current lack of and LTE network, Australian partners announced were Optus, Telstra and Virgin Mobile – at least when we hop over the ditch we can pay the roaming rates at the fastest speed ever…