Today Apple announced the new iPhone 5. I was a little surprised that most of the leaks about the new iPhone 5 were correct. I remember everyone was sure that there would be 2 iPhones when the 4s launched. I guess Apple's security isn't what it used to be.
Anyways, the 5 biggest changes about the new iPhone are that it has a taller (longer) screen, a new A6 processor, LTE support, a new proprietary accessory connector named "lightening" and a new SIM card format.
The screen retains it's 326pixel per inch density but it's now 4" and has a resolution of 1136x960. It has the same horizontal resolution as the 4 and 4s but now the aspect ratio is 16:9. So now there's room for another row of icons.
Personally, I like the width of the iPhone 4 and 4s. They're the perfect size for me to use the iPhone with one hand since my thumb can reach across the screen easily. It's very difficult to do this on my Galaxy S III's. So I'm happy that Apple kept the same width and just made the screen taller.
Otherwise the screen retains the same 800:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness of the 4s.
Physically, the 5 measures 7.6mm thick and weighs 112g. To compare the Galaxy S III (which is a substantially bigger phone) measures 8.6mm thick and weighs 133g. The thinness should make the 5 a great phone to be put in a case.
It's available in 2 colours, Black/Slate and White/Silver. Both have aluminum backs, the Black one is anodized while the White isn't. The metal backs should make the new iPhones very tactile though I always though the 4 and 4s' glass backs were pretty nice too. The parts of the back that aren't covered with aluminum are covered in glass.
There are actually 3 versions all of which support LTE. There are 2 versions for GSM carriers and one version for CDMA carriers. The 2 GSM versions differ in which LTE bands they support. Basically there's one for here and one for overseas.
The iPhone 5 will have both voice and data from a single chip. Most LTE phones have separate chips for this. Not a big deal to the end user but it's worth mentioning.
The WiFi now supports dual bands (2.4 and 5Ghz), the 4s didn't support 5Ghz.
The new A6 processor is supposed to have 2x the graphics and CPU performance as the older A5 chip.
There'a new accessory connector called 'lightening'. It's 80% smaller than the older connector though it looks bigger than a microUSB connector. Don't you just love proprietary connectors? Apple is selling a old style to new style accessory connector.
The camera resolution is still 8MP but the software supports panoramas. Apple was showing off a 28MP panorama. I'm not sure if the 4s also had this but the 5 has a sapphire crystal lens. That's the same glass you find on luxury watches. Sapphire crystal is extremely hard and doesn't scratch easily.
The iPhone's camera software can finally walk and chew bubble gum at the same time I mean you can shoot video and take pictures at the same time.
The front facing camera now supports 720p facetime so I'm guessing is either a 1.3mp camera or maybe the less impressive 720x640 camera from the iPad 2.
I'm not happy that Apple is introducing a new SIM Card format with the 5. While most companies are now using MicroSIMs the 5 takes a nano SIM. As someone who switches phones regularly I hope that there will be adapters available so that I can use nano SIMs in other devices.
Apple didn't discuss how much RAM the new iPhone 5 has. Part of me assumes it will have 1GB of RAM though the other part tells me "don't say anything if you have nothing good to say". So maybe it has 512MB like the 4s did. 512MB isn't a deal breaker but it would have been nice. I'd be able to switch between more apps and games without having to relaunch them.
They also didn't discuss the battery's capacity. Not sure what to make of this one. I'm sure it will be bigger than the 4s' 1400mAh battery though I have no idea how much bigger.
The mapping software now supports navigation. I've been using the new maps on my 4s which is running OS6. On my 4s the maps app is obviously not complete but it does look very nice. What effect this will have on navigation provider's stock prices remains to be seen.
Apple will be taking pre-orders on Sept 14th. It will be available in-store on the 21st. Pricing for Americans will be $199/$299/$399 on a 2 year contract for the 16/32/64GB versions. Canucks will be paying $699 for an unlocked one. I'm guessing contact pricing will be similar to what Americans will be paying but with a 3yr contract. Frankly I'm surprised and a little annoyed that Apple is raising prices slightly. On the other hand, them raising prices gives Android makers some breathing room. If the 5 started at $599 unlocked it would mean that most Android phones couldn't cost more than that which would really hurt their profit margins so I guess kudos to Apple for throwing their competition a bone.
Personally, since the iPhone is sort of in the driver's seat right now it doesn't need to smash the competition feature-wise. That said aside from the LTE support and I suppose the slightly bigger, higher resolution screen it's not a huge upgrade from the 4s.
I'm disappointed that there's no support for NFC but at the same time, while NFC is becoming more useful it's not quite a "must have" feature just yet. My guess is by the time the next iPhone rolls around it will have NFC support then.
LTE is a nice new feature. I tell people that LTE support is important not because they need their phones to transfer at 100mbps but because LTE networks (at least the ones here) tend to be less congested than their HSPA counterparts. Given that the new iPhone is probably going to set new sale records I'm uncertain what effect this will have on LTE network congestion...
So, who's getting ready to line up now? While I love my Android phones (two S3's a One X and a Note) I also love my 4s so I'll definitely be getting one.