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Apple Announces iPhone 5 1052

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-would-have-guessed dept.
Today Phil Schiller took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where he announced the long-expected iPhone 5. The casing is made entirely of glass and aluminum, and it's 7.6mm thick, which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S. It weighs in at 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the 4S. Schiller confirmed that the iPhone 5 has a 4" display, with a resolution of 1136x640. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is the same width as a 4S, but it's taller. To accommodate older apps, they either center the app or add black bars to make it look right. The new device also has LTE support. Tim Cook spoke earlier about the iPad, making some interesting claims: "Yes, we are in a post-PC world." He also claimed 68% tablet market share for the iPad, and says iPads account for 91% of tablet-based web traffic. The event is continuing, and we'll update this post as further announcements appear. A real-time liveblog is being quickly updated at Ars Technica. Update: 09/12 18:16 GMT by S : Further details below.
Further details: for the iPhone 5, Apple also added support for HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. The dynamic antenna is an improvement over the 4S, and can switch connections. In the U.S. LTE partners are AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. On to processing: the iPhone 5 runs an A6 chip that's twice as fast as the A5, in addition to being 22% smaller. Rob Murray from EA got up on stage to show a racing game, claiming that the graphics "have been built to full console quality." Battery life for the phone will be roughly 8 hours for either 3G talk-time or browsing. Engadget has a feature-by-feature comparison to the 4S.

The new phone's camera has an 8-Megapixel sensor, with a resolution of 3264x2448. It includes a hybrid IR filter, an f/2.4 aperture, and a five element lens. And a sapphire crystal lens cover, for whatever that's worth. There's a new feature for taking panorama shots (claimed 'breakthrough software,' though similar software already appears on actual cameras), and new software for automatically sharing pictures.

Apple also detailed the new connector, dubbed 'Lightning.' It's entirely digital, and 80% smaller than the old connector. It can be plugged in in either direction. Apple has created a bunch of adapters to let old cables and hardware work with Lightning. They then spoke at length about iOS 6, which will run on the iPhone 5, and demonstrated their new Maps app, which includes turn-by-turn directions (also in 3D using a 'cinematic camera'). "Apple is betting heavily on Passbook and other features to give it a leg up in the competition over Google Android and the upcoming Windows Phone 8." Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 start on Friday, and the device will start shipping on September 21. iOS 6 will roll out on September 19.

Apple's Eddie Cue went on stage to discuss changes to iTunes and the iPod. iTunes has been redesigned to work better on the iPad, and, more importantly, iCloud integration has been built in. They've also made a 'mini-player,' which takes up much less screen real estate. The new iTunes will be available in late October. Changes are coming for iPods as well. The new iPod nano looks like a mini iPod Touch. It's 38% thinner than the previous model, but has a bigger, 2.5" multitouch display. It contains an FM tuner with DVR functionality, it has a Home button, and it uses the Lightning connector. The iPod Touch is now 6.1 mm thick and weighs 88 grams. It has a Lightning connector port too, in addition to the headphone jack. The screen is bigger; it's a 4" display, the same as the iPhone 5. It runs on a dual-core A5 processor that's twice as fast as the previous model. Graphics are claimed to be seven times faster. The battery allows for 40 hours of audio playback or 8 hours of video playback. The camera has been upgraded to a 5MP sensor. The iPod Touch comes in colors now. But not grape. Apple also took the wraps off what they call "EarPods." They're like earbuds, but they don't form a seal within the ear. They let air flow continue, and a tiny speaker directs the sound into the ear. The EarPods will come standard with the iPhone 5 and with the new revisions of the iPod Nano, and iPod Touch.
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Apple Announces iPhone 5

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  • Looks nice so far (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:27PM (#41314001)

    Looks nice so far. I'm glad that it has just a slightly larger size and not something ridiculous like some of the Android phones.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:32PM (#41314055)
    Not exactly awe inspiring Apple, is it? http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/16/rim-standard-resolutions-bb10/ [engadget.com]
  • monopoly (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:33PM (#41314083)

    Will Apple be forced to allow iPad owners to install whatever software they want, even if it's not distributed through the App Store?

  • Apple can't use LTE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meridien (718383) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:33PM (#41314085) Homepage
    Where are the lawyers from Samsung when you need them?
  • Re:meh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:35PM (#41314111)

    3G worldphone, LTE, and decent battery life. This is actually impressive, though we've been waiting 2 years for it.

    If it let you out of the Apple sandbox if you wanted, then it would be the best smartphone by far. But that sandbox is a major detractor.

  • Re:Still not HD? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:38PM (#41314145) Homepage Journal

    For a company that wants to be seen as being on the leading edge they could have at least tried competing with the GS3.

    HD on a 4 inch screen is like expecting Klipsch loudspeaker performance from a pair of ear buds. Now I'm not saying everyone will have the same experience, but I'm already wearing reading glasses (began at the ripe old age of 28) and am happy to be able to focus on anything within 2 feet, I'm not about to care about HD on a puny display.

    "What's that little white blur?"

    "That's the opposing team quarterback.

  • My word. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OldSport (2677879) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:06PM (#41314633)

    How can people get excited by this stuff? The original iPhone was amazing, but surely these 20% thinner/faster/smaller/wider/etc. incremental changes should not be causing the tech world to collectively cream in their pants.

    The Onion of course nails this phenomenon perfectly -- starting at 0:21. http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-unveils-muchanticipated-iphone-4se,29489/ [theonion.com]

  • by DickBreath (207180) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:09PM (#41314677) Homepage
    The new iPhone looks suspiciously similar to a Samsung phone from years ago.
  • Re:Something shiny! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yacc143 (975862) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:27PM (#41314923) Homepage

    Well, in 3G might have sucked in the US, but it worked perfectly well here around.

    Well, my Nexus does have 4.1.1, no problems. It's a little bit on the small side (with only 4.65" and a little bit more pixel than the brand new iPhone 5), it works surprisingly well, I had the second battery pack and external charger picked up the same day I got it, ...

    And yes, personally the non-changeable (by the user) battery is a show stopper. I don't need it often, but I do manage to run the battery dry (especially if I was sloppy about keeping it charged up before leaving home), and fixed battery devices (that includes all iDevices but also many Android tablets) don't offer an answer to that.

    Having just run on such a fixed-battery device as primary device, I really felt myself getting paranoid about always having it hooked up to the charger, be it in the car, at home, in the train, and so on. (And despite progress in this relation, there are quite a bit of trains that still have no power outlets, now explain me how you plan to use your iPhone for entertainment on your next 18 hours trip across Europe, I mean you'll be sleeping perhaps 6-8 hours of this, but 10-12 hours usage is still hard). And yes, I've been reading ebooks on my mobile devices years before ebooks become mainstream.

  • by Carewolf (581105) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:32PM (#41314995) Homepage

    How long before we here of the first major defect? Antenna, battery, something else.

    It is right there in the presentation. Black bars around most apps until they are upgraded.

    I admit that is only an aesthetic defect, but aesthetics seems to be a major concern for many Apple fans.

  • Re:Meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:37PM (#41315065)

    The Asus Transformer Infinity has 1920x1200 on a 10" tablet. I seriously doubt that I could see a real difference between the Infinity and the iPad.

  • Why go thin? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jeng (926980) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:41PM (#41315127)

    Ok, but why is it that every single iPhone I see is covered by a huge honkin rubber protective case?

    From what I have seen Apple should quit trying to make the thinnest iPhone possible and instead make something that can survive a drop.

  • Re:iPad traffic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:16PM (#41315607)

    No. Mine was, "wow, iPad users must really like using their devices."

  • Re:not impressed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:33PM (#41315869)

    Actually, on Slashdot they've been pretty histrionic every time around--even the first one.

  • Re:Fragmentation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:33PM (#41315871) Homepage

    With all of these different versions of iOS and different versions of hardware, Apple is creating Fragmentation! (gasp!)
    What is Apple going to do about this?
    Why can't old apps dynamically adapt to the new screen size? The iPad has been out for how long now?

    Well they can't. The API doesn't give developers that capability. Other programming environments (ie, Android, Java, Windows... pretty much all of them) work with a layout system that doesn't guarantee exact positioning very well, but does work on different aspect ratios and densities automatically. iOS uses absolute positioning, so developers have to code specifically to each new screen (save for some special cases where they can get away with it, ie doubling of linear density).

  • Re:My word. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OldSport (2677879) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:14PM (#41316383)

    And it's usually the iLovers who label anybody and everybody that levels the slightest bit of criticism at an Apple product an "iHater." Case in point: your reply, and the fact that my comment was modded down despite being a perfectly valid point.

    It cracks me up because I'm not an iHater at all. I still have my Mac Classic tucked away somewhere, and I've owned a Macbook and an iMac before my current MB Pro, as well as numerous iPods and an iPhone 3G. At the same time, I'm reasonable enough to see through the marketing noise and oohs and aahs and silvery shiny facade and say hey, this is really nothing new.

    But whatever -- lesson learned; you simply do NOT criticize Apple on Slashdot.

  • Re:Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WaZiX (766733) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:16PM (#41316411)

    Well the ASUS tranfromer Pad Infinity (on which I type this) has a 1920x1200 resolution. To be honest it is quite simply a brilliant tablet. For my use of it: with the dock, two SD slots (microSD on the tablet itself + SD on the dock), its USB port, Androids capability of using a mouse and citrix receiver it actually becomes a fully functional solution for working away from the office. I really wasn't expecting it but quite a few iPad owners were actually envious when I showed them what this device was capable and almost all of my colleagues which haven't yet bought a tablet are favoring the infinity over the iPad.

    The infinity + dock + citrix combination really is simply awesome for business travellers and in my case vastly superior to the iPad.

  • by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:28PM (#41316549) Homepage
    There may be a few apps that end up requiring the extra screen space to be useful, but I doubt there will be many. (And most of those will be where the developers were being too clever by half with their interface.) For example, I'm teaching my son to program, and he's building an iPhone app. For him, there will need to be an if/else in applicationDidFinishLaunching that determines the screen height, which would then be used to set the height of list views and scroll views and such. Other than that, no changes needed, and it works perfectly fine on all of the standard iPhone screen sizes. He'd have to do this anyway (and with width) when he gets around to putting in iPad support, so it's actually no extra work to get it looking right on all three display sizes (or four, when the mini comes out).
  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @04:16PM (#41317103) Journal

    If the only difference is the size of a single view, the technique you describe might make sense. Usually, that isn't the case, though, so as a rule, manipulating view sizes in code is a bad way to design an iPad app.

    When adding iPad support to an app, you typically provide a separate NIB file (a file that describes the size, location, and resizing behavior of windows and views) for the larger screen size so that you don't do any view resizing in code at all. In that iPad-sized NIB file, you either make your views a different size or add additional views to take up the extra space (or, more commonly, both), depending on your needs.

    I have no idea which technique will be adopted by folks developing software for iPhone 5.

  • by afgam28 (48611) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:12PM (#41319971)

    Not too long ago, iPhone developers used to complain about how fragmented the Android market was. One iOS developer told me that it was much easier to develop for the Apple ecosystem because there was a standard resolution on all screens, but you never knew what an Android phone's screen would look like. Android developers had to worry about difficult concepts like density- and scale-indepdendent pixels, whereas Apple "made it easy for developers".

    Now, there are a multitude of iOS screen sizes: the original iPhone (and 3G/3GS), the retina iPhones, now the tall-screen iPhone 5, the iPad 1 and 2, the retina iPad and maybe soon the iPad mini. And because so many iOS developers have assumed the "standard" screen size, they have to resort to hacks like letterboxing old apps.

    I wonder if this factored in to the decision to maintain the horizontal screen width. If all iOS apps sported true resolution independence, would they have kept the same aspect ratio rather than going to 16:9?

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