Apple today unveiled its next-generation smartphone, the 4in iPhone 5, which will include 4G LTE connectivity.
The iPhone 5 will come in black and white, and will start shipping on 21 September in the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. By the end of the year, it will be sold in 100 countries via 240 carrier partners around the world. Pre-orders begin 14 September.
The 16GB edition of the smartphone will be available for £529 on our shores. No other prices have been revealed for the UK launch, but the US models will sell for $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) with a two-year contract.
The revamped iPhone, which literally rose from the stage on a pedestal at Apple's press event in San Francisco, includes an 1,136 x 640 Retina display, which is the same width but taller than its predecessor. The screen is 30 per cent lighter thanks to in-cell technology, which Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said will make it sharper and result in less glare in the sunlight.
The iPhone 5's camera boasts an 8-megapixel sensor, backside illumination, a hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture - and it's all 25 per cent smaller than earlier iPhone cameras. It also offers 1080p HD video capture, better stabilisation, face detection for up to 10 faces, and the ability to take photos while recording video. There's also a Panorama mode.
Schiller said Apple software like Keynote, Pages, and Numbers is being updated to take advantage of the new display. Developers can update their apps for the bigger screen very easily, he said, but non-updated apps will run at the same size as every previous iPhone.
Overall, the iPhone 5 is made entirely of glass and aluminum, and is 20 per cent lighter and 18 per cent thinner than the iPhone 4S.
In terms of connectivity, the iPhone 5 includes built-in GRPS, EDGE, EVDO, and HSPA - as well as HSPA+ 21, DC HSPA 42 and yes, LTE. The phone now includes a single baseband chip for voice and data and a single radio chip, which Apple said saves a great deal of space. A dynamic antenna can switch between different networks. In the UK, the 4G LTE iPhone 5 will be available with Everything Everywhere, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3.
Apple also promised higher-performing Wi-Fi.
The iPhone 5 will run a revamped A6 processor, which Apple said boasts a 2x faster CPU and 2x faster graphics than the A5. The new chip is also 22 per cent smaller.
That processor will be able to take advantages of games like EA's Real Racing 3, which includes a time-shifted multi-player feature and will be available in the App Store later this year, according to EA.
Apple said the iPhone 5's battery life will top that of the iPhone 4S with eight hours of talk time, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback, eight hours of LTE browsing, and 225 hours of standby.
The iPhone 5 has three rather than two microphones - bottom, front, and back, which will be useful for noise cancellation and things like Siri.
As expected, the new iPhone also includes a smaller dock connector. The 8-pin "Lightning" connector replaces the previous 30-pin dock connector. Apple said it is working with accessory makers like Bose and Bang & Olufsen, which will integrate Lightning into their products. Until then, Apple will offer a Lightning connector.
For more, see our live blog of today's Apple event.
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