At a press conference in San Francisco today, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 5, a new phone made of glass and aluminum, which is thinner, lighter and taller than previous models. The device comes with a new screen size, a new camera, new audio and a new charger, as compared to previous models. It costs $199 for a 16GB version, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB with a two year contract. The phone goes on presale on Friday and ships September 21st in the U.S..
It is 18 percent thinner than previous models at 7.6mm and 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S at 112 grams. It has a 326 pixels per inch retina display with 1136 x 640 resolution and is taller than previous models. The screen, which has the same width as previous models, has five rows of icons in addition to the four shortcuts on the bottom of the screen. The new screen size is ideal for watching videos but will require apps to be optimized for the new size. For now, older apps will run letterboxed.
According to Engadget’s live blog, the device works with “ultrafast wireless,” a dynamic antenna that can automatically switch antenna connections to make the connections faster. The iPhone 5 also comes with a new A6 chip and is designed to be more energy efficient. The battery life has been expanded to support 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time or 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing. The device will allow users to host Face Time calls over normal cellular networks (for participating carriers).
The new phone also comes with an updated camera that is designed to be 40 percent faster at capturing images than previous models and it includes a dynamic low light mode. The camera has a new image processor to help reduce noise, as well as a color filter for better images. With the new camera, comes a new photo sharing platform so that you can share iPhone photos with friends.
According to CNET’s live blog, as had been expected, the new phone also includes a new map app and the device also comes with Passbook, an virtual wallet app. Apple also discussed the anticipated iOS 6 at the event. The update, which is expected in October, includes more than 200 new features, such as the ability to post to Facebook using Siri.
At the event, Apple also revealed a new version of iTunes. The New York Times blog has more: “Apple has 435 million iTunes accounts on file. And the company is releasing a new version of iTunes. More than two-thirds of iTunes purchases come through iOS devices, so Apple revamped iTunes to reflect that, Mr. Cue says. ITunes customers can now share information about their purchases through Facebook and Twitter.”
With the new phones out, Apple has dropped the price of the iPhone 4S to $99.
At the event, Apple revealed some interesting stats about app use. For instance, the average user uses 100 apps on their device and 90 percent of those apps are downloaded every month. Apple CEO Tim Cook also spoke about iPads at the event. He said that Apple had sold 17 million iPads between April and June and revealed that Apple had 68 percent market share. In addition the iPad receives 91 percent of all tablet web traffic. “We sold more iPads than than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line,” Engadget quoted Cook as saying.
EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED AS THE NEWS HAS UNFOLDED.