Apple on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, which features a bigger screen, 4G wireless support, longer battery life and a new, more powerful processor that opens the door wider for content creators.
The iPhone 5 comes with a 4-inch display, compared to the 3.5-inch display of the iPhone 4S, along with 1,136-x-640 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It is 7.6 millimeters thick and weighs 112 grams, making it thinner and lighter than previous models. Under the hood is Apple's A6 processor, which is 22 percent smaller than the A5 but delivers twice the performance, according to the company.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of product marketing at Apple, said the display upgrade allows for an extra row of icons to fit on the iPhone 5 home screen.
"This is the most accurate display in the industry. The touch sensors are integrated right into the display itself," Schiller said at a media event in downtown San Francisco, according to a transcript of the event compiled by The Verge. "We removed a layer and made it sharper. This is the world's most advanced display, and I couldn't be prouder of it."
[Related: The 7 Coolest Features Of The Apple iPhone 5]
Apple has updated its software to take advantage of the iPhone 5's extra display space and has given some iOS developers early access to the device so that they can update their App Store apps, Schiller said.
The iPhone 5 adds support for 4G LTE wireless broadband for the first time, and it also supports HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. Wi-Fi has also been upgraded to support 2.4GHz and 5GHz on 802.11n. Battery life has been given a boost in the iPhone 5, which delivers eight hours of talk time and 4G Web usage and 10 hours of Wi-Fi usage.
"There's now a single chip for voice and data, and a single radio chip. And we have a unique Apple advantage with a dynamic antenna," Schiller said, according to The Verge's transcript.
Apple is upgrading both built in cameras as well. The iPhone 5's new 8-megapixel iSight camera is smaller than that of the iPhone 4S but shoots photos faster. Apple has also upgraded the front-facing video camera, used for FaceTime conversations, to 720p HD video.
Michael Oh, founder of Tech Superpowers, a Boston-based Apple reseller that sells the iPhone through a retail partnership with AT&T, believes the upgraded iPhone 5 will help Apple keep smartphone competitors at bay.
"People have been eyeing devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and others, perhaps thinking that there are better products than the iPhone to consider," Oh told CRN. "Now, the iPhone 5 is going to bring these people back."
NEXT: Apple's Shipping Schedule For iPhone 5Apple will ship the iPhone 5 in the U.S. and eight other countries on Sept. 21, and it will begin taking pre-orders on Sept. 14. The iPhone 5 will be available in the U.S. through Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, and in Canada through Rogers, Telus and Bell, with pricing the same as the iPhone 4S: $199 for the 16-GB model, $299 for the 32-GB model and $399 for 64 GB-model.
By December, the iPhone 5 will be available in 100 countries through 240 carriers, Apple said.
Apple has also changed its dock connector design with the iPhone 5. Its new Lightning connector is 80 percent smaller and features an 8-pin connector that works not matter which way it is plugged in, unlike the standard 30-pin connector that arrived in 2003 with the iPod and is used with all previous iPhone models.
Apple plans to offer adapters in October that will allow the old 30-pin connectors to be used with the iPhone 5.
Apple is also giving its iPod Touch a major overhaul. It comes with the same 4-inch display as the iPhone 5 and is powered by an A5 processor with dual-core graphics that delivers twice the performance of the previous model, Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPod, iPhone and iOS product marketing, said at the event, according to The Verge's transcript.
Apple is also upgrading the iPod Touch's camera, adding a 5-megapixel iSight digital camera with autofocus and flash. The new 16-GB iPod Touch is priced at $199 and the 32-GB model is $299.
The iPod Touch upgrades, combined with Apple's iTunes upgrade that's coming in October, which adds deeper integration with its iCloud service, stand to give an even broader range of users the ability to create content. That, in turn, puts Apple in position to extend its influence to other areas, Nick Gold, director of business development at Chesapeake Systems, a Baltimore, Md.-based Apple partner, told CRN.
"Apple is shaping up to become not only a leading phone manufacturer, but also one of the leading parties to getting video content into the hands of viewers, and bypassing the established video broadcast industry," Gold said in a phone interview after the event.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 12, 2012