It’s finally here. Today, Apple unveiled its newest version of the iPhone, this time called the iPhone 5. Unlike its immediate predecessor (the iPhone 4GS), which was more or less an upgraded version of the iPhone 4, the new iPhone 5 has significant differences from earlier versions of the phone.
First off, the rumors about a size increase turned out to be true. The iPhone 5 is longer than the iPhone 4GS and has a 4-inch screen, which is 0.5 inches bigger than the 4GS version. As shown in the above image, the iPhone 5 screen can now fit six rows of apps (five plus the home app row). Also, the larger screen means that the iPhone 5 will support 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios. Despite the larger size, however, the new iPhone 5 is actually 20% lighter than the 4GS, owing mostly to its much thinner profile. At only 7.6mm thin, the iPhone 5 is the thinnest iPhone yet, an a full 18% thinner than the 4GS.
The iPhone 5 is also the first iPhone to support LTE technology. This was a much needed upgrade for the iPhone, as Android phones (such as the Motorola DROID Razr) have supported LTE technology for over six months already. The battery life of the new iPhone 5 is stated to be 8 hours of talk time, which is a full 20% less than the DROID Razr’s advertised 10 hours. Of note, Apple didn’t make a big deal about the battery life of the new iPhone 5 as it did of the 4GS, which is probably a smart move considering that most users of the 4GS never noticed the increase in battery life (and some even said it was less). The camera in the iPhone 5 remains at 8MP, however that is still on par with leading competitors’ smartphones.
The last noticeable change for the iPhone 5 compared to previous versions is the dock connector. Again, as rumored (and turned out to be true), Apple has finally moved away from its wide 30-pin dock connector to a much smaller connector. This is bad news for a lot of third party Apple product manufacturers, like iHome, whose current products will no longer be compatible with the iPhone 5. However, several companies will likely make a dock converter and begin to incorporate the new dock connector into their products as well.
Apple plans to start sales of the iPhone 5 on September 21 in major markets (which includes the U.S.), and prices are the same as in the past ($199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, all with a two-year contract).
As of this afternoon the online Apple Store is down, with the company likely updating it for iPhone 5 pre-orders. And as I was just writing this, iPhone page just updated to feature the new iPhone 5.
So readers, what are your thoughts about the new iPhone 5? How do you feel it compares to similar high-end smartphones from Samsung, HTC, and Motorola? Let us know in the comments!