SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc. unveiled its new iPhone 5 at its 2012 September Media event that will have those looking to upgrade to a new phone jumping for joy. Upgrades to the company’s iPod touch and iPod nano were also announced on Wednesday.
- iPhone 5 unveiled
- Lightning: Apple’s smaller dock connector
- New iPod touch, iPod nano, EarPods introduced
- 84 million iPads sold, iTunes updated
iPhone 5 unveiled
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iPhone 5 is the sixth smartphone to be designed and marketed by Apple, and was introduced at the event by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. With its 4-inch Retina display, powerful A6 chip, iOS 6, faster photo capture, and made entirely out of glass and aluminum, the phone is sure to outsell its predecessors like all models before it.
“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Schiller in a released statement. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”
Apple says the iPhone 5 is 18 percent thinner, only 7.6 millimeters thick, and 20 percent lighter than its predecessor, iPhone 4S. The latest device also features a unique dynamic antenna that can easily switch between network connections.
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The device’s new A6 chip promises to be twice as fast and is 22 percent smaller compared to the A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Apple also says graphics are twice as fast.
Apple says they have matched or exceeded the battery life of the iPhone 4S, promising eight hours of 3G talk time or browsing. Users can expect up to 225 hours of standby time as well.
The price of iPhone 5 starts at $199. iPhone 4 is now free and iPhone 4S is $99.
Those wishing to purchase the iPhone can pre-order on Friday and the device will ship one week later.
iOS 6 will run on iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2, and 4th generation iPod touch.
Apple’s (AAPL) stock after the iPhone 5 announcement was nearly unchanged, closing up 1.4 percent to $669.79 at the end of Wednesday.
Lightning: Apple’s smaller dock connector
What’s most interesting about the iPhone is it breaks a tradition that all iPod, iPad and iPhone products have featured since it released its first iPod in October 2001: It no longer has its universal dock connector.
“It’s served us well for almost a decade,” said Schiller. “So much has changed. So many things we used to do over the wire we now do wirelessly.”
The 30-pin dock connector, which originally had Firewire charging and syncing capabilities, is now a smaller 9-pin connector being promoted as “Lightning.” This is because the new connection is an all-digital, 8-signal design and will have improved transfer speeds. Apple is offering an adapter that will allow users to connect the device to legacy products.
New iPod touch, iPod nano, EarPods introduced
In addition to introducing the new iPhone 5, Apple unveiled the latest models of its iPod touch and iPod nano devices. Both devices will also have the new Lightning connector.
The new iPod touch introduced features many of the features already available on the iPhone. It features the same 4-inch Retina display as the iPhone 5, GPS, A5 chip, 5 megapixel iSight camera, Siri, and five new colors.
The 7th generation iPod nano is almost half the size of its predecessor, sports a 2.5-inch multi-touch screen, 30 hours of music playback and will come in seven vibrant colors.
EarPods is Apple’s latest headphone product, which the company is calling a “breakthrough in comfort and audio quality.” The new headphones will be included with the new touch, nano, and iPhone 5 and will also ship as a standalone accessory beginning today.
84 million iPads sold, iTunes updated
At the event, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. said in total, 84 million iPads have been sold so far.
“Yes, we are in a post-PC world,” said Cook.
Cook said in March that Apple has three post-PC product lines, the iPod, iPhone and iPad. That month, Apple introduced its latest iPad and Apple TV.
Also receiving an update is iTunes, the company’s media player computer program. Apple says the program has been completely redesigned with iCloud built into the system, along with improved performance and search results.
Apple says the iTunes store is available in 63 countries, with 26 million songs available and 435 million iTunes accounts that have enabled 1-click purchase.