The advanced technology in the iPhone 5 shows a strong move forward for Apple’s best-selling device, answering critics who called the iPhone 4S released last year more of an incremental upgrade to earlier models.
The iPhone 5 sports a bigger, 4-inch Retina Display that’s 1136 x 640 resolution. The phone itself is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4.
A new Apple-designed A6 chip that’s twice as fast as the earlier A5 powers the iPhone 5 and Apple exec Phil Schiller says graphics are twice as fast too.
Apple's digital assitant Siri has been updated. In a demo Apple exec Scott Forstall asks Siri to recommend the best movies. Siri answers that it's subjective then shows listings.
Forstall says there are over 200 new features in iOS 6, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Other features shown that were expected is higher speed LTE connectivity and a new dock connector.
Picture this, a better iSight camera
Apple also touted improvements to the iSight 8 megapixel camera in the iPhone 5.
The camera is “completely redesigned” with a new panorama feature that lets you capture panorama images of up to 28 megapixels by simply moving the camera across a scene in one smooth motion.
There are also new video features include improved stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record.
Apple said it's also improved FaceTime sessions with a new FaceTime HD front facing camera for video calls that can also be used for self portraits and recording 720p HD video.
Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the event by noting the iPad outsells the volume of any PC maker.
“We sold more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line. Yes we are in a post PC world," said Cook.
Last quarter, Apple said it sold its 400 millionth iOS device.
Price and availability
The iPhone 5 will sell for the same price as the current 4S, $199. 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399) models will also be available.
The earlier iPhone 4 is now Apple's 'free" model, available with a two-year contract. The iPhone 4S with 16GB is now $99 with a two-year contract.
Apple is taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 starting September 14. The iOS 6 upgrade will be available for iPad and other devices starting September 19. The iPhone 5 will ship September 21.