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Apple unveils the iPhone 5

By TheTechDad

As expected, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5 earlier today, a thinner and lighter version of the existing iPhone 4S and one that comes with the new iOS 6 operating system and a host of new and upgraded features. At the same time, Apple also announced a new iPod Nano, a new iPod Touch and new iTunes software.

Made from aluminum and glass, the iPhone 5 is just 7.6 mm thick, which is 18 percent thinner than its predecessor. At just 112 grams, it’s also 20 percent lighter. Despite the reduced specs, Apple has  stretched the display from 3.5 inches on the iPhone 4S to 4 inches on the iPhone 5. That’s more overall pixels but the resolution remains the same at 326 ppi.

Perhaps the biggest change from the iPhone 4S is not in the looks of the iPhone 5 but in its performance. There is a brand new A6 chip to go with the new operating system and we finally have an iPhone that supports 4G LTE networks. (That means it will be available through AT&T, Verizon and Sprint but T-Mobile customers will continue to miss out.) Apple has also continued with the take-anywhere globalization of the iPhone by including a “dynamic antenna” that will automatically switch connections between different networks.

The heavily previewed iOS will include a new Maps app, turn-by-turn navigation with a new Flyover view, Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, Passbook, and some new Siri features. The iPhone 5 also introduces new audio features, including noise-canceling technology and completely redesigned ear-buds.

Elsewhere, Apple has found itself been playing catch-up with some of the features on the latest Android phones. For example, the iPhone 5 camera now includes the ability to take still photos during video recordings and share photos directly with friends, features that are right out of the Samsung Galaxy S III playbook.

Anyone expecting better integration with other devices and peripherals through the inclusion of a micro-USB port will be disappointed. In fact, Apple is going its own way again by redesigning the connector on the bottom of the phone, a move that might make some existing Apple-approved docks and accessories obsolete. 

The iPhone 5 comes in either white and silver or black and slate and is available for pre-order on September 14. It will be in stores one week later on September 21. The price of the iPhone will be the same as the iPhone 4S, which is $199 to $399 depending on storage capacity. As is usual with the release of a new iPhone, Apple is taking the opportunity to heavily discount their existing models: the iPhone 4S is now $99 with a two-year contract, while the iPhone 4 is free.

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