Apple has officially unveiled the iPhone 5, with the long awaited handset entering the realms of reality with an all new form factor and the repeatedly leaked 4-inch Retina display.
Unveiled during the company’s San Francisco based launch event, the iPhone 5 release date has been confirmed with the iPhone 4S follow-on lining up slimmer than its predecessors at just 7.6mm thick. It will hit retailers in the coming weeks.
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Long the thing of rumour and speculation, Apple’s hotly anticipated sixth-generation smartphone was formally unveiled by Phil Schiller with the Apple head describing the handset as "a monumental challenge." Teasing the iPhone 5 release, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the device stating that Apple was "making a huge leap" and taking the iPhone brand to "the next level." Schiller proudly added: "Today we're introducing iPhone 5."
Running the WWDC unveiled iOS 6 operating system as expected, the iPhone’s first change in screen size since the original handset’s launch back in 2007 sees Apple target the rise in oversized Android handsets, with the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 battle set to be one of the most hotly contested tech battles in recent memory.
Apple iPhone 5 Design
Apple's first dramatic design overhaul since the 2010 launch of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 lines up with an all new 4-inch Retina display, up from a previous 3.5-inch standard, whilst the handset slims down, dropping from the iPhone 4’s relatively plump 9.3mm thickness to a new, svelte 7.6mm in size.
This new, slimmer, body is helped in part by the handset’s move from Apple’s classic 30-pin dock connector to a new, more compact and faster 8-pin dock offering. Sure to be a contentious move considering the amount of Apple accessories sold with the now dated docking port, the new 8-pin system, dubbed Lightning, looks set to become Apple’s new standard with the much rumoured iPad mini tipped to sport the revised component when unveiled later this year.
On the new 8-pin Lightning connector, Schiller added: "So a lot has changed, and it's time for the connector to evolve. Our new connector is called Lightning. So we have Thunderbolt and Lightning."
Further design alterations see the ultra sleek and sexy, albeit rather fragile, glass back from the iPhone 4 and 4S make way for a new, metal backed offering that is sure to spark a flurry of imitators. As detailed in a number of pre-release iPhone 5 rumours, Apple has moved the handset’s customary 3.5mm audio jack from the handset’s upper edge to the bottom panel.
Talking on the iPhone 5's new form, Apple's Senior Vice President of Designer Jony Ive stated: "iPhone 5 is the result of this approach. For the first time ever, we've increased the size of the display. You can see more of your content, but still comfortably use it with your hand."
Whilst the iPhone 4S was a steppingstone upgrade on the iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 is an all new beast in its own right with a broad array of high-end innards included to put the device firmly atop the smartphone standings.
With the new 4-inch Retina display playing host to a visually impressive 1136 x 640p image resolution, alongside a 16:9 aspect ratio and the Retina display mandated 326PPI image density, the iPhone lines up as a must have for anyone looking to enjoy video content on the move.
Describing the new iPhone 5 display, Apple’s Schiller said: "This is the most accurate display in the industry. The touch sensors are integrated right into the display itself. We removed a layer and made it sharper. This is the world's most advanced display, and I couldn't be prouder of it."
Elsewhere, contrary to reports that the handset would sport the same A5X CPU as the iPad 3, the newly unveiled Apple iPhone 5 will be heading to market as a direct HTC One X competitor with a new A6 processor in tow. Two times faster than the A5 chip, the A6 iPhone 5 processor is also touted as offer graphics twice as speedy as its predecessor.
Maintaining an 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera, the iPhone 5's main snapper is yet another improvement on its iPhone 4S sibling. Dubbed the iSight camera, the iPhone 5 offering boasts a dynamic low light mode with a hybrid IR filter and an f/2.4 aperature. Elsewhere, the 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera is further bolstered by 1080p Full HD video recording and sees its front-facing counterpart moved from its formerly off-centre location to a new, pride of place, centralised location directly above the handset’s speaker whilst adding 720p HD video capture.
As with recent iPhone releases, the iPhone 5 launch has seen Apple out six handset variations with each of the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage capacities to be made available in both the trademark black and now customary white colour forms.
Appeasing many, Apple has also confirmed that it is to launch an iPhone 5 4G LTE handset that will be made available to global markets. Following yesterday’s UK 4G launch as Everything Everywhere rebranded as EE, Apple has revealed that UK consumers looking to snap up the high-speed handset will be able to get the iPhone 5 4G on EE.
As with previous iPhone launches, Apple has confirmed that its latest handset will be with us sooner rather than later with an iPhone 5 UK release date officially set for next Friday, September 21st.
Hitting retailers just nine days after being formally unveiled, the iPhone 5 release date will see the handset launch in the UK and US simultaneously with Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore also set to be offered the eagerly awaited device on September 21st.
Continuing the global rollout, Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 5 will be made available across 100 countries and 240 carries by the end of the year.
The hottest handset launch of the year, large queues are once again expected to form outside Apple stores in the days leading up to the iPhone 5 release date as eager fans look to become the first to get their hands on the already iconic device. For those looking to ensure their iPhone 5 ahead of time, Apple has confirmed that iPhone 5 pre-orders will kick off later this week on September 14th.
With Apple revealing that iPhone 5 pre-orders will kick off on September 14th, the Cupertino based company has also confirmed iPhone 5 UK prices with the 16GB iteration of the eagerly awaited handset to set wannabe owners back the princely sum of £529, up on the £499 launch price of the equivalently sized iPhone 4S.
With no price discrepancies between the black and white models, the larger capacity iPhone 5 devices play host to their usual incremental price hikes with the 32GB option to set wannabe owners back £599 on a SIM-free basis whilst the 64GB offering will cost a hefty £699.
Although a raft of UK networks are set to stock the upcoming device, subsidised iPhone 5 prices and contract allowances have yet to be confirmed.
Has the iPhone 5 lived up to the hype and met all of your expectations or are you disenchanted by the reality of Apple’s latest-generation smartphone? Let us know via the comments boxes below or through the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds.