iPhone 5 Big on Software Improvements

By September 12, 2012
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Apple announced the iPhone 5 Wednesday to a packed house. The phone will be available for pre-order Friday, September the 14th, and will ship on Friday, September the 21st. Phones will be available in the U.S. at AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint stores on that day as well.

The phones will be priced the same as the current 4S models.  $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB. The Iphone 4 will be free and the 4S will be $99.00. All on-contract pricing of course. Most phones will be eligible for the iOS 6 upgrade on September the 19th.

Apple says the iPhone 5 will be made of glass and aluminum and will be the thinnest smartphone in the world. It weighs in at 112 grams which makes it 20% lighter than the 4S. Its already much lauded Retina Display will reportedly have 44% better color saturation, and boast a resolution of 1136 x 640.  It’s increase in screen size will allow for 5 rows of app icons instead of the current 4. The bottom tray will keep its current size of 4, and yes the phone will have LTE, which Apple calls “Ultrafast Wireless”.  The phone will sport the A6 chipset which apple says will produce twice as much or more speed when running apps. Apple claims the battery will offer 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time, and 10 hours of Wi-Fi. Based on the minimal increase of the size of the phone and the fact that LTE uses large amounts of juice, this iPhone user is extremely skeptical of those numbers. The phone’s camera hardware stays the same for the most part, just smaller sized components. It will perform better in low-light situations and capture images 40% faster. It will also have a Panorama Mode which will create pictures that are 28 mega-pixels in size. The 5 will allow Facetime over cellular networks. The phone will not offer NFC, because Apple claims there are yet to be resolved security issues.

When the iPhone 5 ships, you’ll have your choice of two colors: black or white. The white has a raw aluminum back and the black sports a dark anodized body. The iPhone 5 features the new Lightning™ connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the previous connector. The all-digital Lightning connector features an adaptive interface that uses only the signals that each accessory requires, and it’s reversible so you can instantly connect to your accessories. The Lightning-to-30-pin Adapter is also available to connect the iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories. It has an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover™ view; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center; Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place; new Siri features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings. Passbook looks very cool. Your airline boarding pass will actually pop up on your phone’s screen when you enter the airport.

All in all I don’t think there were many surprises today. Apple continues to tout smaller is better when it comes to phones. I couldn’t disagree more. We don’t all have hands the size of children. Look no further than the sales of Samsung and HTC phones to see that the phone buying public clearly loves phones with screens much larger than 4 inches. If nothing else, by sharing just a full inch to the width and height of the phone, Apple could have provided a substantial increase in battery power. This is something they desperately need. Apple expects the iPhone 5 to be the best selling iPhone ever. Based on previous iPhone sales and the public’s willingness to continue to pay top dollar for inferior Apple hardware I have no doubt this will prove to be true.

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Thomas Leath

Thomas Leath

For more than 20 years he's been involved in multiple startups as both an advisor and investor, in industries ranging from small business startups to large scale technology. He's owned a successful homebuilding company, cigar shop, bought and sold destination real estate in the Caribbean, and has been a motion picture producer. He's a self proclaimed Gadget Geek, occasional Blogger, Fly Fisherman, Scuba Diver, and Art Collector. He's @ThomasLeath on Twitter.