Apple Inc unveiled its newest smartphone handset; the iPhone 5. After months of speculation and leaks, the Cupertino, CA company unveiled the latest in the line of phones that have helped Apple ascend to become the most valuable company in the world. While the iPhone is nearly five years old at the time of the launch, scores of competing handsets are on the market and poised to challenge the iPhone as the most popular smartphone on the planet.
Apple set a high bar with the screen on the iPhone 4 in 2010. Dubbed “Retina Display” the screen boasts a resolution of 326 pixels per square inch. According to Apple, the resolution is clear enough so that the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels at a normal operating distance. With iPhone 5, Apple maintains the pixel density while elongating the screen from the 3.5-inch size that was found on each model since inception, to a 4-inch screen. The new display maintains the width of the previous models but adds height from the previous model’s form factor.
Apple took charge of its internal system-on-a-chip for the iPhone 4. That CPU was an A4 processor single core chip. The chip was upgraded to the A5 chip for the iPhone 4S and many thought the same processor found in the latest iPad would make its way into the next iPhone. Instead, Apple loaded the iPhone 5 with an A6 processor. It has dual cores and promises to deliver twice the speed of the previous iPhone processor.
The iPhone 4 was a dramatically different form factor over the previous models. The iPhone 4’s body was made of two planes of reinforced glass with an aluminum rim around the edges. The look won rave reviews and garnered praise and record sales around the globe. The double-sided glass frame was susceptible to cracking when the phone was dropped and so many were intrigued when leaked reports suggested that the newest iPhone would do away with the glass rear panel. Sure enough, the reports were correct; the iPhone 5 sports an aluminum rear side; anodized black (called slate) or silver for the white model.
By removing the rear glass and making internal changes to the internals, the new iPhone 5 is thinner than the iPhone 4 (which was the thinnest smartphone on the market when it launched in July 2010). The iPhone 5 is also lighter than the previous models while being larger in screen area.
Pricing for the iPhone 5 mirrors the pricing strategy of the two previous models. The 16GB model, available in white or black and on a host of carriers, costs $199 with 2-year contract agreement. The 32GB model is $299 and the largest capacity iPhone – 64GB of internal storage – costs $399 with contract.
iPhone 5 is on sale at Apple retail stores in America and 8 other countries starting September 21, 2012. Customers can also shop for the iPhone 5 at the carrier retail stores including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other retailers including Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Radio Shack.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 went on sale at midnight PST online and reportedly sold out in hours. Apple released a statement on Monday, September17th that claims over 2 million iPhone 5s were sold during the first weekend of pre-ordering.