iPhone 5 Launch Event! As it unfolds

12 September was the Apple Launch Event and there were some interesting announcements  with the most anticipated one being the iPhone 5 launch!

iPhone -> Phil Schiller starts sharing the new iPhone and its called the iPhone 5 (no surprises here). It’s made entirely of glass and aluminium, and its confirmed to look exactly like the leaked photos.Its a refining of the iPhone 4S and subtly improves quite a number of key aspects of the iPhone, processing, speed, weight, camera which are all quite important features to what makes a great phone even greater. Yet, there’s no new innovative breakthrough for the iPhone 5 this time around. With all the pre-launch leaks, all the specifications and changes were already expected.

Summary of H/W Changes:

  • 4 inch 16:9 ratio screen
  • 44% more color saturation than the iPhone 4S
  • Weighing in at on 112 grams! Wow. Thinnest iPhone at 7.6mm.
  •  Game Center to produce one of the coolest new features: time-shifted multiplayer
  • New Apple A6 processor is 2x faster with both CPU and graphics
  • Improved Wi-Fi
  • Comes with 4G LTE
  • 10 hours video playback, 40 hours music playback, 225 hours of standby
  • 8 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of WiFi
  • 8 hours of 3G talk time and 3G browsing
  • Improved Camera – Backside illumination, hybrid ID filter, five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture. SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL lens cover (no more scratches)
  • New Connector is called Lightning – improved durability, can be plugged in in either direction
  • Good thing is an adaptor is available if you would want to re-use your current accessories
That’s it for the Hardware. At least iPhone users get a 4″ screen now which should help somewhat with the jealousy over Samsung humongous displays. The new iPhone 5 Retina display has a 326ppi, with a resolution of 1136 x 640. Closer to a 16:9 ratio than before, the iPhone 5 is now better for viewing films on, with 44% better colour saturation, with improvements to reduce glare in sunlight. With the wider screen aspect ratio, the default apple apps have been updated to support the new format but apps that have not been updated would run in letterbox mode, i.e. with black borders at the edges. The homescreen displays 5 row of apps instead of the current 4, thanks to the wider screen. The game demo looked pretty good and the new iPhone processor should be pretty impressive. The new camera photos look great as well and would appeal to many who only carry around a mobile phone camera as opposed to a standalone camera. No NFC though, so no mobile payment or using it to replace your EZlink card.


iOS6 improvements:

  • Turn by Turn navigation but no details on whether it would be available in Singapore yet.
  • Facebook / Twitter integration
  • all new iSight camera, killer Panorama feature
  • improved SIRI

Nothing really new that Google / Android already have!

Pricing wise, its going to be the same as the iPhone 4S in US and we are expecting Singtel, M1 and Starhub to do the same. As confirmed, pre-order on Friday and sales of the iPhone5 would begin from 21 Sep. 

Expected pricing for iPhone 5 (16gb)

In summary, this feels like another upgrade to the iPhone 4S with really nothing revolutionary. If you are a current apple user and already well invested into their eco-system like apps, the Apple iPhone 5 is a worthy upgrade. The overall improvements makes for a very polished phone with good features all around. Yet, if you compare it to a Samsung SGS3 or HTC One X, the iPhone 5 is no longer a clear winner and they actually had to differentiate themselves this time around. What might be interesting would be to compare the camera of the iPhone 5 vs that of the Samsung SGS3. So are you bored of the iPhone? Android has started to increase its market share and with the new iPhone 5 not offering anything amazing, I would expect more people to consider switching over to the other camp.

Moving on, the new iTunes. Nothing much except for a simplified interface.

iPod Nano  -> New redesigned – 2.5″ display. Looks like the old candy bar nano crossed with an iPod touch, with a touch interface, a home button and controls at the side.It comes with Bluetooth so you can use it with your wireless bluetooth headsets or integrate with Nike+ receivers. What were they thinking?

iPod Touch -> The new iPod Touch is only 6.1 mm thick and looks like the new iPhone 5 (i.e. longer screen). Slower than the iPhone 5, uses the iPhone 4S A5 processor. But who’s in the market for an iPod touch? With mobile phones getting so feature rich, do we still need an iPod Touch-like device that can only function as a media player? Significantly, with a 5 megapixel camera with backside illumination. Shockingly, they actually announce the ability to add a loop to the iPod Touch as a feature. This basically just copied ideas from Nokia generations ago. Anyway, with this and the multi-colour iPods, I guess they are targeting the iPod Touch at the younger generations, as a portable gaming device.

iPad -> Apple had 62% market share last year for tablets, this year so far it’s at 68%.  More impressively, Apple sold “more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line,” which is a little nuts when you think about it. So despite the Nexus 7 launch, Apple iPad still had an increase in Tablet market share. Impressive.

But that’s all! No iPad mini announcement. The iPad release cycle is approximately March but rumours are floating that Apple is gearing up to launch a new model, the iPad Mini to assert even more dominance in the tablet market. We are anticipating that news in October.

iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch all are getting iOS 6 next Wednesday, 19 Sep.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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