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Apple announces highly-anticipated iPhone 5 and iPod devices

By Andrew Leonard September 12, 2012 No Comments Print Share

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Apple Inc. has announced the much-anticipated update to their iPhone line, the iPhone 5.

During a press event held in San Francisco, Apple showed off specifications and high-resolution pictures confirming months of rumors about the new iPhone.

Apple’s 6th iPhone boasts a unique improvement over prior incremental improvements: a new, 4-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The larger “Retina” display boasts an impressive 1136×640 pixel resolution, nearing that of some of their notebook computers.

Other improvements to the line include a faster A6 processor, better battery life, better front- and rear-facing cameras, an additional microphone, better call audio quality, slimmer dimensions, and less weight (down to 112 grams from 140). Instead of glass, Apple is now using aluminum for the back casing, which should improve durability.

Also included is LTE cellular technology, which has the potential to deliver – dependent entirely on network capacity – more than four times the network wireless speed offered by the iPhone 4S’ HSPA+ technology. Critics have said Apple could have included LTE technology with the release of last year’s iPhone 4S, as many Android phones released in 2011 included LTE.

When the third-generation iPod made its debut in 2003, it was introduced with the now-widely-used Dock connector. The 30-pin connector has been used in most iPods and in all iPhone models up until today. Today’s announcement brought the release of a smaller Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 that offers faster data connectivity and more reliability. Those who want to keep using their old 30-pin cords (and presumably, accessories) can purchase an adapter.

Today’s announcement also brought a new iPod Nano with a 2.5-inch touchscreen. In addition, Apple refreshed its iPod Touch line, unveiling the 5th-generation iPod Touch. It will sport the same 4-inch retina display as the iPhone 5 and will be available in several different colors. Both new iPod devices will feature the Lightning connector.

Users who avail themselves of Apple’s voice-control technology, Siri, will find expanded functionality via Apple’s new iOS 6 software. Siri will also be available on the 5th-generation iPod Touch. The new iOS 6 software also includes a new Maps application, which ditches Google as a provider. The software will be available for iPhones ranging as far back as the 3GS.

Apple also announced a sleeker version of its popular iTunes software and new earphones.

Contact Andrew Leonard at aleonard@californiabeat.org

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