Apple's Latest iPhone Sports Taller Screen, Improved Hardware and a Beefed Up iOS
Apple today introduced the latest iteration of the iPhone to the world, with CEO Tim Cook telling a packed house at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco that the iPhone 5 represents "a huge leap."
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc., introduced a sleeker, taller, all-glass-and-aluminum version of the smartphone, which he says fits better in users' hands. The new iPhone is 20 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S and is, he said, the "world's lightest."
"This is the monumental challenge we had — can you make a phone with more features that is smaller and lighter. Anyone can make a bigger phone," Schiller was quoted as saying by tech news site The Verge.
The phone's 4-inch display allows for the addition of a fifth row of icons, as well as easier-to-use calendar and e-mail features, he told the audience.
It also opens up new possibilities for app developers. Schiller demonstrated new versions of the CNN and Open Table apps, which feature a more flexible interface.
"All your software works just like before. But we have given some developers early access," he said, demonstrating that, until they are updated, older apps will continue to fuction but retain their old size on the new screen.
Schiller and game developer Rob Murray from Electronic Arts touted the phone's improved video game graphics and photo resolution. New built-in image features include a panorama mode, improved video resolution and stabilization, HD FaceTime and face detection. The new phone also sports three microphones and an improved speaker design.
Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software at Apple, demonstrated new features of iOS 6, available for free download starting Sept. 19, including a new map interface, Passbook (which lets users collect tickets and shopper rewards cards digitally on their phones), photo sharing and enhancements to Siri.
Backing up all these advances is battery life which Schiller said exceeds the iPhone 4S, a new single chip for voice and data, an improved antenna and LTE cellular network functionality.
Pre-orders start Sept. 16, and the first phones will ship Sept. 21.