"Today we're introducing the iPhone 5"
With those words, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller dropped the bomb everyone was waiting for.
Despite most of the smartphone's specs having been leaked ahead of time, the iPhone 5 announcement managed to impress the audience of tech journalists in attendance at Apple's big event today. The phone rose up from the stage and rotated, giving everyone a good view of the device as Schiller called it the most beautiful product Apple has ever made.
The iPhone 5 is made entirely of glass and aluminum. It is the thinnest and lightest phone Apple has ever made, at 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S.
Apple has doubled-down with its retina technology, and the iPhone 5 will have a 326 PPI retina display. The display will also be, as predicted, 4-inches. It has a 1136 x 640 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Schiller commented on why the phone isn't as large as Android phones are getting, saying that it's because it should fit in the customer's hand. Apps that haven't been updated to take advantage of the phone's extra length will be displayed in their native size, with black bars on the side of the app.
Schiller also confirmed that the iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE capability. As a result, in the U.S. the iPhone 5 will be coming to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. As rumored, T-Mobile seems to be left out of the loop.
The iPhone 5 also has upgraded Wi-Fi, allowing for 2.4ghz and 5ghz on 802.11n. It should, Apple announced, give customers speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
The CPU in the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the one found in the iPhone 4S. Apple claims that while its performance is a huge leap, the new A6 chip is 22% smaller.
Despite the better performance of the new processor, Apple also claims that the battery life of the iPhone 5 will actually be better than that of the iPhone 4S. The claim is that the new smartphone will have up to 8 hours of 3G talk time or LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing or Video, and up to 40 hours of music playback.
The iPhone 5 "iSight" camera, as with all parts of the phone, has also gotten an upgrade. The 8 MP backside camera is 25% smaller than the iPhone 4S camera. Schiller announced that it has better low-light performance and is 40% faster on photo capture. It will be able to capture 1080p video with "improved" video stability and face detection.
The iPhone 5 has three microphones - on the bottom, front, and back of the smartphone. Its speakers are 20% smaller than those found in the iPhone 4S.
The rumors of a new cable have also turned out to be true. Apple calls the new connector "Lightening," and it features an all-digital, 8-signal design. The cable is also reversible, and Apple claims it is more durable. An adaptor will be available for those who still use the old-style connector.
The iPhone 5 will come in classic iPhone colors: black and white. The smartphone will sell for the same price as the iPhone 4S. Preorders begin on Friday, September 14th.
The iPhone 5 will ship on September 21st.
Those hoping to upgrade from an "ancient" iPhone model or those looking jump into the Apple ecosystem for a low price will be happy to hear that the 8GB iPhone 4 will now be free with a 2-year contract. The iPhone 3Gs, however, will no longer be sold.