Apple unveils faster, thinner and lighter iPhone 5

Apple has unveiled its highly anticipated iPhone 5 which is thinner, lighter and faster and supports Australia’s 4G networks. It will be released on September 21.

The iPhone 5, available in black and white, is just 7.6mm thick – that’s 18 per cent thinner than the iPhone 4S – making it the world’s thinnest smartphone. It’s also 20 per cent lighter and now weighs just 112g.

It is made from glass with anodized aluminium on the back.

You can watch the entire Apple keynote from the special event in San Francisco here.

As expected the iPhone 5 has a larger 4-inch Retina Display screen that is the same width of the iPhone 4S but now with a taller appearance.

It is still a smaller screen than is seen on rival smartphones but Apple says users’ hands is what determined the display size and how easily it can be used with one hand.

This is why the screen is taller and not wider.

On the connectivity side the iPhone 5 will work with Australia’s 4G networks running at 1800Mhz which are currently available through Telstra and Optus.

Telstra recently made a point of announcing it would extend its 4G network to 66 per cent of the population while Optus activated its 4G network for Sydney, Newcastle and Perth with more cities to come online in early 2013.

Wi-Fi speeds have also been improved with dual band 802.11n support to achieve speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The device also has an all-new connector called Lightning – a small 8-pin connector that is 80 per cent smaller than the traditional 30-pin dock connector that dates back to 2003.

Apple will still support the older connector but with a new adaptor accessory.

The new iPhone will run the latest iOS6 operating system which features Apple’s new mapping app and PassBook – an app that can aggregate all of your virtual tickets and boarding passes.

IOS 6 will be avaiable to all iPhone users to download and upgrade their device on September 19.

Siri has also been given greater powers with the ability to find sports and movie information and even open apps just by saying their name.

Under the hood is a brand new A6 processor which offers twice the processing speed and twice more power for graphics processing.

On the battery side Apple says the iPhone 5 will run for 10 hours on wi-fi and up to 8 hours on 3G and 4G/LTE.

The iPhone 5’s camera is still 8 megapixel but has a new five-element lens to be able to fit in the much thinner housing and is also supported by an image processor aboard the A6 chip.

A new photo feature introduced was Shared Photo Stream to make it easier to share new photos with family and friends .

But one surprise was the Panorama mode which can take a sweeping image that results in a image that is 28 megapixel in resolution.

On the video side the iPhone 5 still shoots full HD video but this time it has improved image stabilisation, face detection and users can now take photos while recording.

There are three microphones on the iPhone 5 one for voice, one for voice recognition and one for noise cancellation.

The in-built speakers have also seen an upgrade with a 5-magnet transducer for a wider audio spectrum.

“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”

What the iPhone 5 won’t have is NFC (near field communication) which allows for fast phone to phone file transfer and mobile transactions.

The iPhone 5 will be priced at $799 (16GB), $899 (32GB) and $999 (64GB) and will be available September 21.

The iPhone 4S will now be priced at $679 with the iPhone 4 still available for $449.

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