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iPhone 5 features biggest screen yet
iPhone 5 features biggest screen yet
September 12, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

September 12, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Apple shared the first features for its next smartphone, the iPhone 5, including a bigger and higher resolution 4-inch display, support for LTE 4GE wireless, and faster performance.

At a press event in San Francisco today, Apple debuted its next device that will lead its phenomenally successful iPhone line. Since the iPhone's introduction in 2007, the company has sold over 400 million iOS devices.

Shipping on September 21, the iPhone 5 will come in black and white, and will launch with three models, each priced according to their storage: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 or 64GB (prices presume a two-year contract with a carrier).

Compared to the iPhone 4S released last October, the new model is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter, despite having a display that's .5 inches bigger (1136 x 640 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio) -- this is the largest screen for an iPhone yet.

Existing games and applications built for smaller iPhone displays will show up letterboxed on the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen until developers update them to accommodate for the extra space.

The iPhone 5 offers a new A6 chip that promises to deliver 2x faster performance across the board. To demonstrate, EA Studios showed off Real Racing 3 (pictured) at the press conference, boasting "full console-quality" graphics for the mobile device.

EA Studios also mentioned a Real Racing 3 feature made possible by updates to Apple's mobile social game network Game Center: time-shifted head-to-head multiplayer. Players are able to compete against their friends on a track they raced on earlier.

"To marry mobile with console graphics, it's never been done before," said Apple's marketing SVP Philip Schiller, according to a report from The Verge.

Furthermore, Apple has now integrated three microphones into the smartphone (on the bottom, front, and back of the device), and enhanced its camera and video capturing.

With the iPhone 5's release Apple has updated its pricing for previous hardware: the 8GB iPhone 4 is now free, while the 16GB iPhone 4S is $99 (again, presuming a two-year contract with a carrier).

The company took some time to announce a new iPod Touch, too. The device will feature the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5, an iSight camera (previous models had no camera), and an A5 chip with a CPU that's up to two times faster than the previous iPod Touches.

NaturalMotion, maker of iOS hit CSR Racing, showed how developers can do more with the new iPod Touch than they could with previous models, by showing off a Clumsy Ninja, in which a character reacted to player's real world actions (using the camera).

When it releases in October, the new iPod Touch will come in five colors -- white, black, blue, yellow, and red -- and will have a 32GB model ($299) and a 64GB model ($399).

Along with these hardware releases, Apple will roll out the next major operating system update for its mobile and tablet devices, iOS6, on September 19 to iPhones (3GS and newer) and iPads (second generation and newer).

[Image via GDGT]

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Jeremy Alessi
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Very nice!

No huge surprises but that's actually good from a development perspective (thank you for auto-letter boxing). 200 percent faster, yes I'll take it!

Bruno Xavier
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16:9 = pain for 2D games and GUI makers on iOS...
Devs don't like the make dynamic GUIs, I am sure many games will have broken UI and 2D graphics. I almost can hear many fellow devs crying already haha.

Neko Otome
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I've never found 16:9 to be a pain, and I've always made my GUIs dynamic as every good developer should. Resolution is never a constant.

Bruno Xavier
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Sure, that is the right way to go; but I am sure there will be many letterboxed apps.

Jeremy Alessi
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Dynamic UI's are nice (I use them) but they never look as good as one specifically tailored for a specific screen size at a specific resolution.

Justin Sawchuk
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Its easy enough to just shrink the gui or scale it up but it will look like ass.

Duong Nguyen
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Dynamic UI almost always look fuzzy due to the linear interpolation otherwise they'll have weird blocky artifacts depending on the resolution. I don't know about others, but most of the iOS games i've worked on have resolution specific 2d UI. But I might switch to dynamic UI as well if were going to be support 3 resolution / aspect ratios.

Jose Striedinger
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you know what bothers me a lot???? these "innovations" and "creativity" is just in performance. Look at the design, is still the same thing...

New smartphones these days are bout 1)having more megapixels in the camera 2)lighter 3)"new" OS
That's it...they are killing design I believe :/

Chris Melby
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Boring and generic.

Tom Baird
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If only it came out as a Tetrahedron with 4 unique touch screens.

You arn't the only one calling lack of innovation, but I'm curious what would people add? The entire smartphone market seems to have sorta run out of ideas.

Jeremy Alessi
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Levitation? Back massager?

Oooh ooh ... built in laser point, that would be SO not annoying!

Seriously, in terms of "innovation" I think we'll still see some stuff but like any market the iPhone began by innovating, going in a new direction if you will. Now it's all about continuing in that direction until the next fork in the road.

Life's a vector, the iPhone market was a new direction but now like any mature market it's all about the magnitude.

Chris Melby
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How about a device that's not playing catchup with 2010?

How about a device that doesn't look like 400 million other devices?

The iPhone was a game changer years back, but now its sameness has made it a lackluster device. What was iconic has become generic. What was new and fresh, has become safe, predictable, and boring.

Apple has no reason to change at the moment. They can continue on their path of hypocrisy and market stagnation, and they'll continue to garner the devout attention of some; but it will be to their eventual detriment.

Other markets in the same period of time have improved immensely and have by no means run out of ideas; don't pull the rest of the industry into Apple's sue-happy rut. That fork in the road is Android and many Apple guys like me have already headed down that path; 500 million devices of every flavor have way more to offer and it's where Apple is mining for its future so-called innovations.

Merc Hoffner
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@ Tom

List of various future tech to add into phones - much of which simply won't happen out of lack of daring, despite the technical feasibility:

MultiTouch sensitivity for non-capacitive objects
TV tuning
Standardised active powered noise-cancelling
Surround headphone output
Eye-tracking 3D and/or private viewing
Transparent screen and main body
Wireless charging
Solar Panels/Mechanical/Thermal energy harvesting transducers
Intelligent force feedback rumble
amorphous metallic construction
Mesh Networking
Pico projectors
Lightfield image capture
Spectral scanning (and imaging)
Volumetric ultrasonic pulsing and detection
IR Depth scanning
OLED displays
Mirasol active/Passive displays
Full body touch sensitivity
Fingerprint scanning
Pill boxes
Integrated Swiss Army Knife :-)
etc. etc.

I read an article once that basically boiled low grade MRI down to a mobile phone plus a magnet. Well, even with a small device one can induce a powerful magnet field in a brief pulse. But apparently supplying datarates for 4K streaming onto a mobile phone with a 3.5 inch (now 4!) is more important.

William Ravaine
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"the 8GB iPhone 4 is now free" Whaaattt?

Robert Green
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'Free' in the American mobile carrier sense, the "pay for 2 years contract" sense, the "pay so much over the course of 2 years that an extra $200 for the new phone is actually quite a bargain" sense. That 'free'.

Gary LaRochelle
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It should be noted that Apple changed the connection to the sync cord. So you wont be able to plug the phone into devices that already support current versions of the phone.

But wait!!... Apple will sell you an adapter for $29.99 US.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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And as Apple pointed out, that plug has been standard for over a decade, and this one is projected to have a similar lifespan. If you're in a position to be buying an iPhone5, this is really something to shrug at. Major "first world problems" goin' on.