iPhone 5 goes for length and bigger screen
THE LAUNCH of the new iPhone has been the hot rumour for weeks, but yesterday at an event in San Francisco, Apple finally showed off its slimmer, sleeker phone that is aimed at keeping the competition at bay.
Chief executive Tim Cook took to the stage to kick off the event at 6pm Irish time yesterday, putting an end to months of speculation about what Apple’s next move would be.
“Apple has never been stronger,” Mr Cook told the audience. He did not introduce the new iPhone himself, handing that job to Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of marketing.
He outlined all the benefits of the new handset, including its better display and battery life than its predecessor.
Longer, not wider, was the key to the new design. The sixth generation of the popular smartphone includes a 4in screen. Many of its competitors have gone larger, with the Samsung Galaxy S3 sporting a 4.8in HD Super AMOLED display.
Mr Schiller told the audience though that Apple wanted the device to be able to fit in the palm of a user’s hand and still remain usable.
Internally, the phone runs on a new A6 processor and the phone supports high-speed 4G LTE wireless networks. However, the move could prompt new legal action from South Korea’s Samsung, which holds a number of patents on 4G LTE. It has been reported in recent days that the firm will take action against Apple if it revealed a new phone using the technology.
Apple is also ditching the 30 pin connectors used in its previous iPhone, iPod and iPad models in favour of a new “Lightning” connector. That could prove a headache for committed iOS device users who have invested in docks and chargers over the years. However, Apple said it would provide an adapter to allow the new iPhone to work with older accessories.
The iPhone 5 also includes an enhanced battery, a common complaint with many smartphones. Apple’s newest device will offer eight hours of 4G web browsing.
iPhone 5 is Apple’s chance to fight back against growing competition from Android and Microsoft’s new line of Windows 8 phones. Competition has ramped up in the smartphone market in recent years and Apple needs to bring back the wow factor.
But the decision to only increase the height may disappoint some users, analysts said.
“With many Android and Windows Phone devices now significantly larger than the iPhone 4S and gaining popularity, the pressure has grown on Apple to release a larger device. By only increasing the vertical height, it’s created a device that’s notably taller and thinner in aspect ratio than most of those Android devices, and as a result it will stand out, which may not be a good thing. While keeping the device small enough for some hands is important, many customers would have wanted something bigger, and they’ll be disappointed,” Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum said.