Apple releases iPhone 5, new iPods, iOS 6

(photo courtesy of Allen Brady)
Professor Adrienne Schwarte with her newly delivered Iphone 5
and lighting adapter.

On Sept. 18, Apple held a keynote announcing the new iPhone 5. Living up to the rumors before its release, it features a taller 4-inch Retina Display with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, LTE 4G wireless, a new A6 chip (providing twice the performance speed of the 4S), a redesigned 8mp camera with 1080p video recording, a 720p front facing camera and a new aluminum and glass body design that is 18% thinner and 20 percent lighter than the 4S.

The phone also features the new, smaller 8-pin digital Lightning connector, which replaces the standard 30-pin that has been on all iDevices since the original iPod in 2003. Although more durable and able to be plugged into the device from either side, it requires an adapter to work with any older accessories, which will be sold separately.

According to tech blog “Engadget,” iPhone 5 per-orders surpassed 2 million in just 24 hours of availability on Sept. 14. AT&T stated in a press release on Sept. 17 that it has become “the best selling iPhone Apple has ever had.”

Apple senior vice president Philip Schiller told the press “iPhone 5 preorders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S,” which sold around 1 million in pre-orders.

Alongside the new iPhone 5, Apple also announced the new iPod Touch and iPod Nano. Both models now have aluminum body designs available in 5 different colors, as well as the new Lightning connector. The new iPod Touch features a 4- inch Retina Display, 5mp HD camera, and Siri. The Nano now has a 2.5 multitouch display with a dedicated home button, Bluetooth and Nike+ fitness app built-in.

Powering all of these new products, besides the Nano, will be iOS 6. Among many under the hood improvements, Siri will be updated to provide more sports information, movie reviews and show times, builtin Yelp! Reviews, the ability to read from the Notifications center, the ability to launch any apps, and allow the user to vocally post to Facebook and Twitter. Passbook is another new built-in app which allows users to manage boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards.

The Maps app is also getting a major update, now running on Apple’s own interface instead of relying on Google Maps. It will also feature turn-by-turn directions voiced by Siri.

Despite all these new announcements and the record-breaking sales, some feel that Apple’s latest keynote was somewhat disappointing. “Wired” writer Mat Honan said in an editorial that the iPhone 5 is “the greatest phone in the world…and yet it is also so, so cruelly boring.” He, as well as others, felt somewhat underwhelmed and missed that “wow” factor that has come to be expected with every Apple announcement. However, Honan continued by saying that “maybe smartphones themselves are becoming boring” with the technology hitting a peak in innovation for now.

The iPhone 5 will be available Sept. 21 starting at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. The new iPod Touch will ship in October at $299 for the 32GB model, $399 for 64GB. The iPod Nano will ship in Oct. with 16GB for $149.

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