Apple launches the iPhone 5

It is probably the most-leaked iPhone so far, but that still hasn't dampened enthusiasm for the iPhone 5, which will be available to order this coming Friday.

Described as the the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, the iPhone has been completely redesigned, but still has a very familiar look and feel. If you are a fan of Apple's smartphone, this is likely to tick all the boxes once more.

'iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we've ever created,' said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP 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 four-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.'

Slimmer, lighter

As Mr Schiller mentions there, this is thin, with the inner workings packed into an all-new 7.6 mm anodised aluminium body that is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S.

Within that shell is the new four-inch Retina display and a taller screen, optimised for widescreen HD video, a full five days of your calendar and better web browsing. Apps taking advantage of that enhanced scene estate will also follow soon.

There's also an all-new A6 chip for twice the performance (without affecting battery life) and an eight-megapixel iSight camera that's smaller but is said to offer an enhanced performance via its sapphire crystal lens cover. That camera also has a new panorama feature for long snaps of up to 28 megapixels and new video features, including improved stabilisation, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record.


Connectivity is also a headline feature too, with LTE and DC-HSDPA, along with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support. Of course, LTE means compatibility with 4G networks and EE has already confirmed that the iPhone 5 will be added to its 4G roster.

The iPhone 5 also has a new Lightning connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable, enhanced audio from its directional microphone system and all-new Apple EarPods, designed for a more natural fit and of course, for better audio output.

Finally, as you would expect, it comes with the all-new iOS 6 operating system, with over 200 new user features including an all new Maps app, Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, Passbook, new Siri features and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps.

The internet reacts

So, the launch was not a revolution as expected, and most of the new features we'd already heard about or predicted. Reaction on Twitter was mixed at best, with many bloggers and tech websites contemplating their dinner or expressing disappointment during the presentation, as that 'one more thing' surprise feature simply didn't happen. Many of the new or upgraded elements simply bring the iPhone in line with its main competitors instead of shaping the industry. Of course, we still expect the iPhone 5 to shift in mountains when it hits stores on the 21 September, thanks to Apple's massive legion of loyal supporters.

The handset is available in a choice of white and silver or black and slate, with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB being the capacities. Pricing for the UK still to be confirmed, but you will be able to order from tomorrow, with deliveries from next Friday (19 September).

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