Apple launches iPhone 5: Lighter, taller, thinner and faster

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Apple introduced the iPhone 5 on Wednesday morning at its scheduled press event in San Francisco. The all aluminum and glass handset brings support for faster LTE mobile broadband and although lighter and thinner than the prior model, has a larger 4-inch screen, adding more room for icons, display space in applications and widescreen movies. To power the new iPhone 5, Apple redesigned a new A6 chip, claiming twice the speed and performance of its A5 silicon.

Even with the 4-inch 1136 x 640 display, the new iPhone 5 appears ideal for one-handed use. “Apple designs phones for hands, Samsung designs phones for humans,” said Apple CEO, Tim Cook, alluding to the large, 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that’s part phone, part tablet. Apple integrated the touch sensors into the display, helping to make the phone thin and light: 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S.

Other key attributes of the new iPhone 5 include:

  • LTE support up to 100 Mbps
  • Up to 150 Mbps Wi-Fi with 2.4 and 5 GHz support for 802.11n networks
  • A 22 percent smaller chip in the A6 boasting 2x performance all around
  • Improved battery life over the iPhone 4S: 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing; 8 hours on LTE, for example
  • A thinner 8 megapixel camera sensor with f/2.4 lens and improved image signal processing in the A6 for faster pics and improved low-light performance
  • New panorama mode for wide images
  • A 1080p FaceTime camera and video calling over cellular networks
  • Wideband audio for richer voice conversations
  • An 8-pin dock connector called Lightning — there will be a 30-pin adapter for accessories

Of course, iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6 and its many new features including built-in turn-by-turn navigation, Passbook for mobile payments and dozens more new features when it arrives with prices the same as the prior model: $199, $299 and $399 with contract, depending on storage capacity. Pre-orders begin in 11 countries on September 14 with delivery one week later.

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