Apple's iPhone 5 has larger screen and LTE networking

The iPhone 5 also has a faster chip and a new connector that is faster but doesn't work with existing docks

Apple's iPhone 5 has a larger screen than its predecessors and support for high-speed LTE wireless networks, the company said at a launch event.

All of its phones so far have had 3.5-inch screens, but the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event in San Francisco, according to Macworld's live blog.

That may reflect the popularity of larger devices offered by Samsung and other rivals, and it gives more real estate for apps and games. It also allows Apple to add an extra row of application icons on each page.

Despite the bigger screen, Apple said its new phone is its thinnest and lightest yet. It weighs 22 grams -- 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S -- and is 7.6 mm thick, or 18 percent thinner, it said.

It comes in black or white and the prices are the same as for the 4S -- US$199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, along with a 2-year carrier contract. The new phone can be ordered beginning Friday and the device will ship a week later in the U.S., U.K., Japan and other countries.

The iPhone 5 gets a speedy new chip, the A6, which marketing chief Phil Schiller said doubles the speed of both CPU and graphics operations over the A5. Operations like launching apps and viewing attachments will be twice as fast, he said.

He showed "Real Racing 3" and claimed the new phone offers "console level graphics"

The new phone also has faster wireless, including the addition of LTE wireless, which is also coming to Amazon's new Kindle. LTE offers a theoretical maximum download speed of 100Mbps, Cook said.

A big change is a new connector to replace the pin socket used since the first iPhone. Called Lightening, the new connector is faster, but it means users who want to plug the iPhone 5 into an older accessory, such as a speaker dock, will need to use an adapter.

The bigger display size also creates a slight hiccup: Existing apps now have to run with a black border around them to fill the screen.

But the new display offers several benefits too, besides being larger. It has a retina display of 326 pixels per inch and 1136-by-640 resolution, and it's "stunning," according to Schiller. It provides 44 percent more color saturation and the touch sensors are integrated into the display itself, making it 30 percent thinner and giving a sharper image with less glare in sunlight, Schiller said

And Apple has updated its own apps to take advantage of the bigger display -- the iCal app has a new five-day week view in landscape mode, for example.

The device also includes a new technology, wideband audio, that's intended to make voice calls sound more natural.

And the new phone gets a new OS, iOS 6. It has better mapping, with turn-by-turn directions and sharper satellite imagery. The Safari browser will have full-screen mode, among many other improvements.

An upgraded camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with a five-element lens and a faster f/2.4 aperture, which should give better low-light photography. A "sapphire" cover protects the lens and gives sharper pictures.

The new iPhone adds 1080p video with better image stabilization and the ability to capture stills while recording video.

The iPhone 5 also betters the battery life of the iPhone 4S, according to Schiller, with eight hours of 3G or LTE talk tie or browsing and 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.

It also has better Wi-Fi, according to Schiller, including dual channel 5GHz 802.11n that gives bandwidth up to 150M bps.

The phone has a single baseband chip for voice and data, and a single radio chip, all of which helps reduce its size and weight.

Twenty carriers will support the new phone at launch, including Orange and Deutsche Telekom. Apple is working with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to offer service in the U.S., and with other providers in Asia, Australia, the U.K. and Germany.

Apple is also expected to announce new iPad's as the Wednesday event progresses.

The iPhone 5 launch comes as Apple fights to recover its dominance in the smartphone sector. Rival Samsung shipped nearly twice as many smarthones as Apple in the second quarter, as Apple buyers held off making purchases pending today's launch, according to iSuppli in July.

Apple won a massive patent infringement court case against Samsung in the U.S. in August. Samsung must pay Apple around $1 billion in damages and make changes to some of its phones in order to keep selling them in the U.S.

(Jason Snell and Dan Moren of Macworld contributed to this report)

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?