The sixth generation of Apple’s vaunted iPhone—the iPhone 5—was declared by Apple on September 12, 2012, around one year after the launch of the iPhone 4S, and began shipping on September 21, not even two weeks later.
Although the form factor has changed somewhat (the iPhone 5 is larger and lighter than its predecessor), other improvements and changes are lurking under the hood. Read on to see what’s changed in the iPhone 5 compared to its older brother, the iPhone 4S.
Here’s what we know based on Apple’s announcement:
1• 4G: The iPhone 5 is the first 4G iPhone available on all three US carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint). It can accommodate true 4G/LTE technology as well as DC-HSPDA, HSPA+ (3.5G), EVDO and earlier technologies as a fallback when 4G connections are unavailable.
U.S.: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.
Canada: Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido, and Virgin Mobile.
Asia: Softbank, Smartone, Singtel, and SK Telecom.
Europe: Deutsche Telekom, and EE.
Australia: Telstra, Optus, and Virgin Mobile.
2• Larger, thinner screen. The most significant change is that the screen has grown from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. The size increase represents the first time Apple has ever extended the screen sizes on an iPhone.
In addition, the screen will see both inductive (touchscreen) and display (LCD) layers merged into one, allowing the screen to be thinner and using less energy to attain the same brightness.
The screen also displays true sRGB rendering, resulting in colors with 44% great saturation than in the previous iPhone 4S.
3• Smaller port. The 21-mm wide, 30-pin plug port at the bottom of the phone is expected to be replaced with an 80% narrower, all-digital 8-pin port, dubbed “Lightning.” Adapters to use previous port connectors will be available.
4• Faster chip. With each subsequent Apple mobile working system, increased complexity and added features create strains on the processor. Apple is likely to move away from working with Samsung, with whom it has a number of outstanding patent lawsuits underway, and move to an updated, dual-core A6 chip. The A6, with an improved graphics processor, is 22% smaller than the A5 in the iPhone 4S, but Apple claims it has almost double the processing speed.
5• Improved battery. The iPhone 5′s battery will make use of the phone’s larger impact, with its weight bumped up from 0.80 oz (22.7g) to 0.96 (27.2g). According to iResQ, the iPhone 5 battery will be 3.8V/5.45Whr while the iPhone 4S is currently 3.7V/5.3Whr.
6• Better camera. The iPhone 5 has an 8 million pixel camera (similar to the iPhone 4S), but it has an improvement in shutter speed: catching and storing images is now 40% faster than in the iPhone 5′s predecessor.
7• Case content innovations. In a nod to the first-generation iPhone, the back of the iPhone 5 has seen the return of metal: aluminum. The body now is a hybrid of metal and glass, and is roughly 20% lighter than the 4S, at 112 grams (4 ounces).
iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5
|iPhone 4S||iPhone 5|
|Launch date||October 2011||September 2012|
|Form factor||iPhone 4||new|
|Case Material (chassis)||Glass||Aluminum and Glass|
|Operating system||iOS 5||iOS 6|
|Screen size||3.5 inch||4 inch|
|Processor||Dual-core A5||Dual-core A6|
|Mobile network||3G||4G (LTE, HSPA+)|
|Camera||Back: 8 megapixel; Front: 0.3 megapixel, 480p video||Back: 8 megapixel, 40% faster shutter speed; Front: 720p video|
|Weight||140 g (4.9 oz)||112 g (4 oz)|
|Thickness||9.3 mm||7.6 mm|
|Price||With 2-year plan: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB)||Same|