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As expected, Apple announced the new iPhone 5 on Wednesday and its new features are pretty much as the technology pundits predicted.
The iPhone 5 has a new design that replaces the fragile glass back panel of the old iPhone 4S with much tougher aluminium, and is 20% lighter as a result — it weighs a mere 112g, compared to the iPhone 4S’s 140g. Apple has also managed to make the iPhone 5 much thinner, at just 7.6mm.
Apple has also made a slight change to the iPhone 5’s screen by making it fractionally taller (with a correspondingly small increase in resolution). It now measures 4” from corner to corner and one practical upshot of this is that the screen can now fit five rows of apps rather than four of all previous iPhone models.
The rest of the iPhone 5’s specifications haven’t changed dramatically. it has the same 8-megapixel camera as before, albeit with all-round enhancements that improve picture quality, and a faster processor.
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Apple has also added support for new ‘4G’ LTE mobile phone networks that deliver mobile broadband speeds that surpass that of most home broadband services.
The only catch is the LTE networks aren’t yet available in the UK, although mobile operators are readying their services for launch in the UK later this year. Until then, the iPhone 5 will still work with 3G.
Also new is the tiny ‘Lightning’ socket that replaces the wide Dock connector of old. This works in much the same way as before, but the different size of the socket means it won’t work with any existing iPhone accessories — everything from cables to cradles to speakers.
Apple is also selling a small adapter that allows old iPhone accessories to be used with the iPhone 5, although this costs an eye-watering £25.
As for the iPhone 5 itself, unlocked models that can be used with any mobile network cost £529 for the 16GB capacity, £599 for 32GB and £699 for 64GB.
The initial stock for delivery on 21st September has long since sold out though, and there’s currently a two to three week wait for the next lot.
The iPhone 5 will also be available at a reduced price from mobile phone operators with a contract.
You can see the full details of the iPhone 5 at the Apple web site.
Apple will also release the new version of its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad software on Wednesday.
iOS 6 is a free download and features a raft of new features, including Apple’s own Maps app that replaces the Google Maps app that’s been an iPhone staple since its launch in 2007.