16:43 13 September 2012
It was one of the most hotly tipped technology releases of the year, and now that Apple's iPhone 5 has arrived what can it actually do?
In terms of looks, there isn't a great deal that sets it aside from its previous incarnation: the iPhone4 and 4S. At four inches from corner to corner, the new 16:9 screen is taller.
Upon the feeling the device, it's 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the previous model with back and sides made from a single piece of sturdy aluminium.
One of the big selling points is the new camera which can now stitch multiple images together to create wide, sweeping panoramic shots. It is still 8 megapixels however.
While the amount of megapixels is no match for other smartphones on the market, Apple have made big upgrades under the hood with a new A6 processor taking the place of the old A5 chip from the iPhone 4S and the A5X in the latest iPad.
Apple have claimed that this A6 processor is up to twice as fast as the iPhone 4S's. Rumours suggest twice as much RAM as well. In terms of storage, this has now been expanded to a max of 64GB to hold twice as much music, apps, photos, videos and files as the iPhone 4 could manage with its max of 32GB.
The iPhone 5 also supports the new 4G data network which, at time of going to press, is exclusively held by EE (Everything Everywhere) giving them a huge advantage from the start but it is yet to be seen how many customers from other networks will make the switch. More networks will no doubt be added to support the faster, stronger service of 4G.
Those looking to upgrade will hit a few (minor) hurdles: a new nano SIM card will be needed which is even smaller than the micro-SIM needed for the 4/4S but this should be free from your network.
Worse than that is the fact that the dock connector is different rendering all of the dock technology (e.g. stereo units with iPhone/iPod docks, spare chargers, in-car functionality etc) useless unless you invest in an adapter. An adaptor from Apple will set you back £25.
The iPhone 5 will officially be released on September 21st. If you buy it unlocked without a network contract, it'll set you back £529 (16GB), £599 (32GB) and £699 (64GB). Expect phone contracts from various suppliers to spark an intense bidding war once they are confirmed.
In terms of apps, the iPhone 5 is more strongly linked with Facebook than ever before, has tweaked Siri voice control options and has scrapped Google maps (seen as a smartphone rival) and replaced it with their own 3D mapping system.
Despite this, many analysts have viewed this release from Apple as evolution rather than revolution. Nevertheless, following the keynote address, Apple's stock closed 1.4% higher.
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