iPhone 5: No Surprises but Real Progress
As I’m sure everyone is aware, the iPhone 5 was launched this evening. It's 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S, and as rumoured, it comes with a 4” screen. That 4” screen isn’t any wider than the one on the 4S but as it’s taller, it can now play widescreen video without letterboxing.
The long rumoured new connector has also made an appearance. Lightning – the name of the new connector – is smaller and reversible so there’s no wrong way to plug it in. Sadly the adaptors will cost £25/$29 each so it could be costly if you have several accessories.
The rear camera hasn’t been significantly improved other than to add Panorama mode, face recognition and the ability to take pictures while recording. The front camera can now shoot 720p video at 30fps.
As expected, the iPhone 5 has an LTE radio (and those of us in the UK will be able to take advantage of this if they sign up with EE). The iPhone 5 doesn’t have any NFC capabilities – contrary to rumours. This might come as a bit of a blow for anyone involved in the NFC payments industry.
The new System on a Chip (SoC) in the iPhone 5 may give a boost to the mobile games industry. The CPU in the A6 is twice as fast as the processor in the iPhone 4S and graphics are also twice as fast. The demo of EA’s Real Racing 3, particularly the graphics, looked superb in Apple’s keynote. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what can be done in terms of high quality games with this new processor.
Also announced was the new version of the iPod Touch. This also has a 4” screen (the same screen which is on the iPhone 5) and now has a 5MP camera capable of shooting 1080p video. It also comes with Siri: the first non-iPhone device to receive it since Siri isn’t coming to the new iPad until iOS 6 debuts.
So, my initial thoughts on the iPhone 5?
Well, I’m afraid Apple have spoilt us in the past with huge leaps in technology and this launch hasn’t seen much in the way of surprises. The lack of NFC may disappoint some fans of the technology as may the screen size: 4” is significantly smaller than the top end phones coming from players such as Samsung. However, there has been some real progress. Battery life has been improved despite the significant improvements in CPU and graphics processing power. The camera has improved in ways that consumers will appreciate.
The real proof, however, is in the pudding, so I, along with the rest of my colleagues, can only sit back and see how well they sell.