Phil Schiller and Tim Cook are, respectively, senior VP of worldwide marketing and CEO of Apple. Last Wednesday, Schiller and Cook (sounds like a personal injury law firm, doesn’t it?) regaled a receptive crowd at San Francisco’s Moscone Center with a handful of long-awaited product upgrades, delivering yet another heralded Apple media circus of equal parts high-tech hype and earnest fanfest.
The good pre-event buzz about iOS 6 and the new iPods – an iPhone 5-derived touch, a serious nano upgrade (all names are lowercase now), Siri migrating to other iOS devices – didn’t come close to predicting the insanely great consumer reaction. Our original iPad rental started its life like that, too, coming from nowhere to score a consumer electronics KO.
Pre-orders sell out in hours
Both the iPhone and iOS 6 were originally going to be available for purchase on September 19, although you could pre-order the phone. (No longer, of course, as pre-orders sold out so fast that Apple is delaying shipments between one and three weeks.) If you’re sufficiently geeky and (really, really) know what you’re doing, you can get the final developer’s version of iOS 6 online.
Over the next few weeks, we will update you on the new Apple products and services, starting right now with…
iPhone 5 Specs & Such
The iPhone 5, 112 grams of aluminum and glass in a 7.6mm-thin form, is 20 percent lighter and 18 percent slimmer than its predecessor.
The iPhone 5′s densely saturated 1136-by-640-pixel version is the precise 16:9 aspect ratio of an HD movie.
Battery life is much improved (so says Schiller), with 8 hours of talk and browsing on 3G, 8 hours of browsing on 4G, up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi use and a similar amount of video watching. Standby time? Over a week.
With the Apple A6 chip, more potent than the first few years of iMac CPUs, you can reasonably expect up to 50% speed increases.
The main (forward-facing) camera’s 8 megapixel, f/2.4 aperture specifications are like the iPhone 4S, but it is smaller with more computer-assisted features. A Panorama feature smartly stitches together gorgeous, and huge, pictures.
You get full 1080p HD video with the main camera, like our MacBook Pro rental, but the back-facing camera that puts your mug on YouTube only does 720p.
With these new devices, Apple introduces the Lightning connector, a sturdy stub of a reversible, all-digital jack. It may take some time before showing up on Apple computer rentals, but new consumer electronics will certainly be appearing with Lightning soon. Unfortunately, if you want to use your now-legacy “iClock” docks you will need to buy a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter for $29, available only from Apple for now. Hong Kong vendors should have their $3 versions soon. Just make sure your 30-pin iGadget doesn’t require video output, because the adapter doesn’t support it.