With the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5 last night, gadget fans are set to clamour for the new device which will support Britain’s upcoming 4G network.
• New iPhone is thinner, has larger screen, and supports 4G network
• Apple says new A6 chip makes device twice as fast and uses new operating system
• Claims that 4G and new processor won’t drain battery
• But has Apple missed an opportunity in not enabling mobile ‘contactless’ payments?
Featuring an 8 megapixel camera, the new handset will certainly offer clarity in your shots, but no more than your current 4S model, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook says that it will now take better pictures in low-light conditions.
Despite the larger screen on the iPhone 5, it is still smaller than the display on handsets made by rivals Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, LG, HTC and Sony. But it is thought that Apple is looking to move away from using software provided by rival tech firms, such as Google maps and YouTube.
Last night’s launch in San Francisco showed an updated map function that uses 3D maps and has spoken word directions to thousands of destinations.
They also saw a fly-over option which allows users to get an aerial view of streets around the world.
Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of iOS Software, introduced a series of updates including a shared photostream which allows people to share their pictures more easily.
The voice control software Siri has also been updated so people can ask it to recommend films and restaurants and update their Facebook accounts verbally.
However, the big news was that it will indeed support Britain’s new superfast 4G network which is being rolled out across the UK in just a matter of weeks.
The prospect of being able to download and upload data faster is sure to have Apple fans drooling when network operator Everything Everywhere launches the new bandwidth soon.
“The iPhone 5 looks set to hit the consumer’s 4G-Spot,” says Gary Buchan, director of technology and social media specialists, Render Positive.
“Faster, thinner, lighter, bigger screen and with an abundance of new features, expect the iPhone 5 to shift millions of units in the first month and bring even more new customers into the Apple ecosystem.
“With these latest enhancements in the new device and further social integrations in iOS6, Apple is poised to become even more central to how people work, socialise and live.
“Although Apple doesn’t have the largest share of the smartphone market, it certainly has the most lucrative cut. But both the share and cut could improve with the iPhone 5.”
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, agrees that the new iPhone delivers.
“After the disappointment of an underwhelming iPhone 4S, there was a fair bit of pressure on Apple to deliver something very special,” he says. “Fortunately for Tim Cook, his ‘beautiful’ iPhone 5 should put the bite back into Apple.
“Diehard fans demanded a new phone, not a software upgrade disguised as one. Apple just managed to get away with the 4S looking identical to the previous year’s model by introducing some novel features, such as the intelligent assistant Siri, as well as an iOS5 update.
“This time it had to be all about the hardware as much as software. In this regard, Apple has delivered and then some.
“Thinner, lighter and with a 4-inch screen, the iPhone has gone on a diet and come back leaner and faster. The taller screen caters to the crowd that feed off form factor, but still like the ergonomically comfortable width of the 4S.
“Most importantly for the data-hungry, the battery power is supposed to be uncompromised by its new-found 4G capability, which will be ready to go as soon as EE launches it in the UK.
“The processor may be twice as fast, but the camera has had a smaller upgrade and the form is familiar to those who know the iPhone, not much to necessarily worry the competition on paper.
“However, the iPhone has never been about raw horsepower – rather the sum of its parts. And these parts are sleeker, faster and more impressive than any previous iPhone.
“On the downside, a new connector has thrown a spanner in the works and there was no mention of NFC capability for mobile wallet payments. But Apple typically leaves them wanting more.”
With the iPhone 5 set for launch in the UK and US on September 21, only time will tell if Apple can stay on top of its rivals.
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