iPhone 5: Thinner, faster, more productive. Ish

The new iPhone has been unveiled. Cue squeals of delight from Apple fanboys over the new lighter, taller handset and groans from the technorati over docking issues and the lack of NFC.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
As with every iteration of the iPhone handset, the media has been gushing for weeks over how the new iPhone is going to provide instant payment technology/have a 15-megapixel camera/a hologram projector/be able to make you eggs in the morning. Against a backdrop of this kind of hype, the real thing was always going to be a little disappointing.

Indeed, the latest revelations from team Apple have caused something of a storm on the interwebs. But, love Apple or hate Apple, be thee bored or titillated by the new release, there’s no doubt that millions of these babies will be shifted over the coming months. After the merely iterative update in the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 has the hardware changes that Apple fanatics have been drooling after ever since the handset lost its curves with the iPhone 4.

Here’s our breakdown of the new features (and what’s missing):

Does it look like the iPhone 4?
At four inches, corner to corner, it looks like the slimmer, taller version of the iPhone 4. Like Claudia Schiffer’s 5’11 to Kate Moss’ 5‘7.  It’s also thinner, losing 18% of its girth, and 20% lighter. The screen is still the same width, however, for your viewing pleasure.

What’s under the hood?
If the term ‘A6 processor’ means nothing to you, rest assured that it’s the one up from the processor used in the iPhone 4S and the latest iPad. Apple reckons it makes the new handset twice as fast. The iPhone 5 is also packing some heat in the operating memory stakes, with significantly more – how much is yet to be confirmed (but rumour suggests 1GB). The battery has also been souped up. With the iPhone 5, you can notch up over eight hours of constant browsing, up from about 15 minutes previously (okay, six hours).

Can I pay for stuff with it, like they promised?
Er no. Phil Schiller, Apple’s worldwide marketing president, has explained that he’s a bit ‘meh’ about the technology needed to make instant payments possible – near field communication (NFC to its friends). MT reckons its because Apple is saving this baby for the iPhone 6 (or 5B, or whatever they choose to call it) next year.

What’s this I hear about need an adaptor to charge the iPhone 5?
You heard right! Apple has opted for a so-called ‘Lightning’ port in the new handset, meaning that all your old chargers and accoutrements will no longer work. You can buy an adaptor, of course, but at £25 a pop they aren’t cheap.

How about the camera? And other new, exciting features?
Same 8-megapixel camera but Apple assures happy snappers the world over that the photos will look crisper due the iPhone 5’s faster processor. The new iPhone comes with iOS 6, which Wired dubs ‘slicker than slugs on ice’. Oh, and the SIM card’s changed. You need a new ‘nano’ version, but this can be exchanged for free at phone shops, apparently.

Will it hit the 4G-spot?
Yes, if you’re with the newly named EE, that is. If not, you’re going to have to wait till next year for the mythical 4G.

And when can I get my hands on the iPhone 5?
Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 5 will reach UK shores on September 21. Unlocked, the phone will cost £529 for 16GB of storage space for tunes, videos and eBooks, £599 for 32GB and an eye-watering £699 for the big daddy, with 64GB memory. Prices will of course be lower with a contract although no prices have been announced yet.

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