The iPhone 5 is finally here.

After Apple in 2011 unveiled the iPhone 4S — when everyone and his mother expected the iPhone 5 — the wizards of Cupertino introduced a smartphone for everyone. Want something smaller? Check. How about a big screen? Got you covered. Need power? No problem. Although this was the first post-Steve Jobs iPhone rollout, there was enough technology and geekitude on display today that even the Man in Black would have had a tough time fitting in just one more thing.

Most of the rumors about the iPhone were confirmed. The iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch (1136 x 640) display enclosed in an aluminum and glass shell. That larger display is becoming defacto on smartphones. Not to be outdone designwise by Android, Apple pushed suppliers to use an in-cell manufacturing technique that embeds the technology used in an edge-to-edge touchscreen, eliminating the need for a separate layer.

The new iPhone will also offer LTE, a much faster alternative to the 3G transmission technology found in the iPhone 4S. The LTE iPhone will be available from Sprint, Verizon and AT&T in the U.S., Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada and other carriers through Europe. Even before the iPhone 5 was introduced on the San Francisco stage, talk was of the new handset being a “world phone.” True to form, the next-gen iPhone also supports HSPA+ and DC-HDSPA cellular networks. Apple was supposed to introduce LTE with what became the iPhone 4S but reportedly held off on the feature, fearing the technology would deplete the iPhone’s battery life, giving the device a black eye. That worry appears to be gone, as the iPhone 5 promises 8 hours of LTE or 3G browsing or talk and 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.

Even if you don’t leave home and prefer Wi-Fi, Apple had something of interest. The new phone includes both the standard 2.4 GHz and the less-crowded 5 GHz version of 80.11n. The upshot: wireless transmissions at 150Mbps.

The iPhone is increasingly becoming known not just as a phone or a mobile app platform, but for terrific photography. To that end, Apple beefed up the iPhone’s hardware and software, most notably providing FaceTime HD, for 1080p images, but also a rear camera that can handle low-light situations and noise-reduction filters for crisper photos. All of this using the same 8MP camera. However, the camera is now capped with a saphire crystal, slimming it down to a quarter of its former size while also providing what Apple claims is 40 percent faster photo capture.

Two more hardware upgrades of note for the iPhone 5: Apple introduced its new 9-pin connector, dubbed “Lightning,” which presumably echoes the “Thunderbolt” I/O accelerator introduced earlier for Macs. Although the new connector will require adapter for new hardware, Apple touted the new connection as more flexible, robust and an advance.

All of these hardware advances could have been done without a souped-up CPU. The iPhone 5 gains the A6, a processor said to be 2 times as fast as the A5 in the iPhone 4S and the new iPad. While more powerful, the A6 is 22 percent smaller.

Apple is expected to begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on Sept. 14 with units shipping Sept. 21. Pricing is $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for a 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB iPhone 5.

The introduction of the iPhone 5 also meant saying goodbye to the iPhone 3GS. Additionally, Apple made the 8GB iPhone 4 a “free” unit, as well as slashing the price on a $16GB iPhone 4S to just $99. Both price cuts should act to increase crossover purchases from Android owners or feature phone users intrigued by the iPhone, but not wanting to pay $199 for the smartphone and whatever data plan they choose. Speaking of the iPhone 4S, you may want to check how it compares to the iPhone 5.

Surprisingly, there was news from Apple that didn’t revolve around the iPhone. First, the iPod touch received a makeover with a 4-inch screen. The touch is widely viewed as a “gateway drug” used to hook teens and accustom them to the iPhone. After all, the iPod touch is basically an iPhone without the radio chip. Another iPod, the iPod nano, was also updated to a touchscreen. Lastly, Apple also announced new in-ear buds, affectionately known as EarPods.

And there still are Mac owners out there. For them, they received word that iTunes will be updated and redesigned to fit the iOS pattern making its way across all Apple devices. Speaking of iOS, iOS 6 will be available later this month, Apple announced. In the meantime, iOS 6 GM is already available to developers.

What did you think? What Apple announcement most impressed you — and what (if anything) took you by surprise?

Our complete iPhone 5 event coverage:

  • fuckyou

    Im more excited about spending my 799 dolars on something else now that im not upgrading from my 4s.

    • Outhig

      Galaxy S3?

      • fuckyou

        No, just something other than a phone

      • lol no one buys nokia phones, people who were trolling here not going to buy those cheap nokia and samsung phones, they are here because they want to know about new iphone and to buy one.. end of story,

        PS. nokia is done a long time ago, never bring that history back 🙂

      • Hyr3m

        Wrong! I’m here ’cause I wanted to know how bad crapple fucked up this time! The S3 has nothing to worry about against this soon-to-be-banned-in-the-us piece of crap. In a year from now you’ll be saying about crapple what you’re saying now about nokia “never bring that history back”

      • Agree 😉

      • iFuture

        soon-to-be-banned-in-the-us piece of crap ?


      • Hyr3m
      • iFuture

        Because apple is dumb enough to let the iphone 5 be banned ?

        Hell no and even if they have to pay alot of money, this phone will not be banned!

        Sorry for my bad english 😉

    • MagicDrumSticks

      You should get a vitamix 😀

    • Kok Hean

      You should get a vacuum cleaner. I heard that it’s great for cleaning your profanity mouth! Yes, I’m talking about your name.

  • Its a good upgrade. I think everyone just basically saw this phone months ago, so a lot of people are like , meh. I’m excited to pre order it friday midnight !!

    • Exactly. If you watch the keynote there is a lot of awesome upgrades in this new iPhone that’s isn’t being said in any articles.

      • Awesome? awesome for who? I would say awesome for someone who has never tried and android one!

      • Android? Android can’t even make function the app to make calls, are you serious?

      • Hyr3m

        Dafuq are you talking about ArthurT ? ICS and JB kick iOS’ ass on about 95% of functionalities!

      • Every Android update is Awesome but Every iOS update is getting lame and retarded -_-

      • Hyr3m

        Precisely… and iOS was already pretty crappy initially so… downhill crapple goes!

      • IndiePhoenix

        Are you serious. Just yesterday I’ve seen the Contacts app freezing and crashing on somekind of a Sony Xperia HD. And that was because it had to load 700+ contacts from the SIM card. Yes, if you want a buggy, inefficient, unappealing and fragmented OS you go the Android way.

      • Right 😀

  • Will it ever be jb’ed you think?

    • Kok Hean

      This + Monocle = :O

  • rivageeza

    The price of an unlocked 16gb iphone directly from the apple store in the UK has actually increased this year, it is saying from £529, previously it has always been £499. Pre-orders from friday 14th, I wonder if that means 00:00 GMT??

    • I just chatted with a person on the apple website and they said that pre-orders start a little after midnight (12:01) Pacific Time (3 AM Eastern)

      • rivageeza

        I see, so would that mean that for the UK pre-orders would open up at 4pm on friday?

      • Terrible math. That’s 8am for UK.

      • My bad! God knows how I ended up with 4pm!

  • Mike

    “Apple made the 8GB iPhone 4S a “free” unit”
    I believe that’s the iPhone 4 that is now free

    • lets head to the retail store right now. Cant wait to get a free sample. 😛

  • You didn’t say anything about NFC or Passport. So no this is not everything I need to know about the iPhone 5 hardware. Stop lying in your headlines.

    • And stop being such a hater!

      There is nothing to say about NFC, it’s clearly not part of the iPhone 5. But should you want to read more about why NFC is not on the iPhone 5, then read this

      As for PassBook (not Passport), we’ve covered it in great details when iOS 6 was announced two months ago. There, you have it

      • Hyr3m

        You both have a point ;P
        (also missing is the upcoming lawsuit for Apple’s infringement(s?) on HTC and Samsung LTE patents, that’s the kinda stuff that would’ve nicely filled in a “controversy” section)

  • What about RAM? And gorilla glass possibly, so that your screen doesn’t break from a 3-foot drop?

  • So when they say it ships the 21st, when will we be receiving them? Does that mean it leaves their warehouse the 21st or we receive them on the 21st?

  • Wish they hadn’t made the phone taller :/

  • nnfdcane

    Anyone know if it is quadcore?

    • kit_0218

      it is not

    • It is not it is still a dual core. sam shit as before!

      • Same shit that certainly beats easily the “others” quad core like the sIII.

  • how about new article about features comparison with Nokia Lumia 920 and sgS3?

  • seyss

    so again we have more than 1 version of the same phone.. iPhone4 had 2 versions, iPhone4S had 1, now 3!

  • i cant use facetime ofer 3g. when i flip the switch to use over 3g it says i have to contact att. any thoughts?

  • Good summary. I watched the keynote. Honestly, I didn’t think they would really outdo the 4S, but they’ve improved on it a lot. Also didn’t think I would like the taller screen, but it’s kinda cool that it’s 16:9 and the same width as before. Now to decide.. black or white? I think the edges of the black looks sick.

    • I got an white iPhone4S feels very sexy but I got a black iPad 3. Which I got is in white. White is the new Black. But iPhone cover look better on black iPhones

      • I also have the white 4S and even a white iPad 3.. this is gonna be a hard decision. I guess I’ll probably go with white and some type of clear case. I just really think the black metal band looks sick. haha

  • I am very disapointed I will get SG3 definetly now!

  • I’ve been debating between iPhone 5 and GS3, but I think I’m going to get the iPhone. Even though it didn’t really have something major that surprised us, Apple has always been the best at making things user intuitive. My friend has a GS3 and says it takes some time to get used to. Basically, if you could download things straight to an iPhone without jailbreaking and it had quick reply, it would be the best phone in my opinion. As it stands, I’ll just stick with what I know.

  • Skem

    Apple was supposed to be innovative, what I wanted was that they would introduce new features that would pose quite a threat to other manufacturers yet they come up with a phone with predictable specs and it seems apple is losing their touch and they are looking at other os’s innovations and just playing catching up.

  • I’m kinda dissapointed on this taller iphone. Always wanted those rumours to be nothing more than a rumour but it turned out to be a bitter truth to me 🙁
    I think i’ll stick to my 4S for another year hoping for a wider iphone 5S…..

  • Aliasgar Murtaza

    What they have done is just raised connectivity standards! Mind you, only less than a dozen carriers offer LTE at the moment! And living in regions like Dubai, (as I do), you don’t get face time, turn by turn and all other premium services! Didn’t impress me much! Will stick with my GS3! 😀

  • Got everything that I wanted in the new iPhone

  • Hyr3m

    You forgot to mention the upcoming lawsuit from Samsung for LTE patent infringements 🙂

  • Mohammad Ridwan
  • did anyone notice that there is 5 X 4 icon layout?

    • Dave_Lui

      Also noticed it’s not 3.5 inch anymore, so that’s justified.

  • Just spoken to apple uk and they believe pre-orders will open up at midnight over here.

    • Grrr spoken to apple again and this time they say 8am! I would of thought apple direct would of known for sure.

  • fiwatec

    Yes, iPhone 5 deeply impressed on me. but question is it worth to change my iPhone 4? Answer is not enough yet. I was really expecting for pure innovative revolution ever others did (like Samsung Galaxy S 3) So, maybe it’s better to wait for Iphone 5S?
    I wish iPhone 5S with new features like: without physical home button, 4.3″ (at least) Super AMOLED (energy saver) Retina display, Stereo loud speakers, Quad core processor, NFC chip, LTE universal chip for worldwide regions, enhanced capasitive battery, 12 mega pixels camera with optical zoom, redesigned unibody with collaboration with Sony design…
    so, looking forward for next years “12”september 🙂 ?!

  • Dave_Lui

    Can’t decide to upgrade unless hand-on In-depth Review, although Rumors ruined the excitement to an extent.
    Now as I look back, almost everything we heard before official announcements through IDB in disguise of rumors stand correct.
    Because most of us were expecting a lot, though Upgrades doesn’t have “Wow” factor, but yes, its iPhone 5 and people will get it, either way.

  • iDisapointed

  • Lala

    LOL. I am a current iphone user. I have had several android phones and none of them compare to the iPhone. Samsung, nokia none of them. Apple with forever have haters because the products are wonderful, unique and different. They are not cheap looking either. Stylish and classy. I like the bigger screen and all of the added qualities so what if current iphone users are disappointed, i bet they will upgrade to Iphone 5 soon. Just because its just different and unique from all the rest.

  • Timothy Do

    Why does the outer shell or color of the iPhone matter to people? 99.99% of the people will get a case/cover for it anyway, so the back or sides doesn’t matter much.