Apple Unveils iPhone 5
Along With a Bevy Of Software Improvements And Revised iPods
September 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM (PT)
At 10a TODAY, APPLE CEO TIM COOK took the stage to start an semi-annual tradition -- a new product showcase. In his opening remarks, COOK cited the record 17 million iPADS that were sold between APRIL and JUNE and declared. "We are in a post-PC world ... most of our traffic comes from mobile devices these days."
He then noted that the iPAD enjoys a 68% market share and 91% of all tablet web traffic. There are now 700,000 apps, from which customers use an average of a little more than 100 apps.
We are in a post-PC world ... most of our traffic comes from mobile devices these days
PHIL SCHILLER then took the stage to introduce the iPHONE 5, which is entirely made of glass and aluminum. At a tick over a quarter-inch thick and weighing just under four ounces, it's the lightest and thinnest iPHONE yet. It's the same width, but taller and more energy efficient.
He then went on to describe a bevy of improvements and alterations. ENGADGET is one of several websites that are offering more details in their live blogs.
Among the highlights was lengthening battery life beyond the iPHONE 4 that will offer 10 hours of WiFi browsing. Camera improvements include a 40% faster image capture, with features such as Panorama and Shared Photo Streams. The phone boasts three microphones for voice recognition and noise cancellation. One thing that did concern the ENGADGET blogger was the need for new adapters to fit the iPHONE to the old docks.
The new iPHONE, hitting retail on SEPT. 21st, will be available for SPRINT, AT&T and VERIZON. It will be priced the same as the iPHONE 4S -- $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64GB, The iPHONE 4, by the way, is now free on contract; the 4S price has been cut to $99.
Besides the iPHONE 5 itself, improvements were also made with the iOS 6 and SIRI. Regarding the latter, "she" can will cite sports scores, launch apps by voice, choose restaurants and make reservations, and offer ROTTEN TOMATOES movie reviews upon request.
APPLE's EDDY CUE then came on to talk about improvements to its music services. The new iTUNES version was described as "dramatically simpler" in terms of finding and choosing music, as well as managing playlists. it will be available in late OCTOBER after the new iOS 6 improvements are available.
Still Tweaking iPods
APPLE also updated some of its iPODS, which have been losing some luster with the advent of the iPAD and iPHONE. According to ARS TECHNICA, it "updated the iPOD Touch to bring it in line with the iPHONE 5, particularly in its 4" 1136 x 640 display and its use of Apple's updated 8-pin "Lightning" dock connector. The front-facing camera has been upgraded to be capable of 720p shooting, and the rear-facing iSight-branded camera has gotten a bump to a five megapixel sensor that should bring it roughly in line with the quality of the iPHONE 4 and third-generation iPAD."
Prices for the 4G iPOD Touches: $199 for 16GB and 249 for 32GB. New 5G toys will go for $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB in storage.
The new NANO has a taller 2.5" touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and an integrated FM tuner, as well as a battery good for 30 hours of life. Beginning in OCTOBER, they'll come in white, black, purple, green, blue, yellow, and red. A 16GB model will go for $149.
The presentation concluded with a short performance by the FOO FIGHTERS.
And What Of Its 'Pandora' Music Service?
There no discussion of the new Internet radio service APPLE is working on. Late last week (NET NEWS 9/7), ALL ACCESS reported APPLE was in talks to license music for a custom-radio service similar to PANDORA. The online radio service, targeted at PANDORA and iHEARTRADIO as well as other outlets, is expected to be available on APPLE products such as the iPHONE, iPAD and MAC computers, but not on mobile devices running the ANDROID system.
As for issues APPLE will have to address when entering the webcasting business, FORBES reports "The main issue with Internet radio service in the U.S. is the royalties. These royalties are fixed by intermediary bodies and internet webcasters do not have much flexibility regarding negotiation. This has made it difficult for PANDORA to be profitable on its ad-based business. APPLE previously tried and dropped the idea of Internet radio due to the same reason, but it appears that this time around the company trying it differently."
Wall Street Reaction
APPLE's stock price (AAPL), which started the day at $660 rose to as high as $666 as the presentation progressed, but eventually fell to the neighborhood of $658. Ironically, FLYONTEHEWAWALL.COM reported that shares of PANDORA (P) rallied when APPLE didn't announce its own music subscription service. The stock began the day at 10.03 and peaked at 10.55 before settling in at around 10.20.
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