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NPR tech news
Wed September 12, 2012
Apple Unveils New, Thinner, Lighter iPhone 5
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 1:02 pm
Moments ago in San Francisco, Apple's Phil Schiller unveiled the latest incarnation of the company's massively popular smartphone.
The iPhone 5, said Schiller, is "the most beautiful product we've ever made."
Of course, you want to know what's different about this model: Essentially it's thinner, lighter, faster and also has a bigger screen than the iPhone 4s.
The device also comes equipped to work with faster wireless networks like LTE, which AT&T, Sprint and Verizon carry.
The AP adds:
"The iPhone 5 will likely go on sale in a week or two. It's expected to work with fourth-generation, or 4G, cellular networks, something Samsung's Galaxy S III and many other iPhone rivals already do.
"Apple Inc. also plans to update its phone software and will ditch Google Inc.'s mapping service for its own. The two have become rivals as Google promotes phones running its Android operating system."
The bigger screen allows for the phone to display a wide-screen, near-16:9 format and also allows for a fifth row of icons on the home screen.
The Verge, by the way, is providing a blow-by-blow live blog of the event.
Update at 3:59 p.m. ET. New iPods:
Apple also announced a new line of iPods. Here's how All Things D describes them:
"The new iPod nano features a 2.5-inch multitouch display. Apple showed off how widescreen video can be viewed when the nano is turned on its side. It's 5.4mm thick, 38 percent thinner than the previous, or sixth generation, nano device. It comes in seven different colors, with the color of the iPod's interface now matching the color of the device itself.
"Fitness features and a pedometer are built into the iPod nano now, too, with Nike+ integration. But most notable is probably the new nano's oft-requested Bluetooth capabilities."
Update at 2:03 p.m. ET. The Damage:
As always, left for last is how much this new gadget will set you back: With a two-year contract, a 16 GB iPhone 5 will run you $199; a 32 GB one $299; a 64 GB $399.
The iPhone 3Gs is no longer available, but you can get the iPhone 4 for free with a contract and a 4s for $99.
The phone will be available for pre-order Sept. 14 and will ship in the United States on Sept. 21.
Update at 1:44 p.m. ET. A New Connector:
Apple announced another fairly big change: The iPhone 5 will have a new, smaller connector they call "lightning." This is a big deal because many people have accessories — like a sound dock — for their current iPhones that they would like to use for their new phone.
Those accessories will work with an adapter customers can buy.