Apple Announces 4-inch LTE Unibody iPhone 5

Apple unveiled its latest iPhone Wednesday at a special event in San Francisco. The iPhone 5, as the device will be called, sports a new A6 processor, LTE wireless support, and a taller 1136-by-640 4-inch display.

iPhone 5

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pledge at the D10 Conference earlier this year to “double down on secrecy,” many recent leaks and rumors turned out to be true for Apple’s latest iPhone.

The iPhone 5 is slightly thinner and longer than the iPhone 4/4S, but maintains the same width. The display, now 4-inches, utilizes in-cell technology, which partially accounts for the reduced thickness. At 7.6mm in thickness and 112g in weight, the iPhone 5 is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S.

iPhone 5 Bottom, New Connector, Headphone Jack

The phone's unibody case matches many recent part leaks, and returns to the mostly metal design of the first generation iPhone. The new aluminum and glass design increases durability while an all-new antenna design prevents signal interference.

The iPhone also now supports LTE and is “world compatible,” allowing international customers in markets with new LTE service, such as the UK, to take advantage of the improved speeds. LTE speeds vary by carrier and signal quality, but Apple claims that the iPhone 5 will be able to achieve theoretical maximum speeds of 100 Mbps.

Other "Ultrafast Wireless" improvements include compatability with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, for speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

Apple’s A6 processor, which is likely made up of two dual-core Cortex A15 processors, offers up to 200% more processing power and graphics power.

iPhone 5 Event A6

The iPhone’s camera also received a modest boost, improving on the already stellar iPhone 4S camera. The 8 megapixel camera features backside illumination, a hybrid IR filter, five-element lense, and a f/2.4 aperture. These improvements combine to offer better noise reduction, low light performance, and faster photo capture.

A new Panorama mode allows users to capture stunning panoramic images by combining dozens of individual images automatically.

Panorama Mode

The iPhone 5 also improves on audio quality by including three separate microphones, located on the front, back, and bottom of the device, and a noise-canceling earpiece.

The iPhone 5 has an all-new 9-pin dock connector, which is expected to eventually make its way to all iDevices (perhaps with the exception of the disregarded iPod classic). Called "Lightning," a reference to its Thunderbolt cousin, the new connector is smaller, all digital, and will be backwards-compatible via 30-pin adapters.

iPhone 5 Lightning

The iPhone 5, like its predecessor, will be available in Black and White.

Near Field Communications support, although much rumored and highly anticipated, did not make the cut for the iPhone 5, nor did greater storage options; the iPhone 5 is available in the same configurations as its predecessor: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.

Thankfully, the price did not change either, and the iPhone 5 will be available in each of the above storage configurations for US$199, $299, and $399 (on contract) respectively.

Below is a complete rundown of the iPhone 5 features:

• Black and White color options
• 4-inch in-cell display
• Unibody Design
• New Antenna
• 9-pin "Lightning" Dock Connector
• Improved Speaker and Microphones
• 1136-by-640 Resolution with a Pixel Density of 326 ppi
• A6 Processor
• Global LTE
• Nano-SIM
• 802.11 a/b/g/n
• 8-Megapixel Camera with Sapphire Lens
• 16/32/64 GB Capacities

As speculated, the iPhone 3GS is gone. Apple's lineup now includes an 8GB iPhone 4 for free on contract, 16GB iPhone 4S for $99, and the various models of iPhoen 5 starting at $199.

Preorders start this Friday, September 14. The phone will ship in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and most of Europe on September 21, with more countries on the 28th, and over 100 countries by December 2012.