The time has come, the floodgates are open and a procession of eager Apple fans has now been allowed into the Regent Street flagship store as of 8 o’clock this morning. With some customers having camped outside the store since the new iPhone 5 was officially announced, it’s no surprise that queues have formed inside the store as well, on both floors.
Apple staff told us that at its longest, the queue reached around the block and that they had to enter from the back entrance to make it into the store through the mass of expectant fans. The iPhone 5 is available now and provided you were one of the early adopters prepared to lay down some money in advance, whether that be SIM free or through a carrier or reseller, you either already hold in your hands an iPhone or you’ll be receiving one in the next few days.
Phones4U has reported a 500% increase in pre-orders compared to the iPhone 4S in the same period, breaking pre-order records by 71%, whilst Carphone Warehouse reported it has taken four times as many pre-orders for the iPhone 5 than any other handset since it began trading it 1989. This follows news from Apple on September 17th that if you've pre-ordered the iPhone 5, you may have to wait a little longer than September 21st to get your hands on it.
Apple announced it had over 2 million worldwide pre-orders within 24 hours for the iPhone 5 - double that of the the iPhone 4S. Philip Schiller from Apple comments: “iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal."
In every aspect Apple has once again delivered a shot of adrenaline to the iPhone’s design and hardware performance with a new processor, larger display, better front and rear cameras, new smaller dock connector, faster graphics processing, better battery life and a thinner, lighter body.
What features does the iPhone 5 have?
The physical redesign of the iPhone with its thinner form has necessitated new elements such as a smaller 8-pin dock connector which Apple have dubbed a Lightning connector. These new 8-pin connectors not only offer a more compact solution to the 30-pin connectors of old, but as Apple say, are more durable and designed to work either way around for ease of use.
Other elements that Apple wanted to highlight were the new 8-megapixel camera, which now features a more resilient sapphire crystal lens for durability and with the help of the new A6 processor is able to capture photos 40% faster.
There are a host of other internals that have been honed and refined, take a look:
- Processor: A6 dual-core processor (2x faster CPU, 2x faster graphics over A5) , 22% smaller than A5 chip
- Memory: 1GB of RAM
- Screen: 4.0-inch Retina (1366x640) display with 326ppi, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Camera: 8-megapixel with 1080p HD video recording, autofocus, video image stabilisation, face detection and single LED flash. Secondary 1.2-megpixel front facing iSight camera for 720p HD Facetime calls, supports video calling over mobile data.
- Weight: 112g
- Storage: 16/32/64GB
- Connectivity: HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, LTE, dual antenna WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
What operating system will the iPhone 5 run?
iOS 6 debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference back in June but now comes to the iPhone 5 in a fully realised form. Based on Apple’s typical habits, the iPhone 5 will also see two subsequent updates to the version of iOS it runs down the line.
What are the alternatives?
The iPhone 5 might be the new top dog, but that simply means that Apple’s wholly capable previous flagship drops in price and still offers a great smartphone experience. The company quoted that last year’s iPhone 4S will sell for $99 in the US (suspected £159 in the UK) for the 16GB model on a two year contract whilst in the Android camp the Samsung Galaxy S3, Sony Xperia T and HTC One X are natural competitors, not to mention the newly announced Nokia Lumia 920 for those who fancy a piece of Windows Phone 8 flagship goodness instead.
When will the iPhone 5 launch?
Pre-order’s kick off from September 14th with arrival in store and online in the UK from September 21st along with other key markets including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The initial rollout of availability for 100 countries should be complete before the end of 2012.
What networks will be selling the iPhone 5?
One of the most exciting prospects for UK Apple fans is that the iPhone 5 is confirmed to be coming to EE in the UK. As such we can expect it to be the first iPhone to offer 4G connectivity in the UK as well as one of the first 4G handsets in general in the market. No word on other UK carriers was mentioned at Apple’s keynote.
What 4G networks will the iPhone 5 work on in the UK?
A root through the finer details of the upcoming iPhone 5 on Apple's website confirm that it looks set to support 4G LTE high speed mobile data over the 1800MHz band, the same band to be used by new UK 4G network EE.
Having said that, Apple don't list the 800MHz or 2.6GHz LTE frequency bands being added to the UK in the coming months, as such O2 and Vodafone customers hoping for LTE on the iPhone 5 will be sorely out of luck when it hits on September 21st, even once each of these respective networks does get its own 4G service off the ground.
How much will the iPhone 5 cost?
Based on the suggested US pricing Apple listed in their presentation each size capacity will cost $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for the 32GB version and $399 for the 64GB version on a two year contract. Apple also list SIM free pricing on their site as £529 for the 16GB with a suspected £629 and £729 for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively.