|Release date||September 21, 2012|
|Operating system||iOS 6|
|Power||Built-in non-removable rechargable lithium-ion polymer battery|
|Processor||Probable ARM Cortex system-on-chip (possibly built on new 32nm fabrication)|
|Storage||16, 32, 64 GB|
|Display||Rumored 4.1-inch Retina Display|
|Input||Lightning connector, microphone, Dual-mic noise suppression|
|Audio||One earspeaker, one loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Sensors||Current 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer|
|Connectivity||LTE, Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0|
|Online services||iTunes, App Store, iCloud|
|Materials||Aluminosilicate glass, anodized aluminum chassis|
|Dimensions||4.87" x 2.31" x 0.30"|
|Related articles||Apple TV, iOS, Rumors|
Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5, was launched on September 21, 2012, slightly shy of a full year after the introduction of the iPhone 4S. That timeframe continued an annual upgrade cycle that had been pushed back slightly from the mid-year iPhone introductions Apple had utilized before 2011.
In March, it was said that Apple was in the midst of testing and evaluating potential components for the next iPhone. Among those is Qualcomm's LTE 4G chip dubbed "MDM9615," which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed networks.
The iPhone 5 has a redesigned exterior, replacing the form factor that has existed with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Last month, it was said that Apple is expected to utilize Qualcomm's "MDM9615" LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G LTE networks. It was said in March that Apple was testing and evaluating potential components for the next iPhone.
Since the iPhone 4S was launched in on October 7, 2011, the rumors of Apple's next-generation handset were already being discussed, primarily due to a belief that the 4S launch didn't "pan out". Previous reports were split into two camps: those saying the smartphone would carry the legacy iPhone 4 design and others claiming there would be drastic refresh more akin to the changes made between the iPhone 3GS and 4.
The unfounded rumors were exacerbated by case makers' production of various coverings based on specs obtained from upstream supply sources in China. Case makers bet on "leaked" designs sight-unseen to get a leg up on competition by having the first available products to market, though it seems in this instance the sourced information was incorrect.
Directly following the release of the iPhone 4S, analysts speculated that the handset was intended to be a stopgap with Apple saving the 'iPhone 5' moniker for an upcoming 4G LTE-compatible version that will purportedly be launched in 2012. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company's second quarter 2011 conference call that the first generation of LTE chips would "force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make."
|Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system.|
The iPhone 5 features Apple's next-generation iOS 6 mobile operating system. Among other changes, iOS 6 utilizes a mapping system designed and built by Apple, using assets acquired from its purchase of three mapping technology companies; Sweden-based C3 Technologies in 2011, Poly9 in 2010, and Placebase in 2009.
iOS 6 also brings deeper integration with Apple's iCloud cloud computing service. The photo app now has a photo-sharing feature which allows iPhone, iPad or iPod touch owners to send or upload pictures for viewing by other iOS users and comment on them.
Other backend improvements could come in the way of modifications to how third-party apps access personal data. Mobile data security is a hot-button topic in the media and has consequently been brought to the attention of government bodies concerned with how the personal infomation of handset users is transmitted and stored. At the center of the debate is the use of data acquired from unique device identifier (UDID) data for purposes of advertising performance and monetization. If used improperly, devices can be tracked without the owner's knowledge or consent. Apple was slated to kill UDID data use in iOS 5, though access remains active as of iOS 5.1.1.
As far as UI and gestures are concerned, the current system is seen to remain largely in place with no major improvement or tweaks.
Apple's voice-recognizing assistant Siri may see some minor adjustments, though it is unclear if the technology will be brought out of its official beta status with iOS 6.
|Purported 2012 iPhone home button flex cable and backside camera.|
The internals of the 2012 iPhone will likely be upgraded to feature Qualcomm's 28nm "MDM9615" LTE chip which supports both data and voice connections over a 4G network, among other improvements that are expected to bring the handset up to spec with current wireless technology. Just as the iPhone 4S was a "world phone" able to operate in a number of countries out of the box, so will the sixth-generation handset.
Other companies named as possible suppliers include Skyworks Solutions, TriQuint Semiconductor, and Avago Technologies.
Most prominent is the handset's screen, which was enlarged to 4" at a resolution of 1136x640. The size and format of the iPhone's display had not changed since Apple first introduced the product in 2007, though competition in the greater smartphone market has spawned a litany of models with large high-resolution screens including Samsung's massive 5.3-inch Galaxy Note. Supposed photos of the next-gen iPhone's screen glass were leaked in May and were backed by rumors of orders for displays boasting a diagonally-measured length of at least 4 inches.
Apple used in-cell touch panels in the design of the iPhone 5, which contributed to the reduced thickness of the handset. While the technology is still in its infancy, reports claim that four suppliers are ready to ramp up production to meet an expected fall launch deadline.
The forward-facing camera received the traditional spec bump (to 1.2 megapixels) seen in yearly iPhone launches starting with the iPhone 3GS. Recent leaks point to a slightly redesigned camera unit, though the internal sensor and optics were not detailed. In the past, Apple has upped the resolution of the backside imager in increments of two or three megapixels, yielding the latest camera with an 8MP imager mated to advanced optics. The front-facing unit, first introduced in the iPhone 4, was not upgraded in the 4S making it a likely candidate for a refresh.
With Apple looking to make its smartphone thinner and lighter, the arrangement of the internal components was tweaked to accommodate both the circuitry and battery. In April, a slightly redesigned home button made the rounds and the component's corresponding flex cable was also supposedly leaked showing minor changes. The two parts, along with a similarly reworked SIM card tray which showed up in May, point to possible space-saving changes. Also leaked were purported next-gen iPhone headphone jack, earpiece and Wi-Fi cable parts that suggest a major internal redesign is coming.
The iPhone 5 received an update to its chassis while retaining a great deal of the aesthetic of its two predecessors. The central part of the iPhone 5 body is machined out of a single piece of anodized aluminum, while the top and bottom pieces of the back (the former containing the camera and flash) are of glass, as on the last two iPhones. The front of the iPhone 5 is largely unchanged, save for the increase in vertical height.