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Apple introduces the iPhone 5

Lex Friedman | Sept. 13, 2012
As was widely expected, Apple on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, the newest entrant into its smartphone lineup. The iPhone 5 sports a taller screen, a new dock connector port, LTE support, and other refinements.

The speaker gets improved, too. It now includes five magnets in its transducer, with better frequency response and better sound--while being 20 percent smaller than the speaker in the iPhone 4S. The earpiece is now noise-canceling, too, Schiller said.

With some carriers, the iPhone 5 will support wideband audio. In a typical cell phone call, the frequency of data in your voice is compressed around the midrange, Schiler said. But that doesn't sounded entirely natural. Wideband audio fills up more of the frequency spectrum to make your voice sound more normal. Schiller said 20 carriers will support the technology at launch, and didn't mention any U.S. carriers that would.

Lightning: The new dock connector port

Throw away your old dock connector cables. Or, at least, go pick up some adapters. The iPhone 5 abandons the familiar 30-pin dock connector port, which first appeared with the original iPod in 2003. In its place is a smaller port, which Apple calls Lightning.

The 8-signal Lightning connector is all-digital, with an adaptive interface and improved durability. It's reversible (meaning you can orient it either way, like a MagSafe adapter), and it's 80 percent smaller than the connector it replaces.

Schiller announced that Apple would offer a 30-pin-to-Lightning connector, but didn't mention pricing.

We'll have more on the iPhone 5, including pricing and availability, later on Wednesday as that information becomes available.

 

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