iPhone 5 unveiled at same price as iPhone 4S. At $199 for 16GB

Coverage of the blockbuster launch of the most anticipated device in the history of mankind

Coverage of the blockbuster launch of the most anticipated device in the history of mankind - Apple's new iPhone 5 - in San Francisco, where the latest iteration of the world's best-selling smartphone has been unveiled.

The official name is indeed the iPhone 5, guys, and it will be available at the same price as the iPhone 4S. $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB (in the US) - remember, you read it here first.

The iPhone 5 will be in stores on September 21 in the following countries: the US (of course), Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

And in 100 countries by the end of the year. That incudes the UAE. How do we know? We just do.

It's here - the day millions of Apple fans and fanatics have waited for is finally here, as the Cupertino-based company unveiled the iPhone 5 at 9.10pm UAE time.

And it's beautiful. The body of the iPhone 5 is made completely of glass and aluminium - very sleek.

Of course it's bigger - as the leaks suggested and we kept letting you know, the screen size is indeed 4" and 1136x640 pixels, as rumoured. 

And what Apple calls the ultrafast witeless technology - HDPA+, DC-HSPDA, and LTE. Yes folks, that's 4G LTE!

And it's game on - the new, smaller chip - the A6 - makes gaming a real pleasure, not to mention much faster.

The iPhone 5 comes with a a CPU that is twice as fast as its previous avatar. The graphics are twice as fast too. That's cool. Really.

Better camera - again, as rumoured. It's called iSight. That's a classic. With dynamic low light mode. Precision lense alignment. And sapphire crystal. And as we told you just this morning, it does come with a panoramic feature.

The new A6 chip comes with a new image signal processor, does spatial noise reduction, boasts of a smart filter which offers better low light performance and faster photo capture.

The video is HD quality. 1080p HD. We wouldn't have expected anything less from the iPhone 5. Comes with improved video stabilisation. Face detection. And can take pictures while recording video. Smooth for a phone.

The front camera now has FaceTime HD camera with 720p support, backside illuminated sensor, and FaceTime works over 3G with iOS 6. Now we're talking.

The audio system gets a promotion too - the iPhone 5 comes equipped with three microphones instead of the two in the 4S. The new smartphone has one on the bottom, one on the front, and one on the back. Noise-cancelling earpiece sports a nw feature called wideband audio.

The 30-pin connector, as rumoured, is a reality too. It's all-digital, 8-signal design. Adaptive interface. Improved durability. Reversible, easier to use. Called Lightning.

The iO6 is ready, ladies and gentlemen. The iPhone 5 runs on it - officially.

Google Maps has been unceremoniously ditched, as announced earlier. Instead, the iPhone 5 - rather the iO6 - has Apple's own Maps app. 3D Maps too.

New Facebook and Twitter features in the Notification Centre allow a user to tweet or post updates from whichever app s/he is in at the moment. Handy.

Passbook, virtual wallet - all good but, as we told you, no NFC.

And guess what - Siri will update your Facebook posts for you. Just say it. Start with "post" and then go on...

That's it for now - I'll wait for Siri to type out the rest of the story for me :)

Earlier story

The shocking truth about iPhone 5

As the countdown for the new iPhone 5 reached its climax, news is emerging on the winners and losers from the launch of the most anticipated gadget in the history of mankind.

Apple’s hype machine has been extremely successful in the past, but with the iPhone 5, it seems to have broken all records – a couple of days ago, we told you that a keyword search of “iPhone 5” on Google resulted in 170 million results – within two days, that has escalated to 181 million.

In addition, a comparison on Google’s ‘Adwords’ programme shows that, globally, the “iPhone 5” keyword was searched 20.4 million times on desktops and laptops, and another 9.14 million times on mobile devices over the past month.

A similar exercise with the “Galaxy S3”, Samsung’s flagship iPhone 5-killer and one that uses Google’s Android operating system, resulted in 6.3 million searches on desktops and laptops, and another 2.74 million on mobile devices. The difference is stark, to say the least.

But I digress.

Returning to the winners and losers from the iPhone 5 launch, the list is actually quite big but let’s concentrate on the major ones for now. For the sake of this article, we’ll leave the most obvious winner – Apple Inc. – out of the list. That’s a no-brainer, right?

Let’s start with a loser – nope, despite it being the most obvious competitor in the smartphones domain, Samsung might not be the ultimate biggest loser from the launch of the new iPhone 5. The biggest loser may actually be Google, which seems to have lost a whole host of privileges with the iO6, the next-gen operating system on which the iPhone 5 and all future Apple devices – such the imminent iPad Mini – will be based on.

Google’s YouTube gets the boot from the iPhone 5’s home screen even as it gains a backdoor entry – but that isn’t quite the same thing. Read about it here (YouTube gets backdoor entry into iPhone 5 after Apple divorces Google). Then, with Siri getting a massive upgrade – yeah, it is believed that Siri 2.0 (or whatever) is much smarter as the iO6 affords it access to a lot more collaboration-based information, from sports scores and schedules to an array of statistics on players; movie times or actor information; restaurant reviews and reservations; direct posting to Facebook and Twitter, etc.

Which means that it will rely much less on Google Search for things you and me are going to ask it for – and that’s going to hurt Google’s search-based revenues at least a little bit, right?

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ pronouncement to go to thermonuclear war with Google after HTC launched an Android-based phone that felt a lot like the iPhone. The war has resulted in the iO6 ditching other Google offerings – such as Google Maps – too, taking the fallout between two of the world’s largest tech titans to new depths.

On the other hand, among the winners (apart from the US economy (Apple’s new iPhone 5 will boost America’s $15 trillion GDP – really!)are social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook’s updated mobile app is deeply integrated into the new iOS 6 and experts maintain that it will work wonderfully with Apple’s new smartphone device. As Facebook explores ways to monetise its huge audience, the exposure that it will get from being one of the home screen icons on the iPhone 5 can only work to its benefit.

Then again, Samsung may not be the biggest loser, but it does stand to lose although not many analysts believe that it will lose its standing as the world’s largest smartphone seller. Indeed, while Apple’s is a sniper approach in that it focuses on launching one top-end smartphone a year or so (the last one, the 4S, was launched in September 2011), Samsung follows more of a chain-gun approach, launching a number of smartphones every year, and catering to almost every price point in the market.

That indeed has landed Samsung on the top pedestal in the estimated $200 billion smartphones market, and although the new iPhone 5 is expected to seriously close the gap between Apple and board leader Samsung, the latter is expected to defend its pole position.

Almost every other handset maker worth mentioning – Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry (in no order) – stand to lose as the iPhone 5 makes itself available in a store near you. But if the new device is overpriced (going by the rumours, it may not be), all these players with their competitively priced offerings may well emerge stronger, especially if they decide to slash prices to sweeten their offerings.

That’s for now, but make sure to log back in to our website at 7.45pm UAE time, 4.45 UK time and 11.45 New York time to catch the live action if the unveiling of the new iPhone 5.

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