Apple announced iPhone 5, unveiled a new iPod Touch and iPod Nano range and released new versions of iTunes for Mac and Windows, at a press conference in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (US). Here’s a quick lowdown of all the announcements made by the company:
OS X Mountain Lion: Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple has sold seven million copies of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion since launch, up from three million copies as of July 30. He claimed that Mac notebooks now represent 27% of the US laptop marketshare with 15% YoY growth as of July. The company had recently introduced a new MacBook Pro with Retina display and a new MacBook Air. Cook claimed that the new MacBook Pro along with MacBook Air took the top position in terms of market share in US for the last three months.
App Store Stats: Cook stated that iTunes App Store now features 700,000 iOS apps, of which 250,000 apps were optimized for the iPad. He also noted that 90% of the 700,000 apps are downloaded every month, and an average customer uses over 100 different apps on his/her device.
Eddy Cue, senior vice president Internet Software and Services, Apple, also previewed the new App store design for iOS devices with deep Facebook integration, and Facebook likes integration to each of the app pages. He noted that the same design will run across all its stores including iBooks, App Store and its iTunes music & video stores.
iPad Stats: Cook said that Apple had sold 17 million iPads during April to June and a total of 84 million iPads through June. The company has sold a total of 400 million iOS devices through June 2012, up from 365 million iOS devices in March 2012. Note that this includes all the previous generations of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Cook also claimed that iPad now has a 68% market share in the worldwide tablet market between the period of April-June, up from 62% in April-June 2011. iPad accounts for 91% of the Internet traffic from tablets and 94% of the Fortune 500 companies are currently testing or deploying iPads and investing in custom apps.
iPhone 5: Phil Schiller, senior vice president at Apple, announced the sixth generation of iPhone – iPhone 5. He claimed that iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, being 18% thinner than iPhone 4S and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S and is currently the world’s thinnest smartphone with 7.6 mm thickness and 122g weight.
Schiller said that iPhone 5 sports a body entirely made of aluminium and glass and has a 4-inch retina display screen with a resolution of 1136*640 and ~326 ppi pixel density. What’s worth noting though is that Apple has only increased the width but only the height of the smartphone to incorporate a fifth row of icons on the homescreen.
The phone will run on iOS 6 and will features an 8 Megapixel iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a hybrid IR filter, ability to record 1080p videos, a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera, a new dual-core Apple A6 processor chip, support for HD voice, and connectivity options like LTE connectivity, WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz on 802.11n), and Bluetooth v4.0. However, Apple noted that unlike the iPhone 4S, it will launch separate CDMA and GSM versions of the iPhone 5. Further, iPhone 5’s comparison page also suggests that iPhone 5 is not compatible with existing regular and micro-SIM cards and users will need a Nano-SIM to operate the smartphone. Note that the phone does not support Indian 4G bands.
The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order from September 14 at $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) on a two-year contract and will start shipping from September 21. As always, Apple has reduced the price of the previous-gen iPhone 4S to $99 with a two-year contract and the 8GB variant of iPhone 4 will be available for free with a two-year contract. It also discontinued the iPhone 3GS variant. The company intends to extend this smartphone to 100 countries and 240 carriers by the end of this year, although there is no word on the iPhone 5 availability in India yet.
Updated Apps To Fit The New Resolution: Schiller stated that Apple has updated its own apps such as email, events, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand to fit the new resolution of iPhone 5 and urged developers to update their respective apps to support the new resolution, failing which the apps will be letter boxed, i.e. the app will be centered and the company will place black borders on either sides.
iPod Touch: Along with iPhone 5, Schiller also introduced a new iPod Touch with a 4-inch retina display, 6.1mm thickness, and 88g weight. It will run on iOS 6 and feature a dual core A5 processor, a 5 megapixel iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, Siri voice assistant, support for Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), and Airplay mirroring. Schiller claimed that iPod touch will offer an improved battery life of 40 hours musc playback or 8 hours of video playback.
Interestingly, Schiller said that the new iPod Touch will come in seven different color variants, including pink, yellow, blue, white, silver, black, and slate and will feature its own loop wristband that will prevent the device from slipping out of the user’s hands. It will be also be bundled with Apple’s new EarPods headphones.
The new iPod touch is available for pre-order from September 14 for a suggested price of $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) and will start shipping in October. There is no word on the India pricing yet although the fourth generation iPod touch is currently available through Apple authorized resellers for Rs 15,900 (16GB) and Rs 23,900 (32GB).
iPod Nano: Greg Joswiak, Vice President of iPod, iPhone, and iOS Product Marketing, Apple, stated that Apple has sold 350 million iPods till now. He also introduced the new 7th generation iPod Nano, which features a larger 2.5-inch multitouch display, an aluminium unibody with 3.5 millimeter thickness, a dedicated iPhone-like home button, Nike+ integration, a built-in bluetooth to connect wireless headphones and speakers. It will also have an an FM tuner, a pedometer and the company claimed that the new iPod Nano will offer 30 hrs of battery life.
The new iPod Nano will be available in seven different colors – blue, yellow, red, silver, purple, black, and blue and will be available through Apple authorized resellers in October for a suggested price of Rs 12,500 for the 16GB variant.
EarPods: Apple stated that it has shipped 600 million headphones till now. It introduced a new pair of headphones called EarPods, which will be bundled with the newly introduced iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th Gen) and iPod Nano (7th Gen), although, it will be available separately from the Apple store for $29.
Lightning dock connector: Apple has also introduced a smaller 8-pin connector which can be seen on the new iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th gen) and iPod Nano (7th gen). The company said that the new connector is reversible and claimed that it is faster and 80% smaller than the 30-pin connector. It also noted that it currently working with various accessory makers to integrate the Lightning dock connectors to their accessories.
As for existing users, Apple has launched three new adapters in form of lightning to 30-pin adapter ($29), lightning to USB cable adapter ($19) and lightning to 0.2m 30-pin adapter for $39, which will start shipping from October. That being said, a report from The Verge suggests that these adapters wouldn’t support video-out or iPod-out.
iOS 6 Availability: Apple also previewed iOS 6, the next major release of its mobile operating system iOS which was first introduced in WWDC 2012, The company stated that the update will be available for download on September 19 as a free update and will be compatible with iPhone 3GS or later, iPod Touch (Fourth generation or later) and iPad (iPad 2 and the new iPad).
iTunes Stats: Cue stated that iTunes Store is available in 63 countries around the world and there are 435 million active accounts with registered credit cards on the iTunes store, up from 400 million in June 2012. He also claimed that Apple has 200 million iTunes in the cloud users and they are registering 66% (2/3rd) of content downloads from the iTunes store from iOS devices. Apple claimed that iTunes store currently has 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films.
iTunes: Cue announced new versions of iTunes for Mac and Windows Platform, featuring a completely redesigned player, integration to iCloud so that users can sync their purchases between their iOS devices and desktop computers and a refreshed full-window interface with a new library view and an expandable album view. Cue claimed that the app is now more visual than its previous version and the interface is more cleaner and simpler. Apart from that, Apple has also added a simpler iTunes MiniPlayer with a search box which allows users to search across their entire iTunes library, including music, movies and TV shows. The new iTunes is expected to be available in October as a free download at Apple website.
Sunsetting Ping: Apple also announced that it will be shutting down its iTunes based social music network Ping on September 30, 2012, and has stopped accepting new members to the social network, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
With inputs from Apurva Chaudhary