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The iPhone 5 cometh: Apple debuts its newest game changer

Apple introduces the iPhone 5.
Apple introduces the iPhone 5.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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It’s that time of year again, when visions of larger touch screens and faster processors dance in early adopters’ heads. Apple today announced the latest generation of its wildly popular smartphone at a media event in San Francisco.

It has been over two years since Apple completely rebooted the iPhone and techies are eager to get their hands on the latest version the handset. The iPhone 5 is 25-percent thinner than previous handsets, sports a larger 4-inch screen, next generation 4G LTE wireless speeds, a smaller dock connector and a bevy of other incremental improvements.

For lovers of the iPhone's stellar photography ability, the iPhone 5's 8 megapixel camera will now offer backside illumination so viewing images in bright light will be easier, and the f/2.4 aperture and dynamic low-light features will make it possible to capture images even when bright light is not available. There is also a panorama mode.

Additionally, the new iPhone offers a long-awaited switch to a native maps app that features turn-by-turn directions, which marks the end of Google Maps on the iPhone. Matt Debord has a more comprehensive analysis of the changes in his Debord Report blog.

Apple’s typical modus operandi is to be slightly behind the bleeding edge curve of the most advanced technology, so the iPhone 5 will bring Apple up to the tech specs of existing phones by their competitors.

But it isn’t just the technology that is generating buzz about Apple’s newest gadget… it’s the fact that analysts say that consumer interest in the iPhone 5 is unprecedented and Apple may sell as many as 10 million of them by the end of September. That’s enough sales to register a half a percent bump in America’s gross domestic product.

Will the iPhone 5 continue Apple’s trend of having the sexiest new tech toys? How does Apple manage to stay ahead of the curve by being slightly behind it?


Matt DeBord, KPCC Reporter; writes the DeBord Report