by Viki Papadakis
Christmas Eve for Apple fans this year landed on Thursday, September 20th. Like hopeful children waiting wide-eyed by their bedroom doors hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa, loyal Apple customers formed long lines outside the doors of Apple stores throughout the country in an effort to get the #1 item on their wishlist--the iPhone 5. However, this event was not entirely like Christmas in the sense that many creatures were stirring, probably even a few tech-enthused mice. Rumors of the release of the iPhone had been whirring around for over a year. When the newest addition to the iPhone family was finally announced on September 12th, the general consensus amongst Apple users was pure ecstasy--no one could wait to get their hands on one of these slightly elongated versions of their old phones. On the day of the pre-sale, over two million iPhone 5’s sold out in about an hour. When the weekend of Apple “Christmas” finally arrived, over 5 million more iPhone 5’s were sold--how’s that for ironic?
Admittedly, I (very excitedly) got the iPhone 5 on this Apple “Christmas”. While I can poke fun at the overzealousness of consumers (including myself), this product is quite impressive. Here’s why:
Features: The iPhone 5 is much faster than the iPhone 4 I previously had, due to its dual-core A6 Processor capable of speeds up to 1.3GHz. Cellular data speeds are improved as well, running on the 4G/LTE network. The iPhone 5 is available with three different storage sizes, ranging from 16GB to 64GB. The screen is now 4 inches along the diagonal and boasts an 1136-by-640 “Retina” display. However, this proves to be somewhat bothersome as many of the applications have still not updated, causing for there to be a black rectangle on the upper and lower parts of the screen when they’re being used. In addition, the iPhone is shipped with iOS 6, which has many new features--and glitches. Apple Maps, one of these new features, has received much criticism; while directions can now be given using sound, they will often be incorrect or lead you to make a maneuver conflicting with the directions of traffic signs. Apple is working to correct these defects immediately.
Appearance: The appearance and overall feel of the iPhone 5 adheres to the simplified look Apple strives for; it is noticeably thinner and lighter than the previous iPhone. This product comes in two color combinations: Black & Slate and White & Silver. When I was buying my iPhone at the Apple store at the Stanford Shopping Center, the Black & Slate had sold out in the 32 GB, while none of the White & Silvers had sold out in any storage size. Based on this fact and the general opinion of the people I have talked to, it seems as though the Black & Slate is the color combination of choice with the iPhone 5.
Camera and Video: The camera on this iPhone has improved greatly; it can now take 8MP photos, has a face detection feature, a panorama feature, and can take photos while a video is being taken. The iPhone 5 is able to record video in 1080p with 30 frames per second. In addition, this iPhone offers FaceTime over the cellular network, not just wifi. It’s about time this feature came out, since the Skype application on the iPhone has allowed for video chatting over cellular network for over two years now.
Pricing: The iPhone 5 prices are as follows:
16 GB: $199 with a contract, $649 without a contract
32 GB: $299 with a contract, $749 without a contract
64 GB: $399 with a contract, $849 without a contract
However, in California, the sales tax is on the price of the product without the contract. So, even though I bought the 16 GB iPhone 5 with a contract, I had to pay $253.35. While the iPhone was overall a good buy for me, it isn’t for everyone; quite frankly, there aren’t too many dramatic changes in this new product. Unfortunately for Apple, the iPhone 5 isn’t doing as well as they had hoped. While they meant to sell 6-8 million in the first weekend, only 5 million were actually sold. There is some speculation that this is because of poor distribution of the phones by Apple. Despite all this, the iPhone 5 is an exciting advancement in the technological world
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