When we envisioned the new iPhone, we landed on a remarkably thin and light design. But it’s nearly impossible to make a device so thin and so light without sacrificing features or performance.
We could have taken the easy way out and designed something more reasonable and less remarkable. But we didn’t. If the technology didn’t exist, we invented it. If a component wasn’t small enough, we re-imagined it. If convention was standing in the way, we left it behind. The result is iPhone 5: the thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone ever.
iPhone 5 is just 7.6 millimeters thin. To make that happen, Apple engineers had to think small, component by component. They created a nano-SIM card, which is 44 percent smaller than a micro-SIM. They also developed a unique cellular solution for iPhone 5. The conventional approach to building LTE into a world phone uses two chips — one for voice, one for data. On iPhone 5, both are on a single chip. The intelligent, reversible Lightning connector is 80 percent smaller than the 30-pin connector. The 8MP iSight camera has even more features — like panorama and dynamic low-light mode — yet it’s 20 percent smaller. And the new A6 chip is up to 2x faster than the A5 chip but 22 percent smaller. Even with so much inside, iPhone 5 is 20 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than iPhone 4S.
Making a thinner, lighter iPhone meant even the display had to be thinner. Apple engineers accomplished that by creating the first Retina display with integrated touch technology. Which means instead of a separate layer of touch electrodes between display pixels, the pixels do double duty — acting as touch-sensing electrodes while displaying the image at the same time. With one less layer between you and what you see on iPhone 5, you experience more clarity than ever before. All on a display that’s 30 percent thinner than before.
Never before has this degree of fit and finish been applied to a phone. Take the glass inlays on the back of iPhone 5, for instance. During manufacturing, each iPhone 5 aluminum housing is photographed by two high-powered 29MP cameras. A machine then examines the images and compares them against 725 unique inlays to find the most precise match for every single iPhone.
Look at iPhone 5 and you can’t help but notice the exquisite chamfer surrounding the display. A crystalline diamond cuts this beveled edge. It’s what gives iPhone 5 its distinctive lines. Fitting for a phone so brilliant.
Aluminum and Glass Body
The back of iPhone 5 is made of anodized 6000 series aluminum — the same material used in Apple notebooks — with inlays along the top and bottom made of ceramic glass (on the white and silver model) or pigmented glass (on the black and slate model).
During the assembly process, each iPhone 5 aluminum housing is photographed by two high-powered 29MP cameras. A machine then compares the images with 725 uniquely cut inlays to find a precise match.
Although the surface of the iSight camera is as clear as glass, it’s not made of glass. It’s actually sapphire crystal, whose hardness is second only to diamond on the scale of transparent materials. That means the surface of the lens is far less likely to scratch.
Diamond-Cut Beveled Edge
A crystalline diamond is used to cut the chamfers of iPhone 5. This process gives the beveled edge its beautiful sheen.
It’s not easy to create earbud-style headphones that not only feel good in your ears, but also sit securely in your ears. That’s because everyone’s ears are different. Using optical scans combined with silicone molding, Apple designers created 3D models of various ear types to find a common shape across many different people. That shape led to the unique look of the new Apple EarPods. Unlike traditional circular earbuds, their design is defined by the geometry of the ear. Which makes them more comfortable for more people than any other earbud-style headphones.
They’re more stable and durable, too. Apple engineers asked more than 600 people to test over 100 iterations of the Apple EarPods. Testers ran on treadmills in extreme heat and extreme cold. They performed various cardio workouts. They were even asked to shake their heads side to side, up and down. The result: Apple EarPods provide stronger protection from sweat and water, and they’re remarkably stable in the ear. Which means they stay in, even when you’re on the go.
At the same time Apple designers were trying to define an ideal earbud shape, Apple sound engineers — acousticians — were focused on improving sound quality. First, they established a target sound for the Apple EarPods. That target: a person sitting in a room listening to high-quality speakers.
The biggest determinant of what you hear from any speaker is the movement of its diaphragm. The inward and outward motion is what creates sound. But earbud speaker diaphragms are typically made from a single material, which can limit sound output.
So Apple acousticians re-engineered an earbud speaker diaphragm with both rigid and flexible materials to minimize sound loss and maximize sound output. Adding to the superior audio quality are strategically placed acoustic vents. The most notable of these vents is the one located in the stem of each EarPod. It allows air inside the stem, which acts as an acoustic chamber, to flow out. So you hear deeper, richer bass tones. The overall audio quality of Apple EarPods is so impressive, they rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more.
How a product looks and performs matters, but so does its impact on the environment. That’s why nearly every Apple product is made from highly recyclable materials like aluminum, and why we refuse to use harmful toxins in our components.
Every iPhone starting with iPhone 3GS is free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). That includes our newest iPhone — iPhone 5. In fact, Apple has one of the strictest BFR-free and PVC-free standards in the industry. And we expect the same from our suppliers. We go so far as to disassemble our products into individual components and materials in our Cupertino lab. Then we test them using many methods, including X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and ion chromatography. We do this to ensure that every product we release meets our environmental standards.
More display means more to see.
Anyone can make a larger smartphone display. But if you go large for large’s sake, you end up with a phone that feels oversize, awkward, and hard to use. iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display designed the right way: it’s bigger, but it’s the same width as iPhone 4S. So everything you’ve always done with one hand — typing on the keyboard, for instance — you can still do with one hand. On a larger canvas that lets you see more of every web page. More of your inbox. More events on your calendar. Even more apps on your Home screen.
It’s more vibrant, too.
This isn’t just a larger display. It’s a larger Retina display. At 326 pixels per inch, it has a pixel density so high your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels. And as stunning as the Retina display is on the iPhone 4S, this one gives you 18 percent more pixels for an impressive 1136-by-640 resolution. Colors get a boost, too, with color saturation that’s 44 percent greater than before. So with iPhone 5, the games you play, the words you read, the images you see, and the apps you love look and feel incredibly vivid and lifelike. For big-time entertainment, iPhone 5 lets you watch widescreen HD video in all its glory — without letterboxing.
iPhone 5 is nearly 9 millimeters taller than iPhone 4S, but it’s the same width. So it’s just aseasy to type with one hand.
LTE. The right way.
You rely on your iPhone. So a thin, light design and outstanding battery life are important to you. But so is a fast data connection. LTE wireless technology is built for speed, but adding it to a phone can create bulk and drain battery life quickly. iPhone 5 does LTE the right way — optimized for better battery life and designed for ultrafast connectivity in a thin profile. The very things you want most from your smartphone.2
Next-generation cellular and wireless connectivity.
iPhone 5 supports more networks all over the world. That includes advanced networks such as HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. Browse, download, and stream content at ultrafast speeds. Dual-band 802.11n wireless connectivity accelerates your Wi-Fi experience, too — up to 150 Mbps.3
Faster CPU performance.
With the new A6 chip, just about everything you do on iPhone 5 is noticeably faster — up to twice as fast compared with the A5 chip. So apps launch, web pages load, and email attachments appear almost instantly.
The A6 chip also offers graphics performance that’s up to twice as fast as the A5. So you can power through graphics-intensive apps and games. And enjoy higher frame rates for smoother, more realistic gameplay.
Even better battery life.
Not only is the A6 chip custom designed to be fast, it’s custom designed to work with iOS 6 to be extremely power efficient. So even at its accelerated speed, iPhone 5 has more than enough battery power to last throughout the day — up to 8 hours of browsing on a cellular connection, up to 8 hours of talk time, and up to 10 hours of video playback time.
iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. For good reason. Photos look so stunning, it’s hard to believe they were taken with a mobile phone. And everything that made the iSight camera in iPhone 4S the world’s favorite is now on iPhone 5 — and then some. The new panorama feature lets you capture everything from a family reunion group photo to a jaw-dropping shot of the Grand Canyon. With one smooth motion you can shoot up to an impressive 240 degrees. The gyroscope, A6 chip, and Camera app work together to create one seamless, high-resolution panorama up to 28 megapixels.
Even better features.
The Camera app also features improvements including 40 percent faster photo capture, better low-light performance, and improved noise reduction. So you can snap more shots with more detail and clarity than ever before.
Enhanced HD video recording.
Imagine sidesplitting, adventure-filled, must-see flicks produced by you and shot on iPhone 5. Record stunning 1080p HD video with the iSight camera. Improved video stabilization helps prevent shaky footage. Face detection for up to 10 faces means everyone can have a moment in the spotlight. You can even take still photos as you record, so you can capture small moments while shooting a big one.
FaceTime HD camera.
You use the front-facing camera on iPhone 5 to make FaceTime video calls. And now those calls can happen over a cellular connection if Wi-Fi isn’t available.5 The quality of FaceTime video calls is so surprising, it’s as if you’re in the same room with whoever’s on the other end. You can also use the front camera for taking self-portraits or recording 720p HD video.
A new way to get connected.
Making iPhone 5 thinner and lighter required a pivotal change: replacing the 30-pin connector with something newer, smaller, and better. Introducing the Lightning connector. It features an all-digital, eight-signal design that’s significantly more durable than the 30-pin connector. Another brilliant feature of Lightning: It’s reversible. Which means there’s no wrong way to plug in the cable.
Lightning to 30-pin Adapter.
Soon many iPhone accessories will be Lightning compatible. But if you have one that depends on the 30-pin connector, you can still connect it to your iPhone 5. Simply use a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (sold separately).
Maps designed by Apple.
The new Maps app gives you a better way to find your way. Map elements are vector based, which means graphics and text are incredibly sharp, even when you zoom in. Pan around, and you’ll instantly notice how smooth and responsive Maps is. Need directions from Point A to Point B? Maps not only shows you how to get there, it tells you — out loud, turn by turn. Maps also gives you real-time traffic information and reroutes you to avoid delays. For a completely new perspective, switch to Flyover and explore major metro areas from above with photo-realistic, interactive 3D views.
Just ask Siri.
Siri is the intelligent assistant that helps you get things done, just by asking. Talk to Siri as you would to a person: “Do I need an umbrella?” or “Any modern art museums around here?” or “Where’s the closest ATM?” Siri not only understands what you say, it knows what you mean. It figures out the right apps to use to find the right answer. Then, just like a personal assistant, Siri provides you with the information you need.
New Siri features.
With iOS 6, Siri understands more questions, knows more answers, and gives you a lot more to talk about. Ask Siri about sports scores and stats, where to eat, what movies to see — even ask Siri to make Facebook posts or tweet for you. And Siri is fluent in more languages, so it does more things in more countries.
The foundation of iPhone.
At the core of every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is iOS. It includes all the built-in apps you use every day and all the intuitive technology — like Multi-Touch and Siri — that makes iPhone so advanced.7 With every free iOS update comes even more capability for your devices. You’ll find the latest version, iOS 6, already installed on iPhone 5. So right out of the box, you get more than 200 new features to make the things you do every day even better.
Everything you need. Everywhere you go.
iCloud is built right into iPhone 5. Just turn it on and you’ll have instant access to all the things you need, whether you’re on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.8 New features in iOS 6 let you do even more with iCloud. Share the photos you want with the people you choose using Shared Photo Streams. Locate, lock, and recover your misplaced phone easier than ever with Find My iPhone. Browse a web page on one device and pick up where you left off on another device using iCloud Tabs. And that’s just for starters.
iPhone 5 is a remarkable device. The same goes for the apps that come with it. Because they achieve the perfect balance of everything you need to do with everything you want to do — from emailing your boss to filming your road trip — on the large, 4-inch Retina display.
There are over 700,000 apps available from the App Store — many of them free — to make iPhone more capable, more indispensable, and more fun.9 Sign in to the App Store with your Apple ID, browse lots of categories, and download any app you want.
Put what’s on your iPhone on your HDTV. AirPlay wirelessly streams content from your iPhone to Apple TV, so you can watch it on the big screen.10 Turn on AirPlay Mirroring, and whatever you do on your iPhone — tapping and scrolling, playing a game, even typing — appears on your HDTV at the same time.
Print right from your iPhone over Wi-Fi with AirPrint. There’s no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect. With just a few taps in Mail, Photos, Safari, or iBooks, you can send whatever’s onscreen to an AirPrint-enabled printer.