Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Apple unveils updated iPhone

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, during an introduction of the new iPhone 5 (AP)

Technology giant Apple has unveiled a raft of updated products including the latest model of its new iPhone.

The iPhone 5, which weighs in at 112 grammes, has a 4in screen - half an inch bigger than previous models.

Speaking at a launch event in California, the company's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said the phone was "thinner, lighter and smaller" than previous models and "the most beautiful product we have ever made bar none".

He said the screen offered "much more room to work and play" and allowed for sharper images with less glare.

He told the audience its new A6 chip allowed app developers to use "state of the art performance and graphics".

He added the phone's "console quality graphics" did not affect the battery which had a longer life than the previous 4S model.

The phone's camera has a sapphire crystal lens cover to protect it and a panorama option which allows the user to take panoramic pictures.

Mr Schiller joked: "The world is just a more beautiful place when you use an iPhone 5."

The audience was shown an updated map function that uses 3D maps and has spoken word directions to thousands of destinations.

They also saw a fly-over option which allows users to get an aerial view of streets around the world.

Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of iOS Software, introduced a series of updates including a shared photostream which allows people to share their pictures more easily.

The voice control software Siri has also been updated so people can ask it to recommend films and restaurants and update their Facebook accounts verbally.

The phone, which will be available in white and black, will go on sale for 399 US dollars for the top 64GB version with less powerful versions selling for 299 US dollars and 199 US dollars.

It will go on sale in the UK at the same time as the US - September 21 - with UK prices to be confirmed later.

The new model will run on the new superfast 4G network which was announced yesterday by Orange and T-Mobile owner Everything Everywhere - now known as EE.

The 4G network - which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G - will allow uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high definition movies to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.

The announcement is likely to enrage EE's competitors, including Vodafone, 3 and O2, who have threatened legal action over telecoms regulator Ofcom's decision last month to allow EE to launch 4G on its existing network.

The US announcement was watched by journalists via a videolink in central London.

The audience, which included former US vice president Al Gore, was also shown updates to the iTunes store and a new smaller model of the iPod Nano music player.

The new version is 5.4mm thick and has a bigger 2.5in display.

It also has bluetooth so music can be streamed wirelessly to speakers and has 30 hours of battery life.

A new iPod Touch was also shown off which is 6.1mm thick and weighs 88 grammes and has a 4in display screen.

It has a 5 megapixel camera which also uses the panorama feature, shared photo streams and gives users the ability to edit pictures.

It will also have the voice-activated software - Siri - which was first introduced on the iPhone 4S and new earpod headphones.

The battle for domination of the mobile and tablet market has become increasingly heated recently with Apple's competitors taking it on with a series of new products.

Nokia and Microsoft recently joined forces to launch two new phones which will run on the Windows operating system.

The Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 are the Finnish company's attempt to claw back lost ground since it lost its position as the world's biggest phonemaker to Samsung.

Online retailer Amazon recently unveiled new models of its Kindle Fire tablets, which were previously not for sale in the UK, and are seen as rivals to Apple's best-selling iPad.

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