Apple announced this morning in San Francisco that the new phone–called the iPhone 5–will be available to pre-order online Friday and in stores on September 21.
The iPhone 5 will cost the same as its predecessor: $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model, and $399 for the 64GB model. There were many changes to this newer model but no surprises; the new phone is thinner, longer, and lighter than the 4s, but no wider. The change in aspect will affect the aesthetics of old apps that were written for the current version but will mostly make way for more information to be displayed on screen.
The difference of weight comes from the change in materials: the glass rear of the iPhone is traded in for aluminum. The device will still be available with a black or white front; the white-front iPhone 5 will come with a natural aluminum back plate and the black will come with an anodized black backing.
As rumors have suggested, the iPhone will support 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) and will run on an A6 processor, which Apple says will have better energy efficiency and function twice as fast.
The new camera is 8-megapixels and will be 2 f-stops greater in low-light performance. Video improvements include Face Time in HD and the ability to take photos while recording.
Apple also introduced Lightning, the new dock connector. Lightning is much smaller but will be incompatible with any devices that were not designed for the 30-pin connector. On the upside, the charger will be reversible, meaning no more fidgeting with its orientation.
During the demo, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone 5 is “the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone,” and while that may be an overstatement, it still represents a big release and many sales for the company itself.
Shaina Tsan is an editorial and social media intern for SF Station covering tech, music, art, and street. Follow her @shainatsan