Even if you think Apple announcement events are over-hyped, if you're reading this post, you're clearly among the many interested in knowing the specifics of what Apple has unveiled at its San Francisco event Wednesday. Given all the anticipation from expecting the next-gen iPhone to be announced last October, this reveal (yes, finally an official reveal) of the iPhone 5 may seem a bit anti-climactic. Still, you can expect Apple fans will be clamoring for the new device, which will be available in the next couple weeks.
The new iPhone, like many expected, will support faster speeds and has a taller screen.
iPhone 5 will support AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, all of which service 4G LTE. It will also feature a new processing chip to make speeds for apps, music streaming and other functions faster.
The new iPhone is 18 percent thinner (0.3 inch thick) and 20 percent lighter (4.3 ounces in weight) than the previous iPhone 4S. Its larger screen measures 4 inches diagonally. The body is all aluminum and glass.
“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said according to a statement. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”
As rumored, Apple has also changed the connection port for the device, calling it LIghtning. There will be an adaptor for this so you can still use it with older iPhone accessories but the company is working with hardware developers for new accessories as well.
Apple Inc. also plans to update its phone software and will ditch Google Inc.'s mapping service for its own. The two have become rivals as Google promotes phones running its Android operating system.
Watch Schiller's announcement of the iPhone 5:
Google, Amazon and Nokia recently held product release events of their own, strategically before Apple. Nokia Corp. and Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility division announced five new smartphones between them, while Amazon.com Inc. updated its Kindle Fire tablet computer and announced new stand-alone e-reader models.
So, what are you going to do with your old iPhone now? If you hold on to one of the 244 million iPhones sold since the first one launched in 2007, chances are it's collecting dust in your desk drawer. But it doesn't have to be this way. The Associated Press' Barbara Ortutay is providing you with many ways to recycle, repurpose or other wise get rid of your old iPhone (or any phone for that matter) to make room for the new one, if you're thinking of joining what's sure to be a lengthy wait list.
Here are a few options compiled by Ortutay that we've shortened (be sure to check out more of her suggestions here).
- Gift it: Every parent, aunt and uncle knows that no toy in the history of toys has ever been as appealing to a kid as an iPhone. They are shiny, they have games and grown-ups use them for important things. More importantly, they are either off-limits or doled out in limited quantities as a reward for, say, sitting still for a minute. Load up your old iPhone with games and give it to a deserving child in your life. Alternately, if a Luddite adult has been thinking of taking the plunge into the world of smartphones, your old iPhone may help him or her get over the hump.
- Donate it: A nonprofit group called Cell Phones for Soldiers will take your "gently used" phone and sell it to recycling company ReCellular. It will then use the proceeds to buy calling cards for soldiers. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works with another recycling group in a similar manner. About 60 percent of the phones it collects are refurbished and resold. The money goes toward supporting the coalition. The remaining 40 percent of the phones are recycled, according to the group's website. It pays for shipping if you are mailing three or more phones.
- Sell it: Join the eBay hordes and sell your phone for a few hundred bucks if you can. There will likely be a flood of the gadgets soon after people start getting their new phones, so it might make sense to wait a little. A company called Gazelle, meanwhile, will make an offer for your old phone based on its condition, your phone carrier and other information. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon Wireless, for example, was recently going for $237 if it's in good condition and $90 if it's broken.
- Use it: The iPhone, Ortutay writes, can be used as a mini-iPad, an alarm clock, to stream music, or as a camera.
- Save it: Nearly one-third of cellphone owners have had their gadgets lost or stolen, according to a recent survey from Pew Internet & Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. More information from the Apple event will be added as it becomes available.