Apple’s September 12 media event roundup, part 1: Hardware

All right, Pocketables readers: Apple has wrapped up its latest media event – and you know what that means.

It’s time for a roundup of what the company announced, so join me below for a recap of all the new Apple goodies.

iPhone 5

The biggest announcement of today is the new iPhone 5. It’s a brand-new design, although there are a few design nods to iPhones past. Essentially, it looks like a stretched-out iPhone 4/4S, with a new, painted aluminum perimeter and backing.

The reason why the new iPhone has been stretched taller is because of a new 4-inch Retina display. With a resolution of 1136 x 640, the iPhone 5’s screen is the same exact width as the previous two iPhones – but is also a bit taller than them, which is proven by the addition of a fifth row of icons above the dock. The panel utilizes in-cell technology which allows the device to be thinner than even the 4S screen.

Inside, the iPhone 5 has been equipped with a new A6 processor, good for twice the performance of the previous A5 chip in a package that is 22% smaller and efficient. The 5 is also LTE-ready, with compatible antennae for the major US carriers – as well as LTE in other countries, too. The North American GSM model will be compatible with AT&T LTE in the US, and with Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada. The CDMA version will be compatible with Sprint and Verizon in the US, and KDDI in Japan. The international version of the iPhone 5 will include compatibility with LTE bands for 10 carriers in Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

While we’re on the topic of cellular connectivity, it’s worth a mention that the iPhone 5 will indeed be utilizing the nano SIM standard.

The rear camera sensor itself has stayed at 8MP, though Apple made it smaller and covered it with sapphire crystal to prevent scratches. Up front, however, Apple has put in a 720p camera for HD FaceTime chats. To record noise along with your video, the iPhone 5 will come with three microphones versus the older model’s two: the bottom, front, and rear will have their own microphone.

All of that is wrapped into a package that weighs just 112 grams and is 18% thinner than the 4S, making the body only 7.6mm – rivaling the Droid RAZR MAXX. Unfortunately, you won’t be getting the MAXX’s battery life, as Apple is claiming a comparatively dismal eight hours of talk time on either 3G or LTE, and 10 hours of web-browsing.

The iPhone 5 comes in two color combinations, each of which having two colors themselves: black and slate, and white and silver. Each will come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties for $199, $299, or $399 on-contract, respectively. Preorders start this Friday, September 14, and the phone will ship to customers next week Friday, September 21.

iPod touch

Apple also announced a brand-new iPod touch. Like the iPhone 5, the new iPod touch comes with a 4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 1136 x 640. However, that is one of the few similarities between the two iDevices.

At a size of 6.1mm thin and a weight of 88 grams, the new iPod touch is the lightest iPod that Apple has ever produced. Inside the incredibly small body is a battery capable of powering a dual-core A5 chip through 40 hours of music playback and 8 hours of video playback.

Going back to the outside, the new iPod touch has a 5MP camera on the back, and a 720p-capable one up front. Speaking of the back, look at the picture below.

The “loop” that you see here is an included accessory – aptly named the “Loop.” It’s only there to keep you from dropping your beautiful new iPod touch on the ground, thereby scuffing the glasswork on the front or the color on the back.

As you’ve already seen, the new iPod touch comes in five colors: black, white, red, blue, and yellow. According to Apple, the colors aren’t painted on, but are instead “bonded right to the aluminum.” This means that “…you see saturated color that still lets the luster of the metal shine through. Which gives you a material that shows off the color, and a color that shows off the material.”

The new iPod touch comes in 32GB and 64GB models, for $299 and $399, respectively. Preorders start this Friday.

iPod nano

The nano also received a refresh – one that restores it to its former glory as an elongated MP3 player. It still retains its touch screen and odd rendition of iOS, but gone is the wristwatch-esque design.

It should be noted that this new iPod nano is completely different from the previous generation. Whereas the previous generation could only play audio files and view photos, this new one can also play video files. The screen – which measures 2.5-inches and has a resolution of 240 x 432 (202ppi) – can view videos in either portrait or landscape orientations.

The 5.4mm thin body holds the screen, the home button, and the 16GB of storage that you can get. Apple is producing seven colors for the new iPod nano, each of which also have that new coloring system that was announced with the iPod touch.

The new nano will cost $149, with preorders starting on Friday.

Lightning

As rumored, the iPhone 5 – as well as the new iPod touch and nano – will include a brand-new dock connector, which Apple is dubbing “Lightning.” Apple says that Lightning has an all-digital, 8-signal design, and is even more durable than the previous 30-pin connector.

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.

Whether this new cable will block tethered jailbreaks remains to be seen, but the accessories – like the cable itself, the 30-pin adapter, and a short cable – will ship around the same time as the new iDevices.

EarPods earphones

Apple redesigned its iconic white earbuds, as well, and is now calling them EarPods. It features a three-button microphone and a new design that will allow users with numerous ear canal shapes to use them. EarPods will come with each new iDevice, but you can also purchase them for $29 from Apple.

Miscellaneous

Apple isn’t slamming the door on people who’d like to spend less on devices that are still great: instead, it’s offering the iPhone 4S for $99 on-contract, and the 4 for free on-contract, thereby finally killing the venerable 3GS.

Meanwhile, folks who aren’t in the market for an iPhone but would like an older iPod touch instead can still get the fourth-generation iPod touch at the same $199 price.

So, that is every piece of hardware that Apple has announced. Fortunately for its customers, that’s not all Apple talked about today. Part 2 of today’s roundup will feature all of the new software that the Cupertino technology giant discussed today, so stay tuned. Until then, what do you think of today’s announcements?

[iPhone 5 | iPod touch | iPod nano| MacRumors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts