The iPhone 5 is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the other iPhones, but the price has remained the same. Apple will offer the iPhone 5 for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) on September 21. Pre-orders for the next-generation iPhone open on September 14. If you're looking to upgrade from the now discontinued iPhone 3GS, but $200 is out of your price range, you can now nab an iPhone 4S for $99, or receive a free iPhone 4 with a new contract.
Even though the next-generation iPhone will be the sixth smartphone released by Apple, it's still being called the "iPhone 5" by most Apple fans. It's almost like Apple users have already forgotten about the disappointing iPhone 4S and its even bigger disappointment Siri. This is probably why the iPhone 5 is expected to enjoy record sales this holiday season. Many longtime Apple users skipped the iPhone 4S in anticipation of a 2012 iPhone 5 release. This means a lot of iPhone owners will be coming off two-year carrier contracts when the iPhone 5 becomes available in the fall. And there are also the iPhone 4S owners who have already dumped their devices for the iPhone 5. That adds up to a lot of people waiting for a new iPhone.
The hoopla surrounding the iPhone 5 is carryover from last year's next generation rumors. Dreams of a tear-dropped shaped iPhone may be gone, but the new iPhone is still expected to receive a complete body makeover. Part leaks have shown that the new iPhone could feature a chrome-plated metal frame and 8-pin dock connector. The iPhone 5 is also rumored to be 2mm thinner than the iPhone 4S, and to feature a 4-inch, 16:9 screen. The current models feature a 3.5-inch display.
It's well known that Sprint had to commit at least $15 billion to Apple to become the third major U.S. carrier to carry the iPhone. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told a group of reporters that taking the risk was the "right decision".
“You really don’t want to be on the outside. The No. 1 thing was getting the call from Apple that they were interested in at least having the opportunity, Hesse said at Sprint’s Kansas headquarters. "We committed to $15.5 billion over four years in purchases. That’s a large commitment. We saw no reason to bet against Apple. Today, looking back, I think it was the right decision.”
Hesse also said he would be interested in adding the iPad to Sprint's roster in the future.
Recent rumors about a September iPhone 5 release have caused a 70 percent increase to eBay's smartphone trade-in program. eBay said (via CNET) the number of trade-ins started to increase around the same time several well known sources purportedly confirmed Apple will hold a special event to announce the new iPhone on September 12. The company said "nearly" 100,000 smartphones were traded-in during a three day period following the announcements.
The 16GB model of the iPhone 4S topped the trade-ins, followed by the 8GB iPhone 4 and 32GB iPhone 4S. Last year eBay received 375,000 trade-in offers for smartphones when the iPhone 4S was officially announced. 89 percent of those smartphones were iPhones.
Apple plans to replace Google Maps with its own 3D mapping software when it releases iOS 6 this fall, but Google has beaten them to the punch by adding a new 3D view to its Google Earth app.
Verison 7.0 of Google Earth features 3D imagery for 14 regions including: Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Geneva and Rome. Google plans to add additional 3D cities to the iOS and Android platforms in the coming weeks. Version 7.0 also allows you to explore various locations, historic landmarks and natural wonders with its new "Tour Guide" feature. The new 3D view is available for the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and new iPad. You can download the app for free from the Apple App Store.