On September 12th Apple showed off the iPhone 5 and a new range of iPods at a media event in San Francisco.
iPhone 5 was released in 11 countries including the US and Japan on September 21st.
You’ve no doubt already heard about the larger 4-inch screen and thinner, lighter body, but what else does the phone and the new iOS6 update offer? Here’s a round up from the Web to bring you up to speed and help you decide whether to switch or upgrade –
AKA Supersize me with a topping of magic fairy dust.
Watch the whole 2 hours, streaming on Apple’s website.
Around September 18th the first iPhone 5 reviews began to appear on the web. ZDNet has a roundup of reviews by the major tech sites with regular updates.
The Maps, oh the maps…
The web and social networks are now awash with disgruntled iOS 6 and iPhone 5 users after Apple decided to replace Google Maps with an app of their own that looks like it was far from ready for prime-time. This early CNET video run-through seemed promising, but the reality is a little different:
- Apple Mapocalypse Sends iOS 6 Users Into a Tizzy, Riverbank
- Maps woes in Apple iOS 6: How bad? (iOS 5 vs 6 pictures)
- Japan isn’t faring too well either – Hachiko has teleported to a spot 200 miles from Shibuya station and just where on earth is ‘Pachinko Gundam’ station?!
- The New York Times reports that Japanese iOS 6 users are moving to homegrown offerings like Navitime and Mapion as alternatives to Apple maps.
- A rumor surfaces on September 24th that Apple is recruiting ex-Google Maps staff to come in and help fix things.
- In an unexpected move, Tim Cook releases a letter of apology on the Apple website on September 29th and suggests customers switch to a different map app or use Google Maps as a web app in the meantime.
Getting an iPhone 5 in Japan
The big question for those of us in Japan is should you go with Softbank or au?
In terms of new features, both carriers are in the process of rolling out faster LTE networks with nationwide coverage promised by Spring 2013. Tethering (using iPhone 5 to connect another device to the Internet) is only supported by au at present. Softbank have announced they will offer tethering from January 2013.
As for charges, we found this very handy report with comparison charts in Japanese. The first table is Softbank’s White Plan vs. au’s LTE Plan. Further on you’ll find the Softbank vs. au cost of the iPhone 5 itself, and detailed breakdowns of the charges faced when upgrading from an earlier iPhone.
- In an evil prank, the Jimmy Kimmel Show tells people in the street an iPhone 4S is the new iPhone 5 and films their reactions.
- Samsung’s new TV commercial for the Galaxy S3 pokes fun at Apple fans waiting in line for iPhone 5
- Photoshop jokers have a field day riffing on the new iPhone’s dimensions – The Apple iPhone Evolution (In Photos)
- And lest we forget the Web is made of cats – Here’s All You Need To Know About The iPhone 5: More Cat