Here's Your Official iPhone 5/iPod News

Have you hit the fatigue wall on Apple iPhone 5 and iPod news? Uh, me too. So let’s try to make this brief.

Just out from the Apple press conference in San Fran is the not-so- surprising official announcement of the iPhone 5 - preorders start Friday, product ships a week later (Sept. 21).   Of course the 5 is  more powerful and exciting – starting with a larger 4-inch (versus 3.5 inch) Retina display and new A6 central processing unit. The CPU boasts  twice the data and graphics processing power of its’ predecessor, yet is downsized 22 percent  compared to the A5 and is more energy efficient.  Most notably, standby time in the phone has been increased from 200 hours to 225, and with  the new dual band WiFi wireless receiver users can stream 10 hours of data, versus nine for single band Wi-Fi  on the 4S phone.

And  yes,  Virginia, the iPhone 5  will run worldwide on those new and faster LTE networks  (as well as GSM and CDMA). LTE has been rolling out in the U.S. from  Verizon, AT&T and newly Sprint.

  Other component  suppliers  also have gone on a design diet to help iPhone 5  achieve a thinner profile and lighter weight  - 3.9 ounces versus 4.9 oz. for the iPhone 4S.

  A new front-facing 8 MP  iSight camera has specs “same as iPhone 4S" but the newbie is thinner, faster focusing, and functions better in low light. Microphones (now 3) and playback speakers are improved, as well. The secondary camera – located  on the screen side – has been upgraded to deliver “FaceTime” video calling images with 720p high definition resolution (versa VGA for its’ predecessor). FaceTime  now runs over cellular networks as well as on WiFi.

  The new iPhone multi-pin connector dubbed “Lightning” is 80 percent  smaller and reversible. That’s to say there’s no longer a right way/wrong way to plug in a cable or device  – previously the cause of many a mangled phone/accessory..  

On the operating system side, Apple’s newly launched iOS 6  delivers  fresh features like Passbook – a way to lock, say,  a train or concert  ticket barcode on your home screen. There’s  improved Facebook integration, finally turn-by-turn audio navigation, Shared Photo Streams  and  tab sharing with your desktop (iCloud Tab.). iOS will be available Sept 19th for all iPhones from the 3GS forward, the second and third generation iPads and iPod Touch.

Don’t crave this next big thing – priced at $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB)? Bargain hunters  can snap up last year’s iPhone 4S for a mere $99 or an even older iPhone 4 for free, both deals with a two year contract.

Also in the "just out" department, Apple announced a fifth generation 4-inch screened iPod Touch also  boasting Siri voice command recognition, plus a thinner, 2.5-inch touch screen iPod Nano. As with theiPhone 5, the new music makers come with improved design "EarPods" for "a more natural fit and increased durability and an incredible acoustic quality."