The iPhone 5 features an improved system on chip (SOC), an integrated circuit (“IC”) that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. It is dubbed the Apple A6, designed by Apple Inc., introduced on September 12, 2012. Apple says it will achieve twice the performance of the “Apple A5,” and “A5X,” systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by Apple Inc. and manufactured by Samsung to replace the Apple A4.
The cameras improved low light performance, and is 40% faster than its predecessors. The front camera—FaceTime, a video calling (video telephone) software and related protocol developed by Apple Inc. for supported mobile devices running iOS, in addition to Macintosh computers running MacOS X 10.6.6 and higher—has a higher resolution at 1.2 megapixels.
The built-in rechargeable “lithium-ion polymer”/”polymer lithium ion,” or more commonly “lithium polymer” (secondary cell) battery is rated at 225 hours of standby time and 8 hours of talk time. The display is 1,136 x 640 pixels with an aspect ratio of a display (the proportional relationship between the width of a display and its height) of approximately 16:9.
The iPhone 5’s operating memory (“Mobile DDR”, a type of double data rate synchronous DRAM for mobile computers—LPDDR2-1066 eDram “embedded DRAM,” a capacitor-based dynamic random-access memory integrated on the same die as an ASIC or processor) was doubled, from 512 MB to 1 GB. Storage capacities remain at 16, 32 or 64 GB (gigababyte, a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage), as the 4S before it. The two color options are black (with black glass and slate-colored metal trim), and white (with white glass and silver-colored metal trim); again the same color options (though differently implemented) as its predecessor the 4S had.
The SIM, or “subscriber identity/identification module,” an integrated circuit that securely stores the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the related key used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers), is a nano-SIM, which is 44% smaller than the micro-SIM fitted to the iPhone 4 and 4S.
The 4G-LTE mania is still alive despite Apple’s silence on the release date of its first 4G-LTE iPhone line (insiders have conflicting statements, some citing the line as iPhone 5, others calling it iPhone 4S, a revamp of the current iPhone 4). The on-going controversies on LightSquared’s nationwide satellite-terrestrial 4G-LTE network will not prevent Apple from rolling out an LTE handset in the near future. However, more tension between LightSquared and dominant mobile phone carriers conflicts with the general interest of end-users in the long-run.
The smartphone age is also bringing with it an era of fierce competition. Apple’s iPhone has been a bestseller but Samsung’s Galaxy series in partnership with the Android OS has equally done well. The battle for smartphone supremacy has indeed reached a fever pitch that now Apple wants a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in US soil.
Apple won patents for its battery technology which seeks to provide long-lasting energy supply to its mobile gadgets. “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” and “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device” were approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on December 22. The fuel system will reduce battery size, fuel system weight and cost, according Apple. Unlike the current batteries found in iPhones and iPods, the hydrogen fuel cell system can generate sufficient energy to allow these mobile gadgets to operate for weeks without refueling.
A recently filed patent by Apple Inc. points the way towards the inclusion of an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip in the next iPhone model, known in the popular tech press as the iPhone 5. (Although, if Apple follows the precedent it set with the new iPad, model numbers may be going out the windows for Cupertino’s flagship device.)
According to a report in the International Business Times, Apple’s next iPhone will feature the same NFC technology that Google is using to power its Google Wallet payment app featured on the Galaxy Nexus. With an NFC chip on board, a cellular phone can be used to pay wirelessly for products at merchants in a secure manner. As the radio range of the chip’s used for NFC is extremely short ranged, they are thought to be very secure.