The primary impact will be to genealogists who use one of the many available iPhone programs to carry their genealogy information with them. The new iPhone 5 has a taller 4-inch Retina display screen (although no wider), boasting 1136 x 640 pixels (or 326 pixels per inch) with a 16:9 ratio. The impact is that some, if not all, of the developers of iPhone genealogy software will have to modify their programs to take advantage of the additional space available. The downside is that this will take a few weeks, in most cases. The upside is that, when completed, your new iPhone will display more information than ever before on the small screen. This will be good for displaying pedigree charts and other charts on-screen.
The iPhone 5 the handset now includes HDPA+, DC-HSPDA, and 4G LTE for global next-generation networking. In the U.S., this is usually called "4G" networking. The previous iPhone only worked at 3G speeds. The result will benefit all online use, not just genealogy applications. The new iPhone will retrieve data and display that information faster than previous iPhones if connected to a 4G wireless network. The iPhone 5 also includes 802.11n Wi-Fi networking (2.4GHz and 5GHz), allowing for speeds up to 150 megabits per second.
The new iPhone contains a processor that is twice as fast as the A5 chip used in the iPhone 4S and twice as fast in graphics as well, making way for faster performance. It's also 22 percent smaller than the A5 in the iPhone 4S. Perhaps best of all, battery life now exceeds that of the iPhone 4S, allowing for 8 hours of 3G talk time, 3G browsing and LTE browsing. It accommodates 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing. Finally, the device will last on standby for 225 hours.
Apple will begin shipping the devices September 21 and it will be available on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon in the U.S.; Softbank, Smartone, Singtel, SK Telecom in Asia; and Deutsche Telekom and EE in Europe. I suspect it will also become available on some of the discount cell phone networks (including Virgin Mobile) at a later date but that was not mentioned in today's announcement.
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