It has happened. The prophecies have been fulfilled. Portions of humanity have vacated their homes, taking their families to buy supplies like food and water in order to withstand the oncoming storm. Apocalypse? Were the Mayans right, give or take a few months? Is Snooki pregnant again? Was that thunder in the distance? No, it was the sound of millions of new iPhone 5 boxes hitting shelves on Friday, Sept. 21. Thousands of Apple fanatics and hungry consumers waited in extensive lines for hours outside of authorized sellers worldwide just to breathe the same air as the new mobile Messiah on the day of its birth. For many customers, since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, purchasing a new Apple gadget has become almost a religious tradition, similar to attending a Christmas Eve Mass (if only Jesus had 4G coverage). In the first weekend after its release, the iPhone 5 sold over 5 million units, breaking the previous sales records of its ancestors. What is it about the new iPhone that makes it worth the purchase?
I was unsure of the major differences between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, so I went to Apple’s website. The first words I read on Apple’s homepage were, “iPhone 5. The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” At this point, I feel like I must point out that presumably someone with a college degree was paid a great deal of money to create that motto, but that’s beside the point. In a side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S on its website, Apple lists what’s so different about their new model. To begin with, the most obvious physical difference is the size of the display between the two phones. All iPhone models previously have had 3.5-inch displays, while the iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch display. The iPhone 5’s display screen also brags a significant increase in resolution, making images and video sharper and less of a strain for the eye. The new A6 processor in every iPhone 5 is said to be “up to twice as fast compared with the A5 chip”, which is the processing chip in every iPhone 4S. The A6 chip also significantly increases battery life, and Apple brags that the “iPhone 5 has enough battery life to last throughout the day,” even with its increased running speeds. The cameras have improved on the iPhone 5 as well. The FaceTime camera (the one in the front) now shoots in 720p HD, and with regular video recording, the iPhone 5 allows for face-detection and taking still photos during video recording.
Now, the major difference between the iPhone 5 and its previous models–which has been receiving the most complaints from customers–is the Lighting connector at the bottom of the iPhone 5. The Lighting connector is how the iPhone 5 connects to computers, chargers and accessories like portable speakers. The previous 30-pin connectors have been the standard for all iPods and iPhones since the first iPod entered the market. As a result, all products and accessories for the iPhone up to present day have been compatible to the 30-pin connector only. This means, in order to connect your new iPhone 5 to your older accessories that require the 30-pin connector, you must purchase an adapter (inconveniently priced at $29). As far as cost is concerned, the iPhone 5 is priced similarly to the iPhone 4S. The 16GB model is $199, the 32GB is $299 and the 64GB is $399 (provided you have a service contract with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint).
The iPhone 5 Invasion has crept its way onto campus and will certainly continue growing as the holiday season approaches. The popularity of the iPhone at Christopher Newport University is impossible to avoid. How many times have you been staring blankly in class or procrastinating on Facebook in the Trible Library and heard the familiar tri-tone sound of an iPhone receiving a text, only to see several students all checking their phones at once to see whose is the culprit? There are many CNU students who are excited about the release of the iPhone 5. Senior Samantha Geer is anxiously waiting for her iPhone 5 to come in the mail, saying, “I pre-ordered the iPhone 5 and all of my friends who work at Apple stores say it is awesome.” Recent CNU graduate Craig Fletcher is one of the few people I came into contact with that currently has the iPhone 5, and he had plenty to say about it. “I upgraded from the HTC Incredible, and the iPhone 5 is definitely lighter and thinner. The battery lasts longer, I can get anywhere from a day to a day and a half on one charge depending on usage.”
Without a doubt, the new iPhone 5 will be the most popular Apple iPhone to date, but I’m certain that many customers and CNU students, like myself, who will be waiting to see what the next iPhone model has to offer in 2013. With the release of a new iPhone every year, at what point does the anticipated excitement become routine and expected?