Are you getting the new iPhone? If so, you'll have lots of company. Apple announced that the pre-orders for the iPhone5, the newest version of the most popular smartphone, were double the number of the previous record-holder, the iPhone4S. Pre-orders from Apple.com now have a wait time of 2-3 weeks.
So what's new?
It's thinner (.3 inches), taller (4.87 inches) and lighter (3.95 oz) than the 4S and increases the display size from 3.5 inches diagonally to 4 inches. This allows for an extra row of App icons and of course, larger viewing surface for photos and videos.
It has an extra microphone, improved noise-cancelling and wide-audio sound. The camera is upgraded and includes panorama capability.
The glass back has been replaced with metal which helps with reducing the weight and promises to be less prone to breakage when dropped.
It works with LTE networks on the major carriers where available, promising faster download and upload speeds. Apple promises faster Wi-Fi and the new processor is twice as fast.
Now the iPhone really is 4G
Apple's competitors using the Android operating system and some Windows phones were able to boast that they were 4G (fourth generation) capable leaving a significant gap in speed from all of the earlier versions of the iPhone. With Verizon, Sprint and AT&T rolling out their improved networks, Apple's previous phones were not taking advantage of the latest technology. This may come as a surprise to the 33% of users who thought mistakenly that the 4 in iPhone4 meant 4G. Now you can choose the network that you want, take advantage of faster speeds and aren't locked into a single provider.
A familiar OS, but improved
For a lot of users, the words iPhone and smartphone is synonymous. Apple knows not to change too much all at once so that they can retain the clean, clear user interface but there are changes with the new operating system, iOS6. They've added a new maps App and improvements with Siri, Facetime and other Apps. iOS6 will be available for download for iPhone3GS, iPhone4 and 4S, 3rd and 4th generations of the iPod Touch and iPads.
Pricing stays the same
With a new two-year contract the pricing is the same as previous launches. It will be available in white or black, with the 16GB version costing $199, the 32GB version costing $299 and $399 for the 64GB version. And if you don't mind not having the brand new version, you can make a smart purchase of what was the dominant phone on the market just last month, the iPhone4. The iPhone4S is only $99 with a new contract and the iPhone4 is now available as a free phone with new contract.
The iPhone5 isn't revolutionary. It doesn't boast the best technical specs in its class, there are cheaper, more powerful phones available now and Android and Windows phone competitors are pushing hard to make inroads into Apple's dominance. So why are there people rushing to pre-order or planning on standing in line to buy one at opening?
It could be that even with Siri, the jump from 4 to 4S wasn't that great. People who had iPhone3 or 4 knew that innovation was around the corner and could wait on the 5. They loved their iPhone but they could wait. Even so, the 4S set records.
Now iPhone fans can have a true 4G phone with improvements that keep it competitive with the offerings of other manufacturers. It has a modernized design with faster speeds. It is not surprising that this would be a record-breaking sales event. This is the phone the iPhone fans were waiting for.
You have options if you haven't pre-ordered yet
You can use the providers instead of going directly to Apple, each has a pre-order page or you could try waiting in line at one of their stores. BestBuy,Target and Wal-Mart will allow you to preorder and reserve the phone from their websites or in their stores.
You could wait. Let demand die down and see if there are any bugs in the new OS or in the hardware that need to be corrected.
Waiting isn't an option for many Apple fans who enjoy having the latest offering as soon as it is released. It allows them to share the experience with fellow fans of the tech giant as they wait in line or take it out on the town and commune with others in restaurants, lines at the grocery store, in the office or at school. At least the weather looks to be nice on Friday for standing in line!