The biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since iPhone. These words greeted visitors to the Apple website after the Apple press event was...

The biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since iPhone.

These words greeted visitors to the Apple website after the Apple press event was held in San Francisco. The event was pre-empted after a search on the Apple website returned iPhone 5 results before the event (2 hours before the event was to commence). For a company that is well known for secrecy, the unexpected release of information before an event is something very unApple like.

The Apple iPhone 5 contains a refreshed pair of earphones, a Retina display and most importantly a lighter and thinner body. The immediate observation after seeing the iPhone 5 is that it is a bit bigger than previous versions. Whether that can be seen as taking inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy S III is another story and most probably some more court cases.

The Apple iPhone 5 features an 8MP camera which makes one wonder how long the point and shoot digital camera is still going to be around for? Are we now beginning to see high end smart phones with something like a point and shoot digital camera becoming the default expectation for users?

“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”

iPhone 5 features the new Lightning connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the previous connector. The all-digital Lightning connector features an adaptive interface that uses only the signals that each accessory requires, and it’s reversible so you can instantly connect to your accessories.

A few things stood out for me from the press event. Apple claims that the iPhone 5 is the thinnest cell phone in the world. I think that is a bit of marketing as the ZTE cellphone is actually the thinnest cellphone in the world. I can’t remember any other half truths from previous Apple events. The Facebook integration and Passbook is a big deal and will add huge value to the iPhone 5 owners’ experience, as the phone is suddenly much more functional.

Did the event wow everyone? Everything expected was delivered by Apple and one has to wonder if all possible development on the iPhone has been done?

Will you consider getting an Apple iPhone 5 when it is available in South Africa? (The availability in South Africa of the iPhone 5 has not yet been announced.)

Apple iPhone 5