“The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone” is how Apple sums up its next generation mobile device.

(By the time you read my blog post, you would have already read all about the iPhone on some other news site). I expected a bigger screen, and was hoping it won’t be a 4.3-inch, which is pretty much the standard size of superphones currently on the market.

So when Apple announced that the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch Retina display (1136 x 640 pixels, with a pixel density of 326ppi, which doesn’t impress me because I’m happy seeing only what my eyes can actually see), I was okay with it (as if I had a choice, ha!). I’ve played with several 4.3-inch handsets and disliked it immensely because I couldn’t hold the phone properly. 

The iPhone 5 at 7.6mm, is 18% thinner than the 4S and at 112g, 20% lighter. Trust Apple to make a slightly bigger and more powerful phone even lighter. It is powered by a new A6 chip (which Apple claims is twice as fast as the current A5 chip), so expect apps to launch quicker, better graphics, better gameplay and better battery life. It has a new dock connector, called “lightning” and an adaptor can be bought to fit the standard sized ones.

During the keynote presentation, Apple said you could get 8 hours talk time and 3G browsing; 10 hours WiFi browsing and video playback and 225 hours standby. What I’m most interested in testing is the 8 hours browsing on 3G because right now, I don’t quite believe it. My battery life gets drained when I’m at an event and need to tweet, check mail, etc. If battery life is improved by this much, I’d be impressed (by the way, still waiting for that battery technology breakthrough).

The back 8-megapixel camera is similar to the one on the 4S, now with built-in panorama functionality. It shoots video in 1080p and can take pictures while recording video. The front camera has been upgraded to 720p capabilities, and Face Time now works over 3G.  

The iPhone 5 is priced the same as the 4S, starting at $199 for 16GB; $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB on contract in the States and will ship on 21 September. It is expected in South Africa by December. Right now, all I know is that the iPhone 5 will be my next phone (in black). I’ve read some reactions online and how some are still disappointed. I think expectations have become unreasonable. The iPhone 5 has lived up to my expectations and it’s time for me to upgrade my (now ancient) 4. 

Apple also announced completely redesigned earphones called “EarPods”; an updated line of iPods (iTouch and Nano); iTunes 11 (new UI, cloud integration, Facebook functionality); and iOS 6, which will be available for download on 19 September.

The revamped iPod Nano range is stunning and for no valid reason apart from looks, I want one: