iPhone 5 questions answered

Alexandra Guglielmo

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Apple released the iPhone 5 on Friday, Sept. 21.  In the following weeks, the company has received praise, criticism and a lot of questions.

The Apple store at Oakridge Mall in San Jose held a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to answer customer questions about the phone’s new features, including the new Lightning adapter and EarPods.

When no one else showed up for the informal, unscripted workshop, it turned into a one-on-one conversation with Kirsten (who was not allowed to disclose her last name because of company policy), a technician at Apple’s Genius Bar.

Kirsten demonstrated a side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 5 and its predecessor, the iPhone 4S.

The iPhone 5 is thinner and 18 percent lighter than the 4S.  Apple’s intent was to make the device even more portable than previous phones, Kirsten said.

In considering customer feedback, Apple increased the screen height by half an inch (from 3.5 inches to 4 inches).  The screen is meant to accommodate customers who take advantage of all the phone’s features (calling, texting, emailing, gaming, web surfing, etc.).

One feature iPhone 5 users dislike is the port change, Kirsten said.  On YouTube’s Source Fed channel, the video “iPhone 5 Officially Revealed!” relayed the change from the 30-pin adapter to the new Lightning adapter will require customers to buy new digital adapters for all of their Apple accessories. Tested.com’s video “Quick Look at the Apple iPhone 5” said each adapter costs $30.

Apple projects users will save money on repairs because of the new anodized aluminum back panel.  The company frequently fixed the cracked back panels of the previous glass design, and with that in mind, decided on metal backing for the iPhone 5, Kirsten said.

The phone comes with Apple’s new EarPods, designed based on studies of ear shape to make a product that fits better, Kirsten said.  This design includes a microphone on the headset, as with previous editions.

Users will notice that the Google Maps and YouTube apps are missing from the iPhone 5.  Customers of previous iPhones complained because Apple could not provide technical support for apps created by anyone but Apple, Kirsten said.  To prevent confusion about Apple’s responsibility, the company removed the two default apps.

But Wired.com suggests ulterior motives behind the removal of Google applications.

“Upset at Google’s growing ambitions, Apple just ripped Google’s videos and maps out of Apple’s operating system for iPhones and iPads,” Ryan Tate said in his Sept. 25 online article “Apple and Yahoo are made for each other.”

That being said, YouTube is still available as a free download, and Google Maps can be bookmarked on the iPhone 5.

With a two-year wireless service contract, the iPhone 5 costs between $199 and $399, depending on the memory size.  Without a contract, the phone costs up to $850.

According to a Sept. 24 press release by Apple, the company sold over five million of the iPhone 5 in its first weekend.