FAQ: It's the iPhone 5

Apple's conjecture-happy followers nailed it, more or less, but when can you get it?

1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3

But neither ships until October, according to Apple's online store.

Even a connector or cable may not do the trick at times; CNET yesterday noted that some cars from makers such as BMW, Kia and Hyundai may not be able to play tracks from an iPhone 5 because of the adapter requirement.

I think I'll pass on the iPhone 5. What's for me? Apple's upgraded mobile operating system, iOS 6; it adds new features to your current iPhone.

Due to ship Wednesday, Sept. 19, iOS 6 can be installed on the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. There's been no word on the specific time at which the upgrade will appear on Apple's servers on that day; last year, iOS 5 went live around 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Some features of iOS 6 will only work on the 4S (turn-by-turn navigation, for instance) or on just the 4 or the 4S (Safari's offline reading list, among others).

Who gets the iPhone 5 first? Customers in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. can purchase the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21. (That list is the same as last year, with the addition of Hong Kong and Singapore.) Another 22 countries -- the list is in this press release -- will follow on Sept. 28.

Still more will get the iPhone 5 in December, Apple said Wednesday: Its goal is to have the new smartphone in a total of 100 countries by that month. No word yet on what those markets will be, and on what schedule.

"This will be our fastest iPhone rollout ever," said Apple's head of marketing, Philip Schiller.

My wallet's as thin as possum road kill on the interstate, but I still want an iPhone ... what are my options? Apple again dropped the price of last year's model -- this time it's the iPhone 4S -- to $99. The half-off iPhone 4S is a 16GB device, twice the storage capacity of the $99 iPhone 4 Apple offered last year.

Apple also still offers the two-year-old 8GB iPhone 4, which will be available free of charge at the register or online checkout. OK, not really free, not by a long shot: As with any subsidized iPhone, buyers have to sign a two-year contract with a carrier.

The new, reduced prices went into effect immediately; Apple's U.S. online store now shows both the $99 iPhone 4S and the "free" iPhone 4 as shipping in "1-2 business days" after ordering.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon