Speaking at Apple’s press event in San Francisco yesterday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook introduced a thinner, lighter phone with a larger 4-inch screen, plenty of associated perks, powered by iOS 6 and ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity (scroll down to see what that means in Germany). Online pre-orders start tomorrow for several countries including Germany, with phones to be shipped out one week later.
The phones can also be picked up at Apple Stores from 21 September – though there’s still no official Apple Store in Berlin, with the scheduled new store on Kurfürstendamm still a mysterious black box (see below, pic by Carsten K on 14 August).
More important is whether the iPhone 5 will actually work with Germany’s 4G networks and with which carriers. Rather than release a single device, no doubt the preference, Apple has had to bring out three separate iPhone 5s for different regions and carriers.
Apple suggests German users opt for the A1429 (GSM) model, supported by Deutsche Telekom’s 4G LTE Network. Tariffs for the iPhone 5 are also available from O2 and Vodafone (as well as Telekom) but we understand they’ll need to run on 3G for now.
Meanwhile, users in Austria and Switzerland will need to wait for a more compatible version of the iPhone 5 to run 4G – so will those in Sweden, despite being the first to roll 4G LTE out back in 2009.
Another question is whether all this will be enough to lure users away from Android, which, according to one report, now takes up about two-thirds of smartphone sales in Europe.