The processor in the iPhone 5 is the brand new Apple A6, which is twice as fast at CPU and graphics processing compared to the A5 that drove the iPhone 4S, Schiller said. It's also 22 percent smaller than its predecessor, freeing up more space inside the iPhone and making it more energy efficient to boot. Schiller said that everything--launching apps, viewing attachments, loading music--would be twice as fast as before.
Schiller invited EA to show off what the A6 chip meant for them; EA debuted Real Racing 3, which included real-time reflections, functional rear view mirrors, and "console quality" graphics, according to EA Studios's Rob Murray. (The game will hit the App Store later this year.)
Schiller explained that Apple wanted "to match the battery life of the 4S in a thinner and lighter design" for the iPhone 5. The company ended up exceeding that battery life; the iPhone 5 will offer eight hours of 3G talk time and browsing and LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, and 225 hours of standby time.
The iPhone 5's camera sports an 8 megapixel sensor, 3264 by 2448 pixel images. It's backside illuminated, with a hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, and a fast f/2.4 aperture. And the camera is 25 percent smaller than the iPhone 4S's camera. The camera also includes a dynamic low-light mode, which can sense low light and combine elements for two f-stops greater.
The camera also includes, for the first time on an iPhone, a sapphire lens cover, which Schiller said would protect the lens and make images cleaner and sharper.
The A6 chip includes a new image signal processor, with spatial noise reduction and filtering to improve photographs. And the camera's now 40 percent faster, too.
Also new in the iPhone 5's camera arsenal is Panorama. You hold the iPhone vertically and sweep your scene; the app tells you at what speed to move. "Even if you're not perfectly stable," or if movement artifacts are introduced, Schiller said, the software can compensate in the final image.
Video performance is improved, too. The iPhone 5 offers 1080p HD video, improved video stabilization, face detection for up to ten faces, and can take photos while you're recording video. The front-facing camera is now a FaceTime HD 720p HD camera with backside illumination, a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S's VGA-quality front-facing camera.
The iPhone 5 includes three separate microphones, Schiller said: One on the front, one on the back, and one on the bottom. They improve noise cancellation and voice recognition.
The speaker gets improved, too. It now includes five magnets in its transducer, with better frequency response and better sound--while being 20 percent smaller than the speaker in the iPhone 4S. The earpiece is now noise-canceling, too, Schiller said.
With some carriers, the iPhone 5 will support wideband audio. In a typical cell phone call, the frequency of data in your voice is compressed around the midrange, Schiler said. But that doesn't sounded entirely natural. Wideband audio fills up more of the frequency spectrum to make your voice sound more normal. Schiller said 20 carriers will support the technology at launch, and didn't mention any U.S. carriers that would.
Lightning: The new dock connector port
Throw away your old dock connector cables. Or, at least, go pick up some adapters. The iPhone 5 abandons the familiar 30-pin dock connector port, which first appeared with the original iPod in 2003. In its place is a smaller port, which Apple calls Lightning.
The 8-signal Lightning connector is all-digital, with an adaptive interface and improved durability. It's reversible (meaning you can orient it either way, like a MagSafe adapter), and it's 80 percent smaller than the connector it replaces.
Schiller announced that Apple would offer a 30-pin-to-Lightning connector, but didn't mention pricing.
We'll have more on the iPhone 5, including pricing and availability, later on Wednesday as that information becomes available.