The iPhone 5 officially goes on sale today in the UK, as Apple faces down criticism over the embarrassing shortcomings of its proprietary mapping app.
The handset, which broke pre-order records by racking up two million sales in 24 hours, is available online and in stores on contract deals from O2, Three, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Tesco Mobile.
Billed as Steve Jobs’s swansong and the final device on which he brought significant influence to bear, the sixth-generation iPhone features a taller, thinner design than earlier models and ditches the 3.5-inch screen that has featured in every earlier model in favour of a larger four-inch display that brings it more in line with its Android rivals.
Apple’s latest effort is also home to more processing brawn courtesy of an A6 processor designed specifically for use with the iPhone 5, 4G network connectivity (subject to whether your network offers the latest-gen mobile internet technology) and an improved eight-megapixel camera.
News of the phone’s availability, complete with the now-familiar queues of fanboys outside Apple stores, comes as the tech giant is battling a PR meltdown over its Apple Maps software that replaces Google Maps and comes pre-installed on the latest iOS 6 version of the iPhone’s operating system.
Pushed out to the iPhone 4/4S and iPads earlier this week, the mapping solution is riddled with inconsistencies, spelling howlers (CF Westminister) and curious omissions, as well as appearances for long-defunct retailers such as Woolworths and Our Price.