When Did the iPhone 5 Come Out

The iPhone 5, a device that now resides in the annals of smartphone history, marked a significant change in Apple’s approach to design and functionality. A worthy successor to the iPhone 4S, it broke new ground in several areas, setting the stage for future iPhone models. But when exactly did the iPhone 5 come out? Let’s dive into its release date, unique features, and the legacy it leaves behind.

The Official Release Date

Apple announced the iPhone 5 to the world on September 12, 2012. The device was made available for pre-order just three days later, on September 15, and officially hit the shelves on September 21, 2012. This launch followed Apple’s tradition of releasing new iPhones in the fall, allowing them to capture holiday sales.

Breaking the Mould: The Design Change

Until the iPhone 4S, Apple had primarily used a 3.5-inch display. With the iPhone 5, Apple made a dramatic departure by adopting a 4-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This not only offered more screen real estate but also made the device feel different in hand.

  • Lighter and Thinner: Apple managed to make the iPhone 5 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor.
  • Aluminum Body: The glass back was replaced with an aluminum body, giving the device a more premium feel.

Technological Advancements

The iPhone 5 wasn’t just about a bigger screen and a new design. It also carried substantial upgrades under the hood:

  • 4G LTE: For the first time, iPhones were now compatible with faster 4G LTE networks.
  • A6 Chip: The device was powered by the new A6 chip, offering better performance and efficiency.
  • Improved Camera: While retaining the 8MP sensor, the camera was enhanced for better low-light performance.

The Introduction of Lightning Connector

One of the most controversial changes was the introduction of the new Lightning connector, replacing the 30-pin dock connector used in previous models. This change rendered old accessories incompatible without an adapter but paved the way for more streamlined designs in future iPhone models.

Market Reception

The iPhone 5 received a largely positive reception. Despite controversies like the “Apple Maps fiasco,” it sold more than five million units in its opening weekend. Its sleek design, larger display, and improved internals made it a compelling upgrade for many users.

The Legacy

The iPhone 5 was officially discontinued on September 10, 2013, replaced by the iPhone 5C and the more advanced iPhone 5S. However, its influence persisted, as it set the design language for future models and normalized 4-inch displays and 4G LTE support in the smartphone industry.


Is the iPhone 5 still usable today?

While it no longer receives software updates and lacks modern features, the iPhone 5 can still perform basic functions like calling, texting, and web browsing.

What was the initial price of the iPhone 5?

The base model with 16GB storage was priced at $199 with a 2-year contract or $649 without a contract.

What were the color options for the iPhone 5?

The iPhone 5 was available in two color combinations: Black & Slate and White & Silver.

Did the iPhone 5 have a headphone jack?

Yes, the iPhone 5 retained the 3.5mm headphone jack, which was later removed starting with the iPhone 7.

When was the iPhone 5 discontinued?

The iPhone 5 was discontinued on September 10, 2013, making way for the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S.


Launched on September 21, 2012, the iPhone 5 was a game-changer in many ways. From its redesigned body and larger display to technological advancements like 4G LTE support and a new Lightning connector, it set the stage for future iPhones and even influenced the broader smartphone market. Though it’s been years since its release, the iPhone 5 remains an iconic device that tells a crucial part of the iPhone’s ever-evolving story.