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And breathe ... the iPhone 5 is here

‘Time magazine called it the phone that has changed phones forever’, said Apple’s marketing vice-president Phil Schiller. ‘Today we are introducing iPhone 5’.

With these words, the technology giant — the most profitable in the world — confirmed that today is about the iPhone 5, as the company held a lavish launch in San Francisco, with a simultaneous launch in London.


High five: Apple CEO Tim Cook at the iPhone 5 launch at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The new phone will also be available only in black and white. Pic/AFP

Apple officially showed off the newest iterations of its wildly popular smartphone yesterday in San Francisco, confirming that the iPhone 5 will be larger, lighter and faster while connecting to newer cellular networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook got acolytes and analysts fired up at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, kicking off the unveiling of the first all-new Apple phone since the company’s co-founder and longtime CEO, Steve Jobs, died last year by telling
the large crowd, “We’ve got some amazing things to show you.”

Apple marketing guru Phil Schiller followed Cook on stage for the official introduction, calling the iPhone 5 the “most beautiful device we’ve ever made”.

He immediately showed that the new iPhone will be taller than previous iterations, allowing Apple to add a fifth row of icons to the home screen.

Cook — in his Jobs-like attire of black shirt, jeans and tennis shoes — began his address by noting Apple’s success in the ‘post-PC era,’ telling attendees that Apple has sold more iPads, the company’s tablet offering, than any tech company has sold PCs.

The phone will hit stores in the US and England on September 21 and will be available in black and white. Apple has also introduced a new dock connector for the iPhone 5. The new connector is called Lightning. The new connector is a whopping 80 per cent smaller than the original.

The latest iPhone comes as Apple tries to fend off competition that has reached fever- pitch. Google Inc’s Android has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world, while rival Samsung Electronics has taken the lead in smartphone sales. 

Features
>> Pricing will be the same as for the 4S at launch. 16, 32 and 64GB at $199, $299 and $399 respectively.
>>  The iPhone 5 is 18 per cent thinner and 20 per cent lighter than the current version, the iPhone 4S
>>  It has a 4-inch screen, measured diagonally, compared to a 3.5-inch screen on previous versions of the phone. It is the same width as the iPhone 4S, but is taller than that phone.
>>  The iPhone 5 also is made entirely of glass and aluminum.
>>  The iPhone 5 will connect with 4G, or LTE, cellular networks as well as HSPA+ and dual-band Wi-Fi
>>  The phone has an A6 chip that will double the speed of the CPU and graphics
>>  It has an 8-megapixel camera, with special features to eliminate noise in images and perform better in low light. There’s also a feature that lets you stitch multiple images of a landscape for a panoramic view.
>>  The new phone will have a battery with eight hours of talk time and eight hours of Web browsing. 

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