Apple Inc. (AAPL: Quote) Wednesday unveiled iPhone 5, which is thinner, lighter, bigger and comes with a faster processor, as part of its efforts to strengthen its presence in the smartphone market in the coming holiday season.
At a company-held event at Yerba Center in San Francisco, Apple showcased the new 4-inch iPhone 5, which sports a retina display, an A6 chip, improved battery performance and works on 4G networks as well. iPhone 5 also comes along with iOS 6, Apple's latest mobile operating system that has 200 new features, including a new Maps app, Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, Passbook, and new Siri features.
The new iPhone will be available in the US at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model, and $399 for the new 64GB model. Apple, the largest company in the world, has not raised the price for its latest iPhone. Customers can pre-order their iPhone 5, which comes in either black or white, starting from September 14. iPhone will be available in the U.S from Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc (T), and Sprint (S).
The device will be available in stores from September 21 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. Apple also noted that iOS 6 will be available from September 19, and customers can download for free to their existing devices. iPhone 5 will be available worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28.
"iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we've ever created," said Philip Schiller, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing. "We've packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it."
The A6 chip is said to be two times faster in the CPU and graphics capabilities, while it is 22 percent smaller than its predecessor. Apple said that A6 is designed to "maximize performance and power efficiency to support all the incredible new features in iPhone 5."
Apple claims the latest iPhone to be the thinnest smarthphone in the world, it is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than its predecessor - iPhone 4S.
Apple has increased the screen size of the new device to 4 inches, with more pixels than iPhone 4S. Since its inception in the 2007, iPhone has held on to a 3.5 inch screen. Samsung and other major players have successfully introduced phones having screen size as big as 5 inches.
The new iPhone works with the latest the fourth-generation, or 4G LTE networks, but it is not something unique as Samsung, Motorola and Sony already have come up with handsets with 4G capabilities. iPhone 5 has a dual-band Wi-Fi support that enables faster wi-fi speeds of up to 150 mbps..
Apple's iPhone 5 would be competing with Samsung flagship product Galaxy S3, Nokia's latest releases Lumia 910 and Lumia 810, which runs on Windows Phone 8, and Motorola's three new Droid Razr entrants. iPhone generates more than half of Apple's revenue.
Samsung leads the smartphone market in the world with around 32 percent of total share with help of its Galaxy series phones, followed by Apple at about 17 percent.
Nevertheless, the smartphone industry has been marred with legal battle between the giants over patent issues. Apple and Samsung have been locked in disputes in several countries over key patents, a vital component in the competitive and humongous smartphone market.
The intense acrimony between the two companies can be gauged from the fact that they have filed at least 30 lawsuits against each other in at least 12 courts, nine countries, and four continents involving smartphone and tablet patents.
In August, an US jury concluded that Samsung infringed Apple's patents related to mobile devices and ordering the Korean giant to pay $1.05 billion in damages.
At today's event, Apple also launched the new iPod touch and iPod nano. The new iPod touch features a 4-inch retina display, a 5 megapixel camera with full-HD video recording, Apple's A5 chip, Siri and iOS 6. The company also recreated the new iPod nano, which is thinner and features a 2.5-inch touch display, built-in Bluetooth for wireless listening.
Both the new iPods will be available in pink, yellow, blue, white & silver, black and pre-ordering will begin on September 14. iPod touch will be available for a price of $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model, while iPod nano is priced at $149 for a 16GB model.
AAPL is currently trading at $659.65, down $0.94 or 0.14%, on a volume of 21 million shares, on the Nasdaq.
by RTT Staff Writer
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