Apple revealed the iPhone 5 during an event in San Francisco Wednesday. The technology giant says it's thinner and lighter than previous models. It is expected to be capable of faster data speeds.
The iPhone 5 will likely go on sale in a week or two. It's expected to work with fourth-generation, or 4G, cellular networks, something Samsung's Galaxy S III and many other iPhone rivals already do.
Apple Inc. also plans to update its phone software and will ditch Google Inc.'s mapping service for its own. The two have become rivals as Google promotes phones running its Android operating system.
In anticipation, several gadget makers refreshed their lineups last week, hoping to beat Apple on the buzz. Nokia Corp. and Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility division announced five new smart phones between them, while Amazon.com Inc. updated its Kindle Fire tablet computer and announced new stand-alone e-reader models.
Sales of Apple's iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smart phones to Samsung this year.
Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its S III out in the U.S. in June, while Apple was still selling an iPhone model it released last October. A new iPhone will allow Apple to recapture the attention and the revenue. Analysts are already estimating that Apple will sell 8 million to 10 million iPhone 5s before the company's quarter ends Sept. 30.
That said, the iPhone has been trailing Android phones in sales. On Tuesday, Google executive Hugo Barra declared on his Google Plus social networking page that 1.3 million Android phones are added each day, with 500 million devices activated globally. As of June, Apple has sold 244 million iPhones since the first one came out in 2007.
Apple's event Wednesday is taking place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, where Apple has held many product launches.
11:01am - Tim Cook "iPhone 5 and iOS 6, the biggest things to happen for iPhone since iCloud. I am so incredibly proud of everyone at Apple."
Well... $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB.
Pre-orders start on Friday the 14th. Shipping on September 21st in the US, Canada.
Okay, okay...so how much and when?
10:47am -Aaahh, yes....Siri. So how is our 'iGirl' coming along with the new phone? Well, Siri has learned recommended movies, latest sports scores, etc...she will even book a reservation through Open Table for you. Oh yes....and, you can launch apps by voice too.
10:46am - Passbook. Travel, plane tickets, reservations, movie tickets, bookings - all in one bookings from all the big boys in the getaway category. (I.E. Delta, Starwood, Yelp, etc.) AND have your tickets ready to scan...IN THE HOME SCREEN??! (Now THIS looks impressive, folks!!)
10:44am - Updates to Safari web browser - called iCloud Tabs...you can share your tabs from your desktop to your phone.
10:40am - New maps feature will allow "flyover" views and upgraded street directions that you can zoom in/out, rotate, and an in-app search engine to locate places of interest.
10:36am - Okay, time to talk about the new connector. "The iPhone, from its start, has used the iPod's connector." This dates back 9 years! Got old accessories? "We're creating a bunch of accessories to help you with that."
10:35am - The audio system - there are three microphones. Front, bottom, and back.
10:34am - Video: It's 1080p still but with better video stabilization, and there's facial recognition.
10:32am - There's a new feature Shared Photo Streams. You can share a series of photos with friends ...
10:30am - Camera: eight megapixel, 3,264 x 2,448 backside-illuminated sensor, five-element lens and f/2.4 (Now there's a dynamic low light mode. It evaluates nearby pixels to give up to 2 f-stops greater low-light performance) There's now a sapphire lens crystal cover - durable and clear.
10:29am - Battery: 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time or browsing. 10 hours on WiFi browsing.
10:24am - New chip, the A6! 2X faster CPU and 2x graphics compared to the A5.
10:22am - In the US: Sprint, AT&T and Verizion. All will support 4G LTE.
10:21am - Single chip for voice and data, and a single radio chip as well. (Apple Radio App??)
10:20am - Phil is saying that "touch is integrated into the display, so it's thinner and sharper, less glare in sunlight."
10:16am - It has five rows of icons, plus the four shortcuts on the bottom.
10:16am - It's a 326ppi Retina display, four-inches. 1136 x 640 resolution. Same width, but taller.
10:15am - "It's the world's thinnest smart phone", says Phil. Weighs 112 grams. 20% lighter than the 4S.
10:14am - "So, iPhone 5. It is made entirely of glass and aluminum. It's the thinnest and lightest iPhone yet. 7.6mm thick, 18% thinner than before."
10:07am - The new iPhone IS officially called the "iPhone 5"
10:07am - Phil Schiller is on stage to talk iPhone...
10:07am - Tim Cook explains that we are living "in the post PC world." and "the iPad is driving the post-PC revolution at an amazing pace."
10:00am - Apple's Tim Cook is on stage...(we miss you, Steve.)
Apple dominates the market for tablet computers, shipping seven out of every 10 tablets worldwide in the second quarter, according to research firm IHS iSuppli. Rivals have been trying to compete by producing smaller, cheaper models --such as Amazon's Kindle Fire. A mini iPad would challenge those relative newcomers.
Sales of Apple's iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smart phones to Samsung this year. Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its Galaxy S III out in the U.S. in June, while Apple was still selling an iPhone model it released last October. A new iPhone will allow Apple to recapture the attention and the revenue.
- Portions of this report are from AP