SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Apple on Wednesday unveiled iPhone 5, its latest generation of smartphone that features bigger display and support for faster LTE wireless network, at a media event in San Francisco.
"Now today we're taking it to the next level, making a huge leap," Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said at the event.
The iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen compared with the 3.5-inch display used by the previous models, enabling a 5th row of icons to be displayed on the homepage.
According to Apple, the new phone features an A6 chip, which is two times faster than the previous A5 but 22-percent smaller in size.
Made entirely of glass and aluminum, the new smartphone is the thinnest and lightest phone Apple has ever produced. It is 7.6 mm thick, 18-percent thinner than iPhone 4S and weighs 112 grams, 20- percent lighter than the iPhone 4S.
The new iPhone 5 supports LTE networks by selected carriers in North America, Europe and Asia, and its Wi-Fi speed is up to 150 mbps.
The battery life is also expanded with a standby of 225 hours and eight hours of LTE browsing.
The camera of iPhone 5, which is 25 percent smaller than the one in iPhone 4S, has several enhanced features like low light mode and taking panorama pictures up to 28 megapixels. It is 40 percent faster on photo capture and the Facetime camera is also HD.
The iPhone 5 also has a suite of resigned accessories such as noise-cancelling earpiece. The 30-pin connector, which has not changed since 2003, is replaced by a new connector called " Lighting." It is a 8-signal design and 80 percent smaller than the previous one.
Apple also introduced an adapter, enabling users to connect the 30-pin connector to the "Lighting" one.
At the event, Apple demonstrated how its latest iOS 6 mobile system runs on the iPhone 5, showing off its new mobile map service and other new features. The iOS 6 will be available as a free software update next Wednesday.
The iPhone 5 will come in white & silver or black & slate. The price starts from 199 U.S. dollars for 16 GB model in the United States. It will first be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, China's Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Britain on Sept. 21, and the pre-order will start on Sept. 14.
The new generation of iPhone will further roll out to 22 more countries on Sept. 28, Apple said.
Analysts predicted that the arrival of the iPhone 5 will spur a rebound in Apple's smartphone sales and also give a boost to the growth of global smartphone market in the rest of this year.
Apple shipped 26 million units of iPhone in the second quarter in 2012, down 26 percent from 35 million units in the previous quarter, a drop which was partly attributed to consumers holding off their purchase in anticipation of the new iPhone.
"Apple's smartphone shipments typically are weak during the quarter preceding the launch of a new iPhone model," Wayne Lam, an analyst at research firm IHS, said in a report issued ahead of Apple's event.
"Buyers historically have delayed their purchases until the newest model is available. Then they rush out to get the latest and greatest version once it's being sold, leading to a spike in demand. IHS predicts the same pattern will occur with the iPhone 5, " Lam said.