It's finally official - the feverishly anticipated iPhone 5 is hitting stores next week. As was generally expected, Apple introduced the world yesterday to the new version of its phenomenally popular smartphone, touting it as the most beautiful consumer gadget to leap from its design tables.
The US technology colossus said that iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone made so far, with an anodised aluminium body measuring 7.6 mm. Compared to its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, the new phone is 18% thinner and 20% lighter. Apple has introduced a larger screen, making the four-inch Retina display taller rather than wider. The device supports ultrafast wireless standards, including LTE and DC-HSDPA. It runs on an Apple-designed A6 chip and the company claimed it would provide iPhone 5 users with longer battery life.
On the software front, the new handset incorporates the iOS 6 operating system, which comes with more than 200 new features. These include a new version of the Maps app, Facebook integration, Passbook organisation and a larger number of features and languages for Siri.
Pre-orders will start this Friday and buyers in certain countries will be able to get their hands on the device from 21 September. For US customers, ownership of an iPhone 5 will cost $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model (these are prices that come with mobile service contracts). The countries where the phone will be available next week are the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK. A week later, iPhone 5 will reach buyers in 22 more countries, Apple said.
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