(By Balachander) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has unveiled iPhone 5, the thinnest and lightest smartphone ever as well as one of the most keenly awaited technolgy products of 2012.
The technology behemoth's iPhone 5 features an Apple-designed A6 chip, with speed twice as fast as the previous version. Other features include: the new 4-inch Retina display, while the current version has 3.5-inch display.
iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world's most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new user features.
The new 8 megapixel iSight camera in iPhone 5 features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images. The new panorama feature lets you capture panorama images of up to 28 megapixels.
iPhone 5 also features an all-new 7.6 mm anodized aluminum body that is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S.
iPhone 5, which will be available in the U.S. on September 21, is priced at $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model. Customers can pre-order their iPhone 5 beginning Friday, September 14.
iPhone continues to be a flagship product for world's most valuable technology company. Since the release of the original iPhone in January 2007, sales have grown to represent more than 40 percent of Apple's total revenue.
Since the launch of the original iPhone, Apple has updated the product annually (e.g., iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S) and has redesigned the phone every 2 years (e.g., iPhone 3G and iPhone 4).
Shares of Apple have gained 55 percent in the last one year – an achievement considering the weak economic backdrop.
On Wednesday, shares rose 0.25 percent to trade at $662.27. Over the past year, the stock has been trading between $354.24 and $683.29.