Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled its eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 on Wednesday and looked set to widen its lead in the smartphone market.
The new iPhone, which will be called iPhone 5, Apple said, has a larger screen and is much thinner and lighter than the earlier versions.
As expected it will have a faster processor, new mapping software (Apple is ditching Goggle maps) and also enhancements to Siri, the voice assistant, which made its debut with the iPhone 4S.
“They have built a juggernaut,” Matt Murphy, a partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, told Bloomberg. “This is going to be an absolutely blowout, homerun product.”
This is the first iPhone to be built that will have a major hardware redesign compared to the existing models. Apple had a huge responsibility to make a big bang launch, to justify the hype which has been surrounding the launch of the phone.
The new iPhone support 4G long term evolution (LTE) network that provides faster downloads speeds of data. New devices launched by Google, Amazon and Samsung already support 4G.
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The bigger screen is recognition of the type of devices that have been started by handset makers such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola Mobility.
The new iPhone also features tighter integration with Facebook allowing users quickly post pictures, links and other content to the world’s largest social network. The partnership is similar to one announced last year with Twitter.
Apple also enhanced the speech-command service Siri, adding features that let users search for sports scores and make dinner reservations by speaking to the smartphone.
Shares in Apple were up 0.40% to $663.50.