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iPhone 5 officially launched at Apple press event!

Apple has unveiled its new iPhone, the iPhone 5, at a press event in San Francisco.

It’s the thinnest and lightest iPhone yet, weighing just 112g and measuring just 7.6mm in depth. It does, as expected, come with a 16:9 4-inch 326ppi Retina display, with a 1136 x 640 resolution. It’s the same width as that on the iPhone 4S, but taller.

Because of the extra height, there’s now a fifth row for app icons, while the bottom row of shortcuts is still restricted to four along. And Apple says there is 44 per cent more colour saturation than on its previous model.

The iPhone 5 comes with a metal (aluminium) back – much as the leaked versions revealed – but the display has been made super lean by integrating the touch sensors into the screen technology itself.

The phone is driven by an Apple A6 chip, which promises a CPU twice as fast as the iPhone 4S and two times faster graphics, too.

Battery life is said to be 8 hours of 3G talk time, 8-hours for 4G browsing, while Apple says it should last 225 hours in standby.

There is a new camera, but it doesn’t seem to be a massive leap over the superb one found on the iPhone 4S. At least, not in frontline spec.

It offers an 8-megapixel sensor, capable of snapping 2364 x 2448 resolution images. There is, however, a new dynamic low-light mode (presumably to compete with Nokia’s recently announced Lumia 920), sapphire crystal coating for protection, and precision lens alignment (five lenses).

But the big news is that it can shoot pictures in a new panorama mode and create 28-megapixel images. Crikey.

Video recording is in 1080p, while the front-facing camera is now capable of 720p capture: FaceTime HD, basically, which will now also work over 3G and 4G. And there’s face detection for up to 10 faces.

The earpiece and microphones have been upgraded, now including three mics in order to improve Siri.

And the much-rumoured “Lightening” smaller dock connector has now been officially announced. It does come with a new adapter, so that old iPhone/iPod dock will no longer work, but Apple has promised that there will be a range of accessories to help combat that problem (for a fee, no doubt). And the new cable is more durable and works both ways, in that you don’t have to plug in the smaller end in a specific way.

Pricing is the same as the current iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 will be $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) in the States with a two-year contact. There’s still no official word yet, but the current 4S prices are £449 (16GB), £599 (32GB) and £699 (64GB) SIM-free, so we’d expect the iPhone 5 to be those when the pre-orders open for business. Obviously, it’ll be cheaper on contract.

It’ll be available for pre-order on 14 September (as we said earlier today on Pocket-lint), and will be in the shops in the US, all the usual countries on 21 September. Start queuing now.

Apple claims that the iPhone 5 will have the fastest global roll-out too, with 100 countries and 240 carriers all getting the new smartphone before the end of 2012.

We also know that Carphone Warehouse will be stocking the device on all major networks and that it will be available in both “Back and Slate” and “White and Silver”.

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