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Apple lifts the lid on anticipated taller, skinnier and lighter iPhone model

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple Inc. on Wednesday unveiled the iPhone 5, saying it's thinner and lighter than the previous model, even though it has a bigger screen. The new phone hits stores in the U.S. and several other countries Sept. 21.

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller unveiled the year's most eagerly awaited phone at an Apple event in San Francisco.

The release is expected to help Apple recapture attention and revenue after it lost the lead in smartphones to Samsung this year.

Share Response

Apple's announcements were largely in line with investor expectations, and their response was tepid. Apple shares rose US$9.13, or 1.4 percent, to close at US$669.72. Shares have jumped as expectations rose for the iPhone 5, rallying 16 percent since Apple's latest earnings report in July.

The first launch countries are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK. A week later, the phone will be available in 22 more countries, including Italy, Poland and Spain. Prices for overseas locations were not announced.

There was little in Wednesday's announcement that surprised Apple watchers. “There was nothing unexpected in terms of the new features of the iPhone,” said Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Raymond James.

Apple watchers expect the company will introduce a smaller version of its iPad next month.

As expected, the iPhone 5 screen is taller than on the iPhone 4S, making room for another row of icons.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks in front of an image of the iPhone 5 during an Apple event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 12. (AP)

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