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Apple's iPhone 5 to hit store shelves in Taiwan on Dec. 14

TAIPEI -- The iPhone 5, the latest version of Apple Inc.'s iconic smartphone, will be available in Taiwan Dec. 14, the U.S. tech giant announced Monday.

Local telecom carriers said Tuesday they will activate their preorder mechanisms as soon as they get more detailed information from the Cupertino, California-based company.

If all goes well, they said local Apple fans can get their hands on the iPhone 5 on the stated date.

The iPhone 5, which is thinner and lighter than the previous versions, has a taller screen, faster processor and updated software, and can also work on faster fourth-generation mobile networks.

Apple's latest offering is currently available in major advanced countries, including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong.

Apple said on its official website Monday that the iPhone 5 will be available in South Korea Dec. 7, with some 50 additional countries being added later this month.

Taiwan, China, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines are among the countries where the iPhone 5 will be available Dec. 14.

According to previous media reports, another of Apple's highly anticipated devices — the iPad mini with Wi-Fi — will hit local stores simultaneously with the iPhone 5.

The reports are pending further confirmation.

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