San Francisco: Apple Inc on Wednesday took the wraps off the iPhone 5, the thinnest-ever version of a smartphone that yields the majority of its profit and helped it become the world's most valuable corporation.
CEO Tim Cook, who took over from the company's late co-founder Steve Jobs last year, faces pressure to introduce a gadget that can help Apple remain at the forefront of the industry. The iPhone 5 sports a larger 4-inch "retina" display, ability to surf a high-speed 4G LTE network, and is 20 per cent lighter than the previous iPhone 4S.
The latest iPhone comes as Apple tries to fend off competition that has reached fever-pitch. Google Inc's Android has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world, while key supplier and rival Samsung Electronics has taken the lead in smartphone sales.
Now, Microsoft Corp is pushing its Windows Phone 8 operating system as a third alternative to Apple and Google's.
Rivals have been first to market with phones that have bigger displays or run on faster wireless networks. Apple will try to close that gap with the unveiling of the newest iPhone, widely reported to offer 4G LTE for the first time and a 4-inch display, up from 3.5 inches.