Apple iPhone 5 Unveiled, Pre-Orders Start This Week

**Editor’s note: Please click here for our list of August’s hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone 4S stacked up against the competition.**  

The wait finally ended at 10:15 a.m. PT Wednesday when Apple took the wraps off its sixth-generation smartphone, the iPhone 5.

The device is made of aluminum and glass. It’s just 7.6 mm thick and weighs 20 percent less than last year’s iPhone, the 4S. And for those who’ve been clamoring for a larger screen, you got it. Measuring four inches diagonally compared to the previous 3.3 inches existing customers considering an Android smartphone with a bigger display might be less likely to switch.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless will continue to be the major carriers in the U.S. for the iPhone, which, as expected, will be compatible with 4G LTE networks.

Expect to get more out of the phone’s battery and a camera that works better in low-light situations. You also get 1080p HD video on the rear-facing camera with better stabilization and 720p on the front-facing one. Those chats using the company’s FaceTime application can now be done over cellular networks, not just Wi-Fi.

You can pre-order the iPhone 5 starting Friday. It’ll set you back $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB if you sign up for a new, two year-service agreement. So no change on price from previous versions. The 16GB 4S is now just $99 and the iPhone 4 is free.

Speculation about an availability date that we’ve been hearing over the past month turned out to be accurate. Customers will first get their hands on the device Sept. 21.

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