Apple unveils its iPhone 5 that is thinner and lighter

U.S. technology giant Apple has unveiled the latest version of its popular smartphone, the new iPhone 5 model, that the company calls thinner and lighter and outfitted with a bigger screen than the last model, which was released nearly a year ago.

Apple, which unveiled the new smartphone at a company news conference Wednesday in San Francisco, is seeking to regain the lead in smartphone sales it lost earlier this year to South Korean-based Samsung. Other smartphone manufacturers have also announced new products in recent days as they try to capitalize on worldwide consumer demand for the most technologically advanced smartphones.

Apple said its new phone is made entirely of aluminum and glass, is 7.6 millimeters thick and weighs 122 grams. Diagonally, it measures 10.2 centimeters.

The company said the phone has a faster processing speed and three microphones instead of the two on older models. The iPhone 5 will go on sale next week and cost the same as older models initially did, $199 for customers who agree to a two-year service contract with a wireless carrier.

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