Apple Unveils iPhone 5
The tech world has been buzzing all week about rumored features of the new model. Fox News gave a quick preview:
The new model is expected to work with fourth-generation, or 4G, cellular networks. That capability is something Samsung's Galaxy S III and many other iPhone rivals already have. A bigger iPhone screen is also possible. The new model will likely go on sale in a week or two.
Apple also plans to update its phone software this fall and will ditch Google's mapping service for its own, as a rivalry between the two companies intensifies.
Piquing consumers' interest, Apple took its online store offline hours before the big event. Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller did the honors on stage, pointing out the fifth iteration is the thinnest, lightest design yet.
According to CNET, the tech giant had plenty at stake with the newest iPhone:
The expectations are high. Apple could sell 170 million iPhone 5 units, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, noting that the new device should sell as much as all of the previous generations combined. JP Morgan believes the iPhone 5 could add half a percentage point to the country's gross domestic product growth.
…But it will be interesting to see if the longer term momentum and excitement goes the way of the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S. At stake is the base of consumers that don't yet own a smartphone. China is considered a key growth driver for Apple, but nearly half of the consumers in the U.S. still don't own a smartphone yet. Whether Apple can sustain its buzz will help sway the next wave of consumers, determining whether they buy an iPhone or Android smartphone, or even an alternative such as a BlackBerry or a Windows Phone.