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For the first time, the iPhone is growing even as it slims down. After sticking for five years to the same screen size, Apple on Wednesday launched a new phone that's taller, with a bigger display.
The iPhone 5 will go on sale in the U.S. and eight other countries next Friday, Sept. 21.
Even though it's taller than the iPhone 4S, it's lighter, thanks to a new screen technology that makes the whole phone thinner.
The bigger screen _ 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) measured diagonally _ creates room for another row of icons on the screen and lets widescreen movies fit better. The calendar will now show five days at a time instead of just three. Previous iPhone models carried 3.5-inch (8.89-centimeter) screens.
In another big change, the iPhone 5 will come with the capability to connect to the fastest new wireless data networks in the U.S. and overseas.
The new device also carries another distinction: It's the first iPhone developed and unveiled since the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The iPhone that Jobs had conceived ushered in what he billed as ``the post-PC era'' _ a shift that is causing people to rely less on personal computers and more on mobile gadgets they can hold in their hand. Jobs died last October, the day after Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, which was the fifth version of Apple's phone.
There was little surprise in Wednesday's announcement. Despite the pains the company takes to hide its plans, the rough launch date, the new screen and the capability to connect to so-called LTE networks had been reported for months by blogs and analysts.
There was nothing unexpected in terms of the new features of the iPhone,'' said Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Raymond James.
That's a contrast to last year, when Apple watchers were first surprised by a delay in the launch, and then by the fact that the phone that was revealed was the iPhone 4S rather than a more radical update. The 4S, nevertheless, has been a smash success. During the first nine months that the iPhone 4S was on the market, Apple's revenue from iPhones has exceeded $63 billion, helping to establish Apple as the world's most valuable company ever.
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