Apple iPhone 5 announced

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5 handset

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5 handset

Update: Check out our iPhone 5 review

The iPhone 5 will be released on the 21st of September 2012. EE, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 are amongst the network operators expected to offer the iPhone 5 on contract. Prices start at £529 for a 16GB, then £629 for the 32GB and £729 for the 64GB version.

ORIGINAL STORY: The iPhone 5 handset has been officially unveiled by Apple at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for San Francisco. Senior Vice President of Apple's Worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said the new iPhone 5 will be the thinnest and lightest iteration of the device so far - it will be 7.6mm thin and weigh just 112g, making it 18 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S. Schiller says the iPhone 5 is made entirely of galss and aluminium and is easily "the most beautiful product we've ever made."

"It's because of your hand," said Schiller of the iPhone 5's design. "It should fit there. That's how we designed the iPhone 5.""

The new iPhone 5 boasts a 4 inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1136 x 640 screen resolution.

"This is the most accurate display in the industry," said Schiller "The touch sensors are integrated right into the display itself. We removed a layer and made it sharper. This is the world's most advanced display, and I couldn't be prouder of it."

It will also feature 'Ultrafast Wireless' : New Wi-Fi, 2.4ghz and 5ghz on 802.11n. The iPhone 5 is powered by an A6 chip which Apple is twice as fast as previous iterations. Overall, Apple are promising a huge jump in performance from a device which is 22 per cent smaller than its predecessor.

The iPhone 5 has an improved battery-life of 225 hours on standby, 8 hours using LTE, 40 hours of music playback and 10 hours of Wi Fi.

It has an iSight cam embedded, with 8 mega pixel sensor, five element lens, dynamic low light mode and precision lens alignment. The device allows for shared photo streams, panoramic shots, noise reduction in video capture and faster photo capture. The iPhone 5's FaceTime camera is 720 p HD with backside illumination and face detection.

"Everything has been updated in iPhone 5, and that goes for the audio system as well," said Schiller. He then revealed the iPhone 5 contains 3 microphones on its bottom, front, and back.

The iPhone 5 comes with a new, smaller connector that can be ported into current three-pin connectors. The device also runs on iOS 6, which Schiller said has been designed from the beginning to take advantage of the iPhone 5 [read more about Apple iOS 6]. The device includes over 200 new features including: the all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography and turn-by-turn navigation; Facebook integration; Passbook organisation; and even more Siri features and languages.

The iPhone 5 comes in white and silver or black and slate, and will be available through the carriers EE, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 and selected Apple Authorised Resellers. O2 customers who want to make the move from an iPhone 4S can get up to £260 from O2 if they recycle their existing 16GB handset, while those who want to upgrade from a 16GB iPhone 4 can get up to £150 and there is up to £75 on offer for those who make the jump from a 16GB iPhone 3GS.

Watch our iPhone 5 hands-on video below.