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Apple unveils new, thinner iPhone5

Apple Inc has revealed a slimmer iPhone, the fifth one in the series.

Apple Inc senior Vice President Phil Schiller reveals the new iPhone 5 on 12 September, 2012. Picture: Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc marketing chief Phil Schiller introduced the fifth iPhone on Wednesday, saying it's the thinnest iPhone yet with a larger 4-inch screen.

The latest iPhone comes as Apple tries to fend off competition that has reached fever-pitch.

Google Inc's Android has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world, while key supplier and rival Samsung Electronics has taken the lead in smartphone sales.

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Cook began Wednesday's event by saying the company's notebooks now rank tops in U.S. sales, leading in market share in the past three months.

But it is the iPhone that carries the weight of Apple's future on its slim frame, especially with the company continuing to play its cards close to the vest about future growth drivers, including an oft-rumored TV device.

Apple has sold more than 243 million iPhones since its 2007 arrival, after which the device proceeded to upend the industry and helped usher in the current applications ecosystem.

Cook told the audience at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco that its apps store now has more than 700,000 on tap, the industry's largest library.

Apple also is making a lot of headway in a corporate market that has been dominated by struggling Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion. Cook said almost every Fortune 500 companies was testing or using its iPhones and iPads.

Globally, Samsung leads the smartphone market with a 32.6 percent share followed by Apple with 17 percent, according to market research firm IDC. Both saw shipments rise compared to a year ago, with Samsung riding its flagship Galaxy S III phone.

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