Apple unveils iPhone 5 with taller screen

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, watches on stage the unveiling of the new iPhone 5 at an Apple event in San Francisco, Wednesday Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is showing off the iPhone 5, and says it’s thinner and lighter than the previous model, even though it has a bigger screen.

As expected, the screen is taller than on the iPhone 4S, making room for another row of icons.

It will also come with the capability to connect to the fastest new wireless data networks, both in the U.S. and overseas. That’s another feature that was widely expected. Some competing phones in the U.S. have had this ability for a year and an half.

Thanks to new technology that eliminates a separate touch-sensing layer in the screen, the phone is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter, said Apple marketing head Phil Schiller. The new phone is made entirely of glass and aluminium. Apple calls it its thinnest and lightest yet, at 7.6 millimeters (0.3 inch) thick and weighing 122 grams (4.3 ounces). It also has a bigger screen, measuring 4 inches diagonally.

Schiller says the new phone will have a battery with eight hours of talk time and eight hours of Web browsing. It will have an 8-megapixel camera, with special features to eliminate noise in images and perform better in low light. There’s also a feature that lets you stitch multiple images of a landscape for a panoramic view.

The new iPhone has three microphones instead of two. They are located on the back, the front and the bottom. It also comes with a noise-cancelling earpiece for better sound.

One big change: The iPhone is getting a new connector to attach to computers and chargers. It had been using the same one from the iPod. Schiller says the old connector has “served us well for nearly a decade, but so much has changed.”

That means the new iPhone won’t be compatible with old accessories, though Schiller says accessory makers are already working to update their products. Apple will sell an adapter to work with older accessories.

He spoke at an Apple event in San Francisco.