Apple has introduced its new iPhone 5, a lighter, thinner and more powerful version of its iconic mobile device.
PHOTOS: Thinner, faster iPhone 5 revealed
"It is an absolute jewel. The software and engineering that went into this product is the most challenging our team has ever taken on," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller told a packed launch event in San Francisco.
The introduction has been among the most keenly anticipated in the tech world, with rumours and leaks over several months about the new device from the biggest company in the sector.
"It is the thinnest iPhone we have ever made, it's the world's thinnest smartphone and weighs just 112 grams," just under four ounces, Schiller said.
"It is 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S."
Schiller said the new iPhone featured a new design aimed to fit in one's hand and worked on the faster mobile internet networks known as LTE.
"When you carry your phone it should fit beautifully in your hand, that is just how we designed iPhone 5," he said.
"Everything you do looks gorgeous on this beautiful widescreen display."
Analysts expect Apple to sell tens of millions of the new iPhone in the coming months, luring in smartphone buyers who have been waiting to upgrade.
But not everyone was impressed by the new model, with some saying the launch was overhyped.
"The phone is definitely a step forward for Apple but probably not the step change that many were hoping for," said Graeme Neill, deputy editor of Mobile magazine.
"However, Apple was in the same situation last year when it announced the iPhone 4S. That was initially seen as slightly disappointing but Apple went on to have its biggest ever quarter for iPhone sales."
The iPhone 5 will be available in New Zealand from September 28.
Apple’s recommended retail prices for New Zealand will be $1049 for the 16GB model, $$1199 for the 32GB model and $1349 for the 64GB model.