SAN FRANCISCO -

Apple has introduced the iPhone 5, calling the device its thinnest, lightest smartphone ever.
The phone, which will run on higher speed LTE networks, is made entirely out of glass an aluminum. It will have a larger, 4-inch screen, showing five rows of icons, with a retina display.

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"It's an absolute jewel. It's the most beautiful product we've ever made," said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told the crowd at the Yerba Buena Centre in San Francisco.

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.

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.

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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.
Cook told the audience  that its apps store now has more than 700,000 on tap -- the industry's largest library.
Cook began the presentation by saying the company's notebooks now rank tops in U.S. sales, leading in market share in the past three months.

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