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Reaction to iPhone 5 more ho-hum than wow

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Ben Grubb in San Francisco

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Hands-on with the iPhone 5

Deputy technology editor Ben Grubb takes a first look at some of the new features on Apple's iPhone 5.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook takes to the stage. Click for more photos

Apple launches the iPhone 5

Apple unveils the iPhone 5, thinner and lighter than its predecessors, with a larger screen. Photo:

San Francisco: IT WAS launched with great fanfare but analysts say Apple's iPhone 5 lacks the ''wow'' factor despite offering a bigger screen and faster 4G mobile connectivity than previous models.

Available in Australia from September 21, the new iPhone has a 10.2-centimetre ''retina'' display, is 20 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S and will be able surf the web on high-speed 4G LTE mobile networks offered by Telstra, Optus and Virgin Mobile.

Compared with the 4S, the new model is 1.7mm thinner, 8.6mm taller and considerably quicker. It has a new A6 chip that Apple claims can help it take photographs 40 per cent faster.

The unveiling of the iPhone 5 comes as Apple faces stiff competition beyond its main competitors, Samsung and Google.

Late entrant Microsoft is trying to push its Windows Phone 8 operating system as an alternative to Apple and Android, while last week in New York Motorola unveiled new Android phones with Kevlar backs.

Having 4G - which Apple's competitors have used in handsets for some time - allows users to browse the internet at speeds up to five times faster than on 3G networks.

Although the iPhone 5 fulfilled many of the expectations laid out by analysts, it offered few surprises and did not give Apple shares - already near record highs - another big kick.

''The larger screen, faster processor, improved display and camera are all features that were expected and will no doubt improve the user experience.

''However, it seems to be lacking a 'wow' factor,'' said Aman Bajaj, a market analyst at the research firm IDC.

''The device itself seems more to be a natural evolution of the iPhone 4S rather than a revolutionary product.''

A Telsyte analyst, Foad Fadaghi, agreed.''The things that the new iPhone has that are different people have either anticipated or that information has been leaked. And that's where the opportunity for 'wow' factor has diminished a little bit for Apple,'' Mr Fadaghi said.

with agencies

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iPhone 5 (Thumbnail) Hands-on with the iPhone 5

Deputy technology editor Ben Grubb takes a first look at some of the new features on Apple's iPhone 5.

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