I've been excited about this for a long time!!  This afternoon (EST), in San Francisco, Apple introduced the iPhone 5.

The latest version of the best-selling smartphone has been highly anticipated ever since the somewhat disappointing release of the previous iteration, the iPhone 4s.

The iPhone 5 will be the thinnest smartphone on the market. Made entirely of glass and aluminum, (not good for me.... I drop my phone a lot!) the phone was also designed by Apple to fit right into your hand, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who led the product demonstration.

Other features include:

  • a new, larger 4-inch display
  • all software has been updated
  • screen is bigger—taller but not wider (it now has five rows of apps per page)
  • all apps updated to fit the screen; they'll be centered until resized by the developer
  • faster wireless
  • the touch has been integrated with display with ... drumroll, please ... LTE
  • better speakers and microphones
  • 1080p HD video
  • the 8-megapixel camera now has a panorama feature built in
  • wide-band audio makes voices sound much more natural
  • a new A6 chip
  • longer battery life
  • a new connector and dock
  • a new, native maps app; i.e., no more Google Maps
  • new mail features include VIPs
  • passbook, which allows you to put passes, tickets and coupons on one app, with push notifications—basically, it's a digital wallet
  • photo streaming updates to share photos directly with friends
  • Siri updates: sports scores, movie recommendations, direct posting to Facebook, coordination with Open Table, less delay
  • comes in white (an  aluminum finish called silver) or black (aluminum finish called slate)

The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order from Apple this Friday, September 14, and ships on September 21. Pricing is $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB, and $399 for 64 GB (all on contract).

My husband is going to be jealous!  He upgraded when the 4s came out, but I kept my iPhone 4....  Now it's my turn to upgrade!