(UPDATED 2:00 A.M.) MANILA, Philippines — Technology giant Apple on Thursday finally announced its next-generation smartphone, called the iPhone 5, but did not disclose when it intends to begin selling the phone in the Philippines.
The announcement comes as a downer for Filipino Apple fanboys, as well as general technology spectators, who hoped the new iPhone would be shipped to the Philippines earlier than expected.
Historically, the Philippines was among one of the last territories to receive shipments of Apple devices, due mainly to the lukewarm reception of the company’s devices here, as well as a smaller presence than neighboring countries.
Wednesday’s launch featured a much-bigger iPhone that sported a taller 4-inch screen, a thinner build, and support for LTE connectivity, as earlier rumored.
The Philippines, however, was not included in the long list of confirmed countries where the iPhone’s LTE will work. It is, however, confirmed to work with two Singapore telcos, SingTel and M1, which both operate on the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies.
The new iPhone measures a mere 7.6 millimeters thick, and tips the scale at just 112 grams, or 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S. The dock connector, as earlier rumored, has been reduced to a 9-pin module and will be called “Lightning.”
The iPhone 5 will also feature an A6 processor, a significant upgrade from the iPhone 4S’s A5 chip, and will deliver “twice the performance across the board,” according to Apple’s Phil Schiller.
Apple has also significantly bumped up battery life on the new iPhone, promising as much as 8 hours of browsing with the LTE antenna on, and ten full hours using the phone’s Wi-Fi module.
The iPhone 5 is actually Apple’s sixth iPhone model.
The latest iPhone will ship first to a few countries by September 21, which includes the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Apple said it is looking to deploy the new iPhone to 100 countries in over 240 carriers by December 2012.
New iPhone 5 models will retail for $199, $299, and $399 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively, along with a two-year standard contract with carriers.