After months of rampant rumours and hype, yesterday saw the unveiling of Apple's thinnest, lightest, fastest and most powerful phone the company has ever made.
The overhaul is aimed at widening Apple's lead over Samsung Electronics and Google in the global smartphone market.
The iPhone 5 features a larger screen and weighs 112 grams, or about 4 ounces, which is 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. It is also 18% thinner. It has an improved A6 processor that is twice as fast as its predecessor, high-speed 4G LTE connectivity and a widescreen aspect ratio.
Since the original iPhone debuted in 2007, Apple has sold more than 244 million units and has been credited with upending the global smartphone industry.
Sales of iPhones and related products and services accounted for 46% of Apple's revenue in the most recent quarter and 58% in the previous quarter. In its last fiscal year, the company reported revenue of $47.1 billion from sales of iPhones and related product and services, an 87% increase over the year before.
The iPhone has been estimated to have a gross margin of approximately 50%, making it an extremely profitable device for the world's most valuable company. Nearly two-thirds of Apple's profits come from the iPhone.
Many have predicted that Apple could sell up to 10 million iPhones in the first 10 days, and up to 50 million across the holiday quarter.
Over one-half of all smartphones in the global market are made by Apple and Samsung. Other phone makers are so far behind that there is essentially no relevant third player. Research in Motion, a potential contender for that spot, has said its new line of BlackBerry devices will not be ready until next year.
Over recent weeks, companies like Nokia, Motorola and Sony have touted new product releases.
Only just last week Motorola Mobility and Nokia, two companies lagging in the global smartphone market, held events in New York to unveil their latest smartphones.
The biggest battle for the future may be between Apple and Google, which provides its Android operating platform to more than 65% of smartphones around the world.
The future looks bright for the industry and the global smartphone market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% over the next six years, increasing from a value of $152 billion in 2011, to hit a valuation of $1.6 trillion by 2018.