SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple on Wednesday revealed that the new iPhone 5 will be in stores in the U.S. and several other countries on Sept. 21.
The other launch countries are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK.
A week later, the phone will be available in 22 more countries, including Italy, Poland and Spain.
In the U.S., pre-orders will start on Friday, Sept. 14.
The phone is thinner and ligher than the iPhone 4S, yet has a taller screen, as expected. That means another row of icons will fit on the screen, but the phone isn't wider or taller than its predecessors.
The iPhone 5 is the year's most eagerly awaited phone launch, and analysts expect Apple Inc. to sell tens of millions of units before the year is out.
The phone will cost the same as the iPhone 4S did when it debuted, starting at $199 with a two-year contract in the U.S. Meanwhile, the price for the iPhone 4S will drop to $99 for new contract signers, and the iPhone 4 will be free.
The iPhone 5 will come with the capability to connect to the fastest new wireless data networks, both in the U.S. and overseas. That's another feature that was widely expected. Some competing phones in the U.S. have had this ability for a year and an half.
The bigger screen moves Apple somewhat closer to competing smartphones, but the iPhone is still small compared to its main rivals. Samsung Electronics Co., Apple's biggest competitor, has increased the screen size of its flagship phone line every year, and it's now 4.8 inches on the diagonal, about 45 percent larger than the one on the new iPhone. The new iPhone is lighter than Samsung's new Galaxy S III.
With the new model, Apple is ditching the connection port it's used for iPods, iPhones and iPads for nearly a decade in favor of a smaller, narrower one. That means Apple is still the holdout in an industry where other manufacturers have settled on a standard connector for charging and computer backups.
There will be adapters available so that the new phone will be able to connect to sound docks and other accessories designed for the old phones.