Apple took covers off its latest next-gen iPhone 5 only to reveal a thinner and faster model. The sixth generation iPhone 5 will hit the shelves September 21 to offer direct competition to Samsung and Google.

The much-awaited and much-speculated iPhone 5, when uncovered, turned out to be same as was expected by various gadgetgeeks and technology analysts. The smartphone was the hot topic of rumors ever since iPhone 4S was released in 2011.

However, this sleek iPhone got a major kick as analysts said that although the phone is bigger and thinner, it surely does lack the ‘wow’ factor. Michael Yoshikami, chief executive, Destination Wealth Management said in a statement, “There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy.”

There are also rumors of Apple launching a Mini iPad, on the likes of Amazon and Samsung. Mini iPad, a smaller version of the firm’s famous iPad is expected to be unveiled in October this year. However, in case Apple does launch a smaller iPad, many analysts believe to be more convinced about the firm’s stock heading into the final quarter.

Following iPhone 5 launch, Apple shares ended the day up 1.4% at $669.79.

iPhone 5 is launched amidst Apple’s competition with Samsung and Google. Microsoft Corp is also trying to plunge into the smartphone market with its Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Many analysts believe that Apple will hit the mark of selling around 10 to 12 million units of the new iPhones in this month alone.

Tim Cook, Chief Executive, Apple jolted the event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Centre. But iPhone 5 was unveiled by Phil Schiller, Marketing chief of Apple.

Let’s see what this phone looks like.

The latest and fastest iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch retina display. Sleek and stylish in looks, this smartphone can surf a high-speed 4G LTE wireless network, and is 20 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than its predecessor.

The iPhone 5 will hit the shelves on Sept. 21 in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Britain. The phone is expected to hit around 100 countries by end of 2012. Nothing is said about its release in India.

Apple iPhone accounts for nearly half of the firm’s revenue. And with a tough competitor like Samsung, stakes are high for the company.

As per a research done by IDC, market research firm, Samsung rules the smartphone market with a 32.6 percent share followed by Apple with 17 percent.

Apple has opened pre-orders for iPhone 5 Sept. 14th, this Friday. As usual, the iPhone 5 will come in black and white. This smartphone comes with Apple’s latest “A6” processor, which runs twice as fast as the previous generation. It will pack three microphones, which will enhance built-in voice assistant Siri. The phone also has an 8 megapixel camera that can take panoramic views.

You can easily grab a 16GB model of iPhone 5 for $199, a 32GB model for $299, and a 64GB model for $399, just like the previous iPhone 4S.

This offer is strictly on-contract pricing through partners AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Previous versions of iPhone lacked a good battery support. The battery of iPhone 5 is revamped, which can support eight hours of 4G Web browsing.

However, it is also important to note that Samsung and Google’s Motorola already have larger and 4G-ready phones. So what is attractive about the iPhone 5? Apple is believed to have focused on pulling the operating system, the hardware and what users can consume on the hardware.

Apple also launched a new lineup of iPods and a redesigned iTunes store. The launch event ended with a surprise performance by rock band Foo Fighters.

For the iPhone 5, Apple has introduced a smaller and more efficient “Lightning” connector. And with the iPhone, the firm is shipping new “EarPods” audiophones, designed after digitally scanning hundreds of ears.

Apple also upgraded its latest iOS- 6 mobile operating system and included voice navigation for driving, which is a handy feature already available on many Android smartphones, and “Passbook”. Siri has been improved.

Apple showed an onstage demonstration, with Siri answering questions about the result of a recent pro football game and reciting a list of movies playing around town, along with ratings.