(NEW YORK) — The highly-anticipated announcement sent shares of Apple (AAPL) down as the tech company announced the glass and aluminum iPhone 5.
Because the build-up and this summer’s speculation over the phone was already built into the stock price, shares were trading up slightly by 0.5 percent to $663.60.
Before showing photos of the new smartphone, which is thinner, lighter and taller, CEO Tim Cook discussed Apple’s global growth in iPhone and laptop sales, including opening stores in its 13th country, Sweden, later this year.
Shares of Apple have a 52-week high of $683.29. The company is the most valuable in the world with a market capitalization of about $620 billion, even making its way in the history books after beating out Microsoft for a record-high market cap last month.
Investors questioned before the announcement whether the company’s stock could surpass the $700 level sometime this year.
Michael Holt, analyst with investment firm Morningstar, said the model of the new iPhone was what investors had expected: a larger screen and faster data speeds.
“Unlike last year with the release of the iPhone 4S where most of the upgrades were to internal components, we believe that the visible changes to the design will be easier for consumers to appreciate,” Holt said. “To some extent, Apple is playing catch-up to Samsung with this release. Additionally, as smartphones evolve, it is becoming more and more difficult to leap-frog the competition with unexpected features.”
Last month, a jury sided with Apple over Samsung in a lawsuit over the intellectual property of smartphone and tablet designs.
The trial focused in part on Google’s Android operating system which was used in the Samsung products in the legal dispute. The features of Android operating systems were said to closely resemble those of Apple’s, including a user’s ability to zoom on the screen with their fingers.
The competitive mobile device industry has raced to create the “next big thing,” faster and sometimes cheaper than existing products. Still, Apple’s profits rose to $8.8 billion in the third quarter from $7.3 billion a year ago.
In July, Apple announced softer than expected third quarter earnings results as many current iPhone users were waiting for the next iPhone. The company sold 26 million iPhones, up 28 percent over the previous year.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN
Erin McClam, CNN