One feature missing from the new phone is a chip for near-field communications, or NFC. Other top-of-the-line phones are incorporating such chips, which let phones work as credit cards at some store payment terminals. They also enable phones to share data when "bumped" into each other.
Apple also announced a new iPod Touch model that brings over the changes applied to the iPhone 5, including the bigger screen and smaller connection port. For the first time, Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant software, Siri, will be available on the iPod.
Apple is also updating its iTunes software for the Mac and PC, with what is says is a "dramatically simpler and cleaner interface." It will be available as a free download in October.
In another audio-related update, the white earbuds that ship with all of Apple's portable devices are getting an update. Now called "earpods," they're tube-shaped, which Apple says will help meld them to the shape of your ear. The earpods took three years to design, Apple said. They'll go on sale Wednesday as a stand-alone accessory, but will be included free with new devices out in October.
Apple's main announcements were largely in line with investor expectations, and their response was tepid. Apple shares fell $1.64, or 0.3 percent, to $658.95 in afternoon trading.
The shares have been on a tear as expectations rose for the iPhone 5, rallying 16 percent since Apple's latest earnings report, in July.
Image: Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks on stage during an introduction of the new iPhone 5 at an Apple event in San Francisco, Wednesday Sept. 12, 2012.