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EL PAIS (Spain), ITWIRE, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD(Australia), THE GUARDIAN(UK), M.I.C. GADGET (HONG KONG), LIBERATION(France), MASHABLE (U.S.)

Worldcrunch

Apple has lost its magic, writes El Pais on Thursday. The Spanish daily asks what happened to the sparkle, where are the surprises with the release of the latest iPhone model?

The much anticipated presentation Wednesday was long, tedious and uneventful, reports El Pais. We knew the iPhone 5 was coming, had talked about it ad nauseam, but were expecting at some point a surprise from Steve Job’s disciple Tim Cook, that “one more thing…” But it didn't happen. Rumors were confirmed, nothing revolutionary.

Has Apple still got it?... asks ITWire, an Australian tech website. The Cupertino, CA-based company is still the undisputed leader of the smartphone pack, but rivals are catching up. Android is no longer a clunky geeky operating system for clunky geeky phones and Microsoft is –finally- getting its mobile act together. Apple now has to run faster to stand still. Your choice of smartphone now depends on other factors than Apple’s coolness. Has it done enough with this latest release?

Apple’s last wunderphone won’t disappoint the iPhone faithful, believes the Sydney Morning Herald. Despite Apple’s legendary veil of secrecy, there aren’t many surprises in today’s iPhone 5 launch – plenty of changes though. Enough to keep the faithful happy? Enough to hold back the Android hordes?

Two groups of people will be delighted to snap the new iPhone up, according to the Guardian: anyone with an iPhone from before September 2010 and anyone who wants to get 4G superfast mobile broadband speeds.

The Guardian wonders though, why we suspend our ethics when Apple launches a new phone. It’s a supreme piece of packaging design, but the reality is far from an immaculate conception: Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer of iPhone has faced a steady stream of criticism and concerns from poor working conditions to suicides.

M.I.C Gadget has a translation of a Shanghai Evening Post report, written by a Chinese journalist who went undercover in the Foxconn factory to find about how the iPhone 5 was produced. He describes the Foxconn dormitory as a garbage-smelling nightmare, and the conditions on the production line as exhausting and stressful: “This is the new unleashed iPhone 5 back plate, you should be honored to have the chance to produce it,” says his supervisor.

And if that isn’t enough to put you off … environmentalists and consumers are lining up to criticize the companies who deliberately render their products obsolete. So I guess we can chuck the iPhone 4S, even though it’s only just celebrated its first birthday, writes Liberation. Five smartphones in five years… and with each new one, a huge buzz and a marketing deluge. This has grave consequences for our planet, say sustainable development activists. To make matters worse, adds the French newspaper, is the iPhone 5’s new “Lightening” port, which is 80% smaller and makes the actual connector obsolete.

Can't wait for the new iPhone 5.I've had this mint condition, perfectly good, antique iPhone 4 for over a year now. Embarrassing.

— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 12, 2012

For a round-up of iPhone tech specs, see this funky musical explainer video by Mashable:

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Runners during the 2021 London Marathon

Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lila Paulou, Emma Albright, Chloé Touchard, Meike Eijsberg and Lisa Berdet

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