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Apple set to unveil new iPhone

Apple is set to unveil the latest generation of iPhone.

The company is also expected to reveal its first venture into the wearable technology field with a smartwatch - expected to be called the iWatch.

Some reports suggest Apple will also use an event at the Flint Centre in Cupertino, California - where the first Macintosh computer was unveiled in 1984 - to introduce a new version of the iPad.

The current generation of smartphones from Apple - the iPhone 5s and 5c - are the top two bestselling smartphones in the UK, according to consumer data.

But Apple and CEO Tim Cook are under pressure to introduce new innovation to the technology market, something the company has been accused by critics of lacking since the death of founder Steve Jobs in 2011.

Since the iPhone was first launched in 2007, Apple has sold more than 500 million units of the device, although competition from Android devices such as Google, Samsung and HTC has seen the company's market share slip in recent years.

According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), Android devices made up more than 80% of the smartphone market share in the second quarter of 2014, based on the number of units shipped. Apple's mobile operating system iOS, that runs on iPhone, had 11.7%.

Apple has continued to post regular profits, with 7.7 billion US dollars (£4.8 billion) in profit recorded in the third quarter of this year.

But industry commentators say that in order to continue to be considered an innovator and market leader, this latest Apple event must match the watershed moments of the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 - both of which redefined their respective markets.

Since then, Samsung has become the first major brand to enter the smartwatch market when it launched the original Galaxy Gear last year, while Google has pioneered technology like the Google Glass headset.

Companies like Amazon, not traditionally associated with the smartphone market, have also entered the fray. The Amazon Fire Phone was announced this year and arrives in the UK at the end of the month.

Apple's iPhone event begins at 6pm BST.

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