It was the first major product announcement Apple has made since Jobs, its co-founder and one of the great technological innovators of recent decades, stepped down as Apple's CEO. Jobs announced in August that his health would force him to hand off day-to-day leadership. He remains a the company's chairman.
People who watch the company said Jobs' hand was clearly in the design of the new phone. Jobs has famously resisted market research in the development of Apple's lineup. "We just want to make great products," he has said more than once.
The iPhone has been America's iconic smartphone since the first version was released in 2007, though phones running on Google's Android software now outsell it by a 2-to-1 ratio. Cook said Apple has 5 percent of the overall market in cellphone handsets, though it certainly has enjoyed more media coverage and attention from consumers.
Cook cited surveys showing that 96 percent of users of existing iPhone models said they were "very satisfied" or better with their purchases.
Cook pointed out that 23 percent of personal computers sold today are made by Apple. He called it a stunning accomplishment given their premium niche status just a few years ago.
Cook said the iPod continues its dominance of the music player market, with over 300 million sold since 2002 and 45 million sold in just the last year. Over 16 billion songs have been sold through the iTunes store.
"I am so proud," said Cook as he wrapped up the announcement.
Users on Twitter were less kind. As one put it, "It's like expecting George Clooney and getting your old boyfriend in a new car."