Months after tech Web site Gizmodo let the cat out of the bag regarding the fourth-generation iPhone, Apple s Steve Jobs unveiled the product to an audience at his companys Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco Monday.
The leak certainly took some of the surprise away from Jobs presentation, but the new phone still drew some oohs and ahs for its stainless steel frame, which is slimmer than previous versions of the smartphone.
The phone comes with the ability to multitask, something many iPhone owners have wanted for a long time. Many of Apples new competitors have rolled out phones with multitasking capabilities in the past year.
Video might be the devices best attribute. It comes with two cameras; one of them faces front, meaning you can take part in video chats. Many in attendance were stunned by the quality of HD video recording that the new iPhone offers.
Jobs called this latest version the biggest leap since the original iPhone, but it wasnt enough to knock the socks off of several analysts. Theyre generally agreed that the device will help Apple continue to grow, but isnt likely to push it beyond third place in the global smartphone market, the position it currently holds.
Some users might find one new function to be annoying. Apples new mobile-ad service, iAds, launches July 1. It remains to be seen how this will affect the user experience. Jobs also introduced FaceTime, new iPhone software for videoconferencing that will operate over a Wi-Fi connection instead of a cellular network.
The company is expected to sell its 100 millionth iPhone this month, which includes a 73 percent increase over the last fiscal year if estimates come true. Not bad considering all of the new competition, particularly from the Droid, offered by Verizon Wireless, and now the HTC EVO 4G from Sprint.
You can pick up the fourth-generation iPhone on June 24; it’s $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. It will be available in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan.
The biggest impact on new iPhone sales might have less to do about the new device than the new data plans offered by its exclusive carrier, AT&T. The carrier is doing away with those all-you-can-eat-buffet style data plans, likely to turn off some consumers but attract others who dont spend hours taking up more than their fair share of bandwidth.