A new, faster version of the popular iPhone will hit US stores on June 19, Apple announced as it lowered the price on its existing model to $99 and released details of its revamped operating system.
Unveiled at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, the iPhone 3GS is billed as a more powerful, feature-laden follow-up to the 3G, which the company says revolutionised the way people use mobile phones.
The 3GS which will be released in 80 countries by August features a similar look to the current iPhone, complete with a sleek rectangular shape and a large touch screen. But the phone comes packed with new features inside.It has a new camera that shoots video and zooms. A touch-screen feature also lets iPhone photographers tap the area of the photo they would like to put into focus. The new phone reportedly will have a longer battery life.
The new iPhone carries a price tag similar to the old iPhone. A version with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $199 with a new contract; one with a 32-gigabyte storage capacity will cost $299.
Apple also said it has dropped the price of the current iPhone 3G to $99 ahead of the release of the 3GS. The $99 model features 8 gigabytes of storage.
Apple also discussed a new iPhone operating system, version 3.0, which adds a cut-copy-paste feature to current iPhones. Apple said the new software adds 100 new features.
One of those getting the most buzz was the Find My iPhone feature, which will be available only for customers of Mobile Me, an Apple service that lets users sync e-mail and other data between computers and iPhones, CNN said.
If you lose your phone, Mobile Me will display a Google Map that shows where your iPhone is, as long as it's turned on. You can then send a message to the phone, and it will sound an alarm, alerting nearby people to save it for you.
If you think you've lost the phone permanently, you can remotely wipe all your data; if you find your missing phone later, you can plug it into iTunes and restore all your data.
Apple Senior Vice President Bertrand Serlet demonstrated the company's newest operating system, called Snow Leopard. It will hit stores in September, although a 'near-final' version was made available for developers on Monday.
Serlet also said that Apple's Safari 4 browser, which was released in beta in February, will ship on Monday.