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Apple Unveils iPhone, Touch 4.0 OS Upgrade

4/08/2010 03:30:02 PM Eastern

Cupertino,
Calif. - More than 100 new features enabled
by Apple's iPhone 4.0 OS will bring to the
iPhone and iPod Touch many of the features already available on other
smartphone platforms.

Those features
include multitasking for third-party apps, a unified email inbox, email
organized by threads, ability to choose wallpapers, the ability to open email attachments
via third-party apps and mobile ads that will appear within an open app. The
company didn't disclose the number of apps that will run simultaneously.

Other new features
announced here by CEO Steve Jobs for the iPhone and iPod Touch include online
social gaming with leader boards; ability to organize and view more than 2,000
app icons, compared with 180; and iBook application to read e-books downloaded
from Apple's iBook store. The new OS will also support Bluetooth keyboards, 5x
digital camera zoom, a spell checker and more.

The 4.0 OS will be
available as a firmware upgrade during the summer to current iPhone 3G and 3G S
users and users of second- and third-generation iPod Touches. A version for the
iPad will be available in the fall.

The iPhone OS 4
beta software and software developers' kit became available today so that
developers can create apps that take advantage of more than 1,500 new
application programming interfaces (APIs). Among other things, the APIs will
enable apps to access a user's calendar or photo library and deliver in-app SMS
messages.

In other
announcements, Jobs said iPad sales as of April 8 hit 450,000, with more than
300,000 having occurred on the first day of availability on April 3. The number
of apps on the iPad app store grew to 3,500 by April 8, he added, by which time
consumers downloaded a cumulative total of 3.5 million apps and more than
600,000 iBooks. Jobs also said Apple is making iPads as fast as it can so it
can restock Best Buy stores that have already run out.

Turning to the new
iPhone OS, Jobs acknowledged the iPhone came late to multitasking but said it
will do the job better than other smartphones because it will not degrade
battery life or app performance when multiple apps are open. Multitasking will
enable Internet music services to play in the background while other apps are
used, and it will enable reception of Skype calls when other apps are in use.
Open apps will appear at the bottom of the screen after the home button is
double-clicked.

With the new
ability to drag and drop app icons into folders, users will be able to organize
and access more than 2,000 apps instead of 180. Dragging one app icon onto
another automatically creates a folder that is given a name based on the app's
category, such as games. Users can also rename the folder. Consumers will also
be able to create and manage iPhone folders on a Mac or PC using iTunes 9.2.

As for mobile
advertising, Jobs said Apple will sell and host the ads and will share 60
percent of revenues with app developers whose apps will display the ads. The
ads will be interactive and will deliver "emotion," he said, and they'll keep
users in the app.

New enterprise
features in iPhone OS 4 include improvements in security, scalability and
compatibility, Apple said.

To date, more than
50 million iPhones have been sold worldwide along with 35 million iPod Touches,
he added.