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Published: Tuesday, 6/8/2010

Apple's new iPhone boasts sleeker look, sharper images


SAN FRANCISCO - The next iPhone comes out June 24 and will have a higher-resolution screen, longer battery life, and thinner design.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs opened Apple Inc.'s annual conference for software developers yesterday by demonstrating the iPhone 4.

It will cost $199 or $299, depending on the capacity, in the United States with a two-year AT&T contract. The iPhone 3GS, which debuted last year, will still be available, for $99.

Some of the mystery surrounding Apple's latest creation was punctured in April when the tech blog Gizmodo bought a lost iPhone prototype for $5,000 and posted pictures of it. Apple demanded it back, and authorities have been investigating whether a Gizmodo editor broke any laws.

"Stop me if you've already seen this," Mr. Jobs said yesterday as he started his demonstration.

The iPhone 4 is sleeker and more advanced than the original iPhone that came out in 2007. Like the iPhone 3GS, it comes in black or white, although it has a more angular look. Its front and back are covered with glass, and it is rimmed with stainless steel forming part of the phone's antenna.

It is about three-eighths of an inch thick; the iPhone 3GS is nearly half an inch. It can shoot high-definition video, catching up to some other smart phones. It has a gyroscope, along with other sensors, to enable more advanced motion-sensing applications, such as games and mapping services.

The display on the iPhone remains 3.5 inches diagonally, but Mr. Jobs noted that it can show four times as many pixels - the individual colored dots that make up an image - as the previous screen. That makes for a sharper appearance.

One of the most noticeable changes is a camera on the front that can be used for videoconferencing. It is in addition to a five-megapixel camera and a flash on the back. For now, the videoconferencing function, FaceTime, works only if both parties to the call have an iPhone 4 and are connected over Wi-Fi rather than a cell-phone network.

The battery on the new iPhone will allow up to seven hours of talk time, up from five on the last model. It can handle up to six hours of Web browsing over cellular networks or 10 hours over Wi-Fi.

The new phone will run the latest version of Apple's mobile software, now called iOS4, which Apple unveiled in April.

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