Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced the latest incarnation of the company's iPhone at a developer conference in San Jose, California, featuring many specifications already revealed through prototypes leaked over the last few months.
Describing the device as "the most precise, beautiful thing we’ve ever designed", the iPhone 4, as the latest model will be known, features an improved five-megapixel camera with flash, multitasking, and a six-axis sensor. As well as the capacity to record and edit 720p HD video, the phone, powered by the same A4 bespoke processor found in the iPad, also incorporates a front-facing camera for video conferencing. A new service, dubbed 'Face Time', will facilitate iPhone to iPhone video-calling with support for open standards which Apple believe will encourage use of front camera by other apps, but will only work on WiFi connections at launch.
The company is also including its IPS-based screen technology, which will see the number of pixels quadruple from the previous flagship iPhone model, the 3GS. With 78 per cent of the pixels of the much larger iPad, the new screen is claimed to include more detail than the human retina can see at a distance of 10-12 inches. Though it includes a larger battery which will boost standy time to 300 hours, the model, at 9mm in thickness, is 24 per cent slimmer than the 3GS.
The keynote speech was plagued by connection problems, with journalists asked to turn off their WiFi connections and place their laptops on the floor to stop interference with Jobs' demonstration.
A number of companies with apps for the new model also spoke at the event, with US-based movie rental site Netflix demonstrating a system that will enable streaming of feature films on the phone, with users able to move from one Apple device to another without losing their place in the film. Farmville, the Zynga-designed social gaming phenomenon with over 80 million players, is also coming to the phone.
Later in the announcement, Jobs also revealed that Microsoft search engine Bing will be built into the device, firing a shot across the bow of Google, the previous iPhone search partner. The device will launch on 24 June in the UK, with tariffs as yet unannounced.