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Apple shows off iPhone 4 Add to ...

Apple Inc. has unveiled the newest version of its hottest product: the iPhone 4.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the device Monday at the company's annual developer conference in San Francisco. Even though many of the new phone's features had leaked to the masses beforehand, anticipation among users, analysts and critics ran high. Among the most important features of the phone are multitasking and a new video-chat tool. But the new iPhone is just one of several announcements Apple hopes will further distinguish the world's most valuable technology company from rivals such as Google.

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The announcement

A thinner, sleeker iPhone with a more powerful processor.

The strategy

Further differentiate the iPhone from its biggest competition (BlackBerry and Android-powered phones) by highlighting its design and giving it the ability to do things faster.

The impact

It's not as Earth-shattering an announcement as the first iPhone or iPad, but the new version is sure to renew interest in Apple's flagship product. Most importantly, it revives Apple's lone entry in the smartphone market, at a time when its main competitors (Google, with its Android operating system, and Research In Motion), have several.

The announcement

A movie-making app, bookstore and video-chat for the iPhone.

The strategy

Highlight the multimedia capabilities of the device, and cash in on the growing movement away from simple text and voice phone functions, as users migrate to video and consume more media on their phones.

The impact

Big on users, not so big on carriers - exactly the way carriers like it. The video-chat capabilities are designed to run only on wireless networks, reducing the strain on cellular networks that are already suffering with massive iPad and iPhone traffic.

The announcement

Selective multitasking on the iPhone.

The strategy

Allow users to do more than one thing at once. Apple is moving to finally address one of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone, by letting certain applications run in the background while others run in the foreground.

The impact

Less than it could have been. Not all applications can multitask together. Apple appears to have focused on certain key combinations, such as allowing users to run online radio station apps in the background. The move limits the variety of multitasking options, but also minimizes crashes and battery life issues.

The announcement

Enterprise integration

The strategy

With a very strong presence in the consumer market, Apple is going after businesses. Even though BlackBerrys are ubiquitous in the enterprise market, Mr. Jobs took time to highlight the new iPhone's improvements in data protection and exchange server integration.

The impact

It'll take a lot more than Monday's announcements to knock RIM out of first place in the business world, but iPhone pickup is growing in corporations, even though Apple hasn't focused much of its energy on that market - yet.

Read more of today's technology stories at Globetechnology.com

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