Anyone hoping Apple would introduce its new music strategy during Steve Jobs’ keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference today found themselves disappointed. The CEO didn’t even mention the May 31 shuttering of streaming music service Lala, which it now owns, and did not make any mention of any iTunes upgrade of any kind.

But he did show off a new iPhone that comes with not only several impressive new features, but also some upgraded technology applicable to all iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches that at the very least will give other smartphone competitors a continued run for their money.

Like most upgrades to existing Apple products, the details are never as exciting as the introduction of a totally new device. That said, Jobs called the iPhone 4 the biggest leap in the category since the original, and he’s absolutely correct.

The highlights include:
- FaceTime video calling: With the addition of a front-facing camera, users can now make video calls to other iPhone 4 users, for now regulated to WiFi connections only.

- A slick new design that results in a 24% thinner device, stainless steel casing and the addition of a front-facing camera (all of which you knew after the Gizmodo leak).

- A new “retina display” screen that increases pixel density to 4 times the number of pixels in the same amount of space, resulting in much sharper text, better zoom capabilities, and of course clearer pictures and video.

- A new chip, called the A4 increases the battery life to 40 hours of music, 10 hours video, six hours of 3G Web browsing and 10 hours WiFi browsing. It’s not clear what that means for streaming music/video from web.

- A gyroscope, that enhances the accelerometer motion-sensing capabilities, most likely to benefit gaming apps.

- A new camera system that includes a 5 megapixel sensor, better light sensor, and HD video. Video software includes a version of iMovies made for the iPhone that lets users edit and add music to their creations.

- Upgrades to the iPhone software, now called iOS 4, rather than iPhone OS 4. The upside is better multitasking, app management, the addition of Yahoo and Bing as search options.

- An iBooks update that brings the service to the iPhone.

- iAds: Hinted at during the iPad unveiling, iAds is a mobile advertising network integrated into iOS 4 so app developers don’t need to write anything special to include ads in their apps. Apple does all selling and hosting, and gives developers 60% of the revenue. After just eight weeks, brands include Nissan, Citi, AT&T, GE, State Farm, and more are onboard. Jobs said they have commitments for $60 million for the second half of the year. Users will start seeing iAds July 1.

- The iPhone 4 will cost $200 for the 16GB version and $300 for the 32GB model. Both will be available in the US, France, Germany, UK and Japan on June 24, with preorders starting June 15. Apple will expand distribution to 18 more countries next month, with a broader expansion each month through September.

The new additions should help keep the iPhone competitive in the face of increasing opposition from devices like Google’s Android. According to new Nielsen data shared by Jobs on stage, BlackBerry creator Research in Motion leads the U.S. smartphone market at 35%, followed by Apple at 28%, and Windows Mobile by 19%. Android has a 9% share.

In other updates, Jobs said there are now more than 8,500 iPad-specific apps, and more than 35 million apps have been downloaded from the device. There are 225,000 apps in the iTunes App Store today, and users have downloaded more than 5 billion apps since the store opened. And for the first time, Jobs outlined how much developers are making from their 70% cut of app sales--$1 billion since the store opened.

One of them about to take advantage is Activision, which has created a version of Guitar Hero for the iPhone. It features customized avatars, a mobile-friendly strumming and tapping mechanic, and the ability to post results to Facebook. It costs $3, and will ship with songs from the likes of Queen, The Rolling Stones and Vampire Weekend, among others.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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