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New iPhone announced, 3.0 upgrade dated

iPhone 3GS released in the US June 19; 3.0 iPhone software available June 17

Apple has announced the iPhone 3GS, a hardware update to its popular line of mobile devices. Additionally, the company announced that a 3.0 software update will be available to existing iPhone owners later this month.

According to announcements made during the keynote address of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2009 in San Francisco, the iPhone 3GS - available in the US on June 19 - features a significant performance increase that includes faster loading times and "updated 3D graphics." The device will also ship with an improved 3 megapixel camera and the ability to record video.

According to benchmark tests revealed by Apple, the iPhone 3GS will see significant performance increases over the previous hardware release, the iPhone 3G, with messages loading 2.1x faster, the game SimCity launching 2.4x faster, and Excel attachments opening 3.6x faster, as examples.

The improved camera features auto-focus and better low light performance, captures video at 30 frames-per-second, and has an API available to developers, which would allow one to "build video capture right into your apps," according to statements made by Apple's Phil Schiller.

The 3.0 software upgrade, meanwhile, ships with the 3GS and will be available free to iPhone owners or at a cost of USD 9.95 to iPod Touch users. It includes several new features, including oft-requested Cut, Copy and Paste functions, an improved version of the Safari web browser and several new developer APIs, including the ability to integrate a user's iPod music library.

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