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Apple's Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing, introduces the new Apple iPhone 3G S for the price of $199 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. ((Paul Sakuma/Associated Press))

Apple Inc. unveiled the iPhone 3G S — the latest, faster new version of its popular smartphone — at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday in San Francisco.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president for worldwide product marketing, told the conference that the S stands for "speed."

According to the new iPhone 3G S website, the new phone is as much as two times faster and more responsive than the Apple 3G. It also includes features such as:

  • Internet tethering, which allows the iPhone to share its 3G wireless network connection with laptop computers.
  • Video recording ability.
  • A three-megapixel camera with built-in autofocus and the ability to focus on individual objects by tapping their image on the screen.
  • Voice control.
  • A digital compass.
  • A larger keyboard that can be accessed by rotating the phone into the "landscape" orientation.
  • Cut, copy and paste capability.
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The new iPhone 3G S has an internet tethering feature, which allows the iPhone to share its 3G wireless network connection with laptop computers. ((Apple Inc./Associated Press))

The 16 GB version of the iPhone 3G S will sell for $199 US and the 32 GB version will start at $299 US for American customers who sign a two-year contract with AT&T. Canadian pricing will be announced on June 19 when the phone becomes available, the company said in a news release.

An 8 GB iPhone 3G will also be immediately available for $99 US — down from the current low-end price of $199 — to customers who sign a two-year contract.

The keynote address at the conference is typically used to unveil new gadgets and hardware, a report on the website of Computerworld points out.

Also unveiled at the conference Monday were:

  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, which Apple says has faster search and backup functions than the previous version of the operating system but takes up half as much space, freeing up 6 GB.
  • Safari 4, the latest version of the company's web browser, which includes a full history search as well as a feature called "cover flow" that allows the user to flip through previews of websites the way they flip through album covers in iTunes.