Apple prepares to unveil “iPhone HD”

Apple’s Steve Jobs will tonight unveil the company’s fourth-generation smartphone, which is expected to be called the iPhone HD.

Apple prepares to unveil

Apple launches iPhone 4 – click here to read full story

Leaked publicity shots that emerged over the weekend suggest that it will be called the iPhone HD, but in traditional Apple fashion, few other details are known of the Apple handset pre-launch.

Is it as easy as last year to stay ahead? No. I think Android has made huge progress

A prototype handset that was left in a US bar in April suggested that the fourth-gen iPhone will have a front-facing camera, as well as a flash fitted alongside the existing camera. The phone will also adopt the new Micro-SIM format used in the iPad and contain a larger battery.

The HD moniker suggests Apple may also upgrade the iPhone’s screen, with a higher resolution OLED display a distinct possibility.

Whatever the outcome tonight, analysts predict that Apple will have a tougher time staying ahead of the smartphone pack than it has over the past few years.

“The iPhone 4.0 will keep it [Apple] ahead of the game,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. “Is it as easy as last year to stay ahead? No. I think Android has made huge progress.”

“Android is the only real contender to the throne,” agreed Rodman & Renshaw analyst, Ashok Kumar. “Nokia’s position continues to fade, RIM has yet to make traction on the consumer side, and Microsoft could end up being too little, too late.”

The new iPhone may not be the only product announcement made by Steve Jobs tonight. Version 5 of the company’s Safari browser is also expected to be unveiled in California.

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