Apple is expected to formally debut its next-generation iPhone at a developers conference slated for the second week of June.
The California firm on Wednesday announced a June 7 start for its five-day Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The annual event has become a stage for Apple to unveil software updates, particularly for iPhones that star in the company's line-up of popular mobile gadgets.
Technology blog Gizmodo published details about the next iPhone earlier this month after getting its hands on a prototype of the device that it said was lost in a California beer garden by an Apple software engineer.
"WWDC provides a unique opportunity for developers to work side-by-side with Apple engineers and interface designers to make their iPhone and iPad apps even better," Apple senior vice president of iPhone software Scott Forstall said in a release.
Forstall promised that the conference will give developers in-depth sessions and hands-on labs focused on working with the latest generation operating system for iPhone smartphones.
The conference will also feature Apple's first sessions for developers interested in tailoring programs for its freshly-released iPad tablet computer.
Analysts and industry insiders see the conference as a likely stage for Apple to introduce an upgraded iPhone model and announce pricing and availablity.
According to Gizmodo, features of the new phone include a front-facing video camera for video chat, a flash and an improved regular camera with a larger lens.
It also has a flat back instead of curved back, is thinner than the 3GS, is three grams heavier and has a battery that is 16 percent larger.
Gizmodo is at the center of a police investigation into whether a crime was committed in obtaining the iPhone prototype, which has since been returned to Apple.
Police raided the home of a Gizmodo editor last week and seized computer equipment in a hunt for evidence.
Gizmodo said it purchased the iPhone prototype for 5,000 dollars from an unidentified person who found it in the bar where it had been left behind by a 27-year-old Apple software engineer named Gray Powell.
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